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How to meet men: Things every young lady should know  RSS feed

 
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There's a thread here about "How to meet girls: Things every young man should know" and it seems to some of us ladies that some of us could use the same sort of advice, but how to meet good guys worth having. I don't have a clue. I guarantee it. I have been in more bad relationships than I care to think about.

Any wise women out there who want to help out the lost ladies?

 
pollinator
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I recall reading some advice on how to pickup guys:

"show up naked, bring beer"
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:how to meet good guys worth having.  I have been in more bad relationships than I care to think about.



The solution to that is VERY simple although woman in your position never follow it .... date a man who you find boring and are only marginally attracted to. You are attracted to men men who aren't good for you so you need to train yourself to be attracted to a "good guy", the problem with a good guy is he won't get your engine turned on. You can generally thank your abusive, absent or neglectful Dad for that.  
 
Pearl Sutton
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:I recall reading some advice on how to pickup guys: "show up naked, bring beer"



Actually, it's even easier than that to pick them up, the question is how to filter them out. So many men are looking for beautiful arm candy, or a house slave, they'll hit on anything that looks like it may be close. I am not arm candy material, so I get tagged for house slave, since I'm a busy type. It goes from "Oh cool, you can fix cars?" to "fix mine too, and what's for dinner, and why are there no clean towels?"  And you want to believe a guy is actual interested in what do and know, when he just wants a house slave.

What does a REAL guy say and do? How can we recognize them?

I hear "be yourself" well, myself attracts men who want a house slave. Bonus if she can fix cars.

I started this thread to see what wisdom there is out there, not just for me, but for all women. Would appreciate some good input.
 
pollinator
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Mark - that idea can totally backfire on you, it did on me. The father of my oldest child was the love of my life, he was a bad boy, and the relationship almost killed me. So I married a man completely different from him or so I thought, he was supposed to be the good guy, safe and dependable, but he wasn't. So then, I'm stuck in a relationship with a bad guy that I'm not attracted to. That's not good. As it turned out, the father of my oldest child grew into a better person, and my husband devolved into a worse one.

That being said, I tell my daughters to not be so concerned with finding a good man, just build a good life for yourself.
 
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Don't hide in the shadows and don't stay home. Men are going to approach women that they find approachable. I'm sure there are millions of nice women out there who don't meet men, because they don't find themselves in settings where that's possible or likely.
..........
If you go out to public places and you are approachable, men will find you.

Then you have some sorting to do, because any man who approaches you has already indicated his interest. And his first thought, before approaching, may very well have been that he would really like to breed with this particular woman. That's normal and healthy. Now you just have to make sure that his plans go beyond that.

When it comes to sorting, you may want to start with determining just how single he is. Married men and those who are otherwise attached, often present as single in these situations.
 
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I would like to say that if a young lady knows of a fellow that she really likes- she ought to make the effort to be friends with him. If you grew up in the same community, have similar values, went to the same church/gathering places, and you really like who he has become and who he is- make a real effort to be friends with him or his family.

Let the family know that you really like their son and they will likely approve of you already. It's not enough to just smile and wink at a guy you're interested in that runs in your circles- you really have to put out the effort to show him that you like him.

Now, if he gets interested in you as dating material, I didn't say keep doing this. That is the time to disappear and let him pursue you... let him show you how much he wants you.

There is a game to be played and I don't think women put enough effort into the game and think that men are going to do all the work.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Don't look for fixer uppers. The guy is going to be whoever he is.

You may find that there's a guy with many good qualities, but there's something about him that you really really don't like. Resist the temptation to get fixated on those good qualities, with a plan to renovate him later. It's not likely to happen the way you think. He's going to remain the way he is, and you may find this incredibly irritating.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Bitching.

I have vast experience, as the subject and audience for this particular brand of oratory. And that's how I see it. I don't see it happening as a response to anything that I've done or said. It's more like the person producing it is a pressure cooker, and what they're cooking is some bitchiness. And every once in awhile the pressure relief valve lets some out, so she doesn't pop.

I'm sure that there are times when there is a reason to complain. But I think it's important to not make that such a constant in a relationship, that it becomes white noise to the listener. And I'm being very generous in suggesting that someone is listening.
 
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I always thought of finding / keeping the 'right' person as having two pieces to a puzzle. Ideally you want your partner to be your *best friend. (*of course you may have other best friends but you still need intimacy and honesty in a relationship).

How one actually goes about finding that person, I know not - very easy to pick up a man for a one night stand but to find some one with whom you can spend (?) the rest of your life with, that's another matter.
I met my partner when we were both at school, I knew that we would get together, when we did, we were young enough to evolve around each other. It worked well. Thing I didn't count on was him dying young. Once you are older, it's harder to find another piece of the puzzle that fits with yours because we all become that much more inflexible with age. Lucky for the person who can just up and away with nothing tying them down.

Still doesn't answer the question of how to find some one, esp as it's such low priority for me.
 
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Here's one approach that could work:

Step 1:  Find out where the engineers are (college, workplace, clubs)
Step 2:  Sort out the arrogant know-it-alls (shouldn't be too hard)
Step 3:  Don't sort out the ones that are a bit socially awkward (you may have to ask them out)
 
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Mike beat me to this advice (I'm a chemical engineer).  My wife and I have been married for 26 years.  I mentioned this thread to her and her advice was as follows:

"Go for a geek!"  I said, "but wait...." and she said...."Oh course you're not a geek".  So sweet....I'm super geeky.  


 
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My current plan has disintegrated into, step 1: get over mono. step 2: work at a warehouse and save up some money. step 3: travel to Japan and volunteer at farms, and go to Montana and be a boot for a while, in no particular order. This way I have a chance to meet other people in person who do permaculture, and even if I don't meet a guy I actually like, I'll have done what I actually want to do instead of sitting around rotting waiting to find "him" before I do what I actually want to do.
I think I also need a friend to screen potential mates for me. I'm a magnet for psychotic, possessive psychopaths and, along the lines of aspergers/autism spectrum, lack the social intuition to recognize there's a problem until I'm being locked up against my will or punched in the face. I have some combination of beauty and total lack of sexiness, with a terrible intellect that makes men absolutely despise me and simultaneously want to hold me hostage forever. I basically am a 33 year old who looks like a 15 year old (not a hot 15 year old, a chubby, underdeveloped 15 year old) so only lesbians, confused teenagers and pedophiles flirt with me in person.
So I'm like. Idunno. So disheartened. The nice guys at church don't know/care about permaculture and they think I'm a kid, so they don't twice at me. One guy I met was cool but he was super tall and REALLY into bicycles. I can't ride a bike cause my legs are too damn short and an ex damaged my hip joint so that riding a bike is super painful. It's hard (in my experience) to find a guy who doesn't mind slowing down to match my walking speed.
So.... kind of have a tall order. Nice christian guy who is into permaculture, smart enough to not be intimidated by my intellect (and thus become hostile), somehow attracted to me without being a pedo, who I also find attractive. Who can handle my personality. :/ Hard to find, huh. I'm thinking I might be single for a long, long time. XD
 
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You know, I was pretty sure when I was younger that I wouldn't ever find a guy. I mean, I didn't go out trying to attract them (quite the opposite: baggy velvet shirts to conceal my chest, baggy white pants to make my legs look larger, hair always in the same style, and never any make up and no flirting). And, I found that whenever I got interested in a guy, I'd start imagining hypothetical interactions with said person...which only made every actual interaction really hard, because I'd get all nervous and my subconcious had all these pretend experiences to base it's behavior off of, which then made the actual interations turn out aweful. So, I did these things:

    1. Stopped mentally acting out situations with the person. My interactions would be authentic, and not wracked with nerves because I spent the an hour the day before imagining how today's meeting would take place.
    2. Figure out what was actually important to me, and get rid of non-necessary requirements. I knew so many girls who already envisioned their future guy, and they had him down to the details: "Tall, muscular, brown hair, blue eyes, likes football, puts the toilet paper on the roll the correct way, etc, etc, etc." By doing this, they eliminated a TON of really great guys. So, find out what's important. Mine was
    • he makes me laugh
    • he's someone I can respect--in other words, someone who listens and can learn and is relatively smart
    • someone who loves Jesus

    by not limiting who the person could be, I left myself open to finding someone unexpected. If I'd made a mental image of who I'd thought was my dream guy in highschool, it would have been a nerdy, introverted, intelligent, scrawny guy with probably blond hair and blue eyes. That was a character in a book. My husband is far more awesome than that, and I'm glad I left my mind open to finding him.
    3: Work on being the best me I could be. It drove me NUTS when an unhealthy, rather mean friend of mine would talk about how she wanted a muscular, super-nice guy. I thought to myself, "Why would you think someone like that would be interested in you, if you're not willing to be that kind of person?" Be the best you that you can be. Be the qualities that you admire, and perhaps you'll attract someone who's looking for someone like that.
    4: Don't base your self esteem on whether or not you have a guy. YOU are an awesome person. You be an awesome person. You enjoy life and do things you find important, and maybe you will find someone that's also awesome along the way. BUT, even if you don't, you can still have an awesome, full-filling life. Because YOU are awesome. You don't need a man.
    5: (This bit of advice may not be for everyone, but I do think it's pertinent for girls in their teens and twenties, and it was the advice I gave to myself, and was following when I found my husband) STOP looking for a guy. If you find one, great, but don't make your life all about that, or you might end up with someone horrible just because you felt the need to be with SOMEONE.
    6: Spend as much time as you can thinking about whether a person is suitable for you. Do they meet your limited requirements? Do they seem superficial? Think/pray/meditate about it. Don't be impulsive when deciding if you're going to spend the rest of your life with them.
    7: (Also may not apply to all) Don't give away everything at once. Increase what you invest in them (thoughts, emotions, money, physical intimacies, whatever you choose) based upon the degree of investment they have in your relationship.


So, I'm an introverted, aspberger/autistic, Christian, weird girl. When I was 20, I was following the above 7 things I listed. I'd met my husband the year before, but scared him away by not knowing how to accept flowers. ANYWAY, I met him again at church when I was 20, and at the same time I suddenly had FOUR other guys that were interested in me....and I wasn't looking for any of them! Part of that was that I was well-situated, though it wasn't my intention. I was part of a new church made up of 80% young and unmarried Christians. I spent a lot of time talking with them and seeing if they fit my very small criteria. I spent a lot of time thinking/praying/writing about our interactions and what I'd observed of them, to see if they were good people. I ended up choosing my husband. But, I didn't leap into that relationship. I made sure that he was the person I thought he was, and I made physical intimacies something that only occurred with increasing promises. When we were dating, he couldn't kiss me on the lips. When we were engaged, he could. Sex only happened once we got married. I didn't want myself to get too hurt by giving away so much only to have it crushed, so I made sure he was worth it before I did. I know a lot of people probably don't agree with that bit of advice, and that's okay! It fit my morals and my priorities, and I think you can apply it to whatever are your priorities. Don't give away what's important to you to a guy until you're pretty sure he's worth it--and make sure your "sureness" is based on more than just feelings. Feelings are deceptive!

Anyway, I'm obviously not the most "experienced" of women in dating--I only ended up dating my husband! But, I also didn't end up dating a bunch of jerks, which was important to me. I didn't want a bunch pain and heartache, which I saw so many other girls going through. But, my advice is what got me my husband, and we've been married through sickness and health, in good times and bad, for 11 years, and I'm really happy I'm with him. So, I don't know if my advice is helpful to others, but there it is!

As for where to find guys--look for things where your ideal person might be. Join groups and events where you might find him. Here's some that come to mind:
  •  Church/place where people of your beliefs gather. If you've met everyone at your church, go to events and other services at other churches, while maintaining your church as your main place of worship. It doesn't hurt to hear other pastors speak. It doesn't hurt to go to other churches' events.
  •  SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism) mirroring the advice of those above: look for nerds!
  •  Gardening/wildcrafting/mushroom ID/hiking groups/classes/workshops
  •  Nerd conventions
  •  Habitat for humanity. Help build a house! Probably lots of guys there, right?


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    Just do what you love.  
    And never break your principles just to atractt a man.

    I went to mining school. There are not many women mining engineers.  There is a level of sexism and other socially uncoth bull that I will happily pull the boys up on publicly  (there are actually funny jokes and then there are comments that I just can't let slide).
    I am doing the same course as them so we are on a broadly similar intellect anyway so that hasn't been an issue since starting university.
    If a man would be intimidated by me earning more money than him that's a firm no from me.
    If he's racist, sexist or homophobic that's a firm no.
    If he treats people badly when they can offer him nothing it's a firm no.
    If he is an aggressive drunk/gets into fights its a firm no.
    If he isn't keen on the idea of using a condom the first time we have sex I'm 100% gone.



    I do not fit with what a lot of these boys thought a women should be but guess what? The terrible ones were easy to weed out and the good ones are all highly intelligent, tend to be well built and loads of fun with similar interests.  

    No matter how hot you find them do not break your principles if they are sound principles.


     
    Sarah Koster
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    Thanks Nicole! Excellent advice. Your lack of bad experience is evidence that your method worked.
    I am not too proud to admit that my approach thus far has been completely disastrous. I have sacrificed things that were precious to me, for men who did not reciprocate. This was foolish of me. It has led to a great deal of heartache and even injury. I have believed people who did not behave according to their word. That phrase, "be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" always bothered me, I couldn't grasp it, but I suspect you may have mastered that. I am one of those kids that gets tricked into running around with the bully and doing their bidding, thinking they're on the good side, only to realize later that they were just helping a bully be a bully. I'm too afraid of being "disloyal" to wake up and smell the coffee and realize that my cohort is up to no good. I'm pretty ashamed of it all.
     
    pollinator
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    1.  Be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.  If you think you've got to act like someone other than yourself, you're not being honest.

    2.  Like yourself.  If you are a one-legged needy soul looking to lean on someone else, more than likely, you're going to find another one-legged person.  If you feel that there is something missing in you, you won't find it in someone else.  You'd be better off going to counseling.

    3.  Save yourself.  If you throw your body at someone in the hope of finding long-lasting love, you are going to get used and discarded.  Any self-respecting person knows that you can't trade sex for love.  Yet our society constantly confuses sex with intimacy.  You were created for intimacy: don't make the mistake of thinking that if you jump into bed with some guy, you'll find it.

    4.  Enjoy yourself.  I think that the best place to meet someone is in some kind of affinity group.  Nicole mentioned church.  That's a great place.  Or join a groups that windsurfs, plants gardens for old people, cooks competition BBQ, races turtle, or some other affinity group.  If you come home from work every night and put on a pair of sweat pants while you eat take-out Chinese food while watching TV, you'll never meet anyone.  You've got to get out there and find people who enjoy what you enjoy.

    5.  Pace yourself.  Take your time and move at a healthy pace when you meet someone.  As mentioned above, be careful about letting a relationship get physical.  See them in a variety of situations.  
     
    gardener
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    I'd say that if a woman wants to meet men who are interesting to them, then the woman should be doing things that involve men doing interesting things.  If you are into hiking or mountain biking, horses, or kayaking, for instance, there are often meetings and social boards at recreation oriented shops or online where a person can be a part of a club or go on group outings.  

    As was mentioned, permies can travel about and work on projects and hope to meet other people of the opposite sex who have similar interests.  

    I say also, that a person should volunteer in the community and be a part of community events.  Even if you are not organizing an event, or actively volunteering at it during the event, you can still be helpful by helping with cleanup after the event.  There is almost always the need after an event to put away chairs and tables or run a broom over the hall floor.  People who jump to these tasks are generally thoughtful and generous people, and are often worth having a beer or tea with sometime to get to know.

    In that vein:  Today I volunteered to make pies that were all presold as a fundraiser for the local Museum society (three museums in my little valley!).  We made 400 organic apple and apple/wild blueberry pies!  I was going because I like to volunteer at community functions, but also there is the possibility that I might meet up with a woman who is interesting.  Even if I do not interact directly with her (there were 40 people making these pies at various stations.), she may see me laughing and joking with my work-mate (in this case a 90 year old sprite, named Erma), and think that I might be someone worth knowing.  It could be as simple as that.  Be curious about the guy.  Ask questions in your community about him.  Find out stuff, and then, if you still deem him worthy of your time, the next time you two are both at a social event, introduce yourself.  

    You don't have to get intimately involved with a guy right away to have him think that you are someone special to him.  A real man (one who is worth his weight) will want a real relationship with you, and that, regardless of who you are, is going to take some time and effort.  If he is rushing into being intimate that is a potential red flag, even if you are super attracted to him.   Also, if he's worth anything, he will be interested in you, and ask questions to you about you.  If he doesn't, then don't flatter him further with your attention.  Narcissism is rampant in our culture, so beware if the conversation always seems to be about him.    
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Sarah Koster wrote:Thanks Nicole! Excellent advice. Your lack of bad experience is evidence that your method worked.
    I am not too proud to admit that my approach thus far has been completely disastrous. I have sacrificed things that were precious to me, for men who did not reciprocate. This was foolish of me. It has led to a great deal of heartache and even injury. I have believed people who did not behave according to their word. That phrase, "be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" always bothered me, I couldn't grasp it, but I suspect you may have mastered that. I am one of those kids that gets tricked into running around with the bully and doing their bidding, thinking they're on the good side, only to realize later that they were just helping a bully be a bully. I'm too afraid of being "disloyal" to wake up and smell the coffee and realize that my cohort is up to no good. I'm pretty ashamed of it all.



    I only "mastered it" in that my natural inclination is to be really wary and really dense. I had one guy ask me "How about we get coffee and talk about homework?" I told him, "I don't drink coffee." Poor guy. He tried lots of attempts, but I was so dense and wary that none of them worked. My own husband tried to show me he was interested in me by giving me flowers and asking me, "You seem to know a lot about plants, can you ID these for me?" So I identified those hydrangeas and gave them back! He thought I didn't like him, when I really just didn't know what to think! He ended up fading out of my life for a year until his dad had him play bass guitar for the worship band, and we met up again. This time he took things a lot slower and didn't scare me off!

    Basically, through my life I've missed a lot of opportunities that if I'd been less-dense and more able to deal with change, I could have grabbed by the bullhorns. I had four different people offer me jobs out of the blue, but the offer surprised me and I didn't know how to respond. So, I didn't get to teach art to kids, get paid to pull the weeds I was already pulling at my college while I chatted with the gardeners, or be a storyteller at a library. Thought high school and college, I only hung out outside of school/church with two people: my husband and one other friend, both of which pretty much pried open my giant clamshell barrier that I had built to protect myself, to get me out of my shell and having some fun.

    We've ALL got our faults, and things we're not good at. We just work at them and do the best we can. I try to be better at accepting offers and being spontaneous. Don't feel down on yourself for the mistakes you made. They're in the past. Move forward having learned from them--which it looks like you're doing! You are awesome!

    For me, being "wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove" means to think and learn about as much as I can, while not actually engaging in those activities. I know what they are. I know how to avoid them. I know what to do instead. And, if I don't know what to do, I spend a LOT of time thinking about it before making a choice--sometimes too much, as evidenced by my previous examples! It's something I'm working on!
     
    Roberto pokachinni
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    Until internet dating came into vogue and I was in the city, I never actually actively "dated" anyone in any kind of way that would be recognizable if one is trapped in the ideas that are portrayed in the media.  I hang out and do things that I like to do.  I met most of my long term partners while dancing at music festivals or hanging out with friends, or working on interesting projects.  You have to have some kind of social element in your life in order to date me, as I'm generally too shy to put myself out directly to someone right off the start.  But if we are part of the same social network, or group, then there is a chance to talk and to say, something like, "I'm going for a day hike at Mount Robson next Sunday, probably going to go for a slow walk off the trail into the Cedar Rainforest, and scramble about on the boulders and generally geek out on pikas and lichens, anybody interested?"  Chances are that if a chick is into that sort of relaxed geeking out, she's probably worth hanging out with in general.  :)  Also, if I say, I'm going to do climb such and such Mountain without a trail, then that is going to potentially attract a different sort of geek.  Also, it should be noted: Everyone Is A Geek.  The ones that call someone else a geek just don't acknowledge their own geek side.    
     
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    I don't think I agree with Nicole about not looking for a guy. I also don't think the common advice of just get out there and be involved in things you love is particularly helpful for inverted people. I just do not have the mental and emotional energy for that. If I did meet a compatible guy in a setting like that I would be so stressed and exhausted that nothing would come of it.

    It wasn't until I decided in my late twenties that waiting for the right guy to come along wasn't working and started seriously looking that I found my husband. For me online dating was awesome. Like Dale said in his thread, be brutally honest about yourself and be strict in your criteria for the other person. I'm naturally misanthropic so weeding out the duds was maybe easier for me than others.

    I also found that some experience helped. The first couple serious relationships I was in taught me that things I thought were important in a partner weren't so much. And things I hadn't considered before turned out to be key. Dating taught me some of that too. To begin with I wanted to be openminded and not rule out people based on what felt like prejudices. After a couple dates I started ruling out people who labeled themselves spiritual or religious or had kids or smoked pot. I didn't want to be that kind of person but it turns out I am and just like you shouldn't choose a partner who you want to change, don't try to change yourself to be with someone either.

    The advice about finding an engineer might not be so bad - my husband's a structural engineer. His brain still drives me nuts sometimes though :)
     
    Roberto pokachinni
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    Dating taught me some of that too. To begin with I wanted to be openminded and not rule out people based on what felt like prejudices. After a couple dates I started ruling out people who labeled themselves spiritual or religious or had kids or smoked pot. I didn't want to be that kind of person but it turns out I am and just like you shouldn't choose a partner who you want to change, don't try to change yourself to be with someone either.  

    A person can create criteria that make a person acceptable or not to be a partner.  I would not call this prejudice; that's common sense about knowing yourself and your own needs, in my thinking.  I'll explain with an example from my world:  I'll never find compatibility with a tobacco smoking woman.  It's an automatic turn off for me.  It's a deal breaker.  And I'm O.K. with ruling out ladies who smoke tobacco, even if they are otherwise attractive and potentially compatible in lots of different ways.  The nature of loving someone is going to mean accepting their flaws, but it does not mean that when searching for a partner you have to compromise things that you just can't live with.  There is a difference between passing judgement on someone and using discernment towards getting what you need. In the former, I would say that people who smoke tobacco are such and such a type of person, blah blah badmouth, blah blah, judge judge judge.  In the latter, I would say, "I'm the type of person that does not want to live in a tobacco smoke environment.  I grew up in a household with constant smoke and I really didn't like it then; not one little bit.  I don't like to be downwind of smokers, let alone cohabitate with them, so I'm choosing to not advance my relationship with this person as a partner, and even as a friend it will be challenging as I will always have to be upwind."  The way I see it, this difference between discernment and passing judgment means that prejudice does not need to be involved in the former.  Discernment is about making good decisions for yourself; it's not really about the other person.  

    Sorry if this is slightly off topic.  

    To put it back on topic:  I agree with the idea that Jan presented in the above quote, that you should not be changing yourself to be with someone, but I would qualify that by saying "at least at first".   A good working relationship involving personal growth (anything less is going to stagnate and become toxic to a degree) is going to have an element where a couple of people are going to be able to nudge each other in the directions of becoming better people.  This is part of a nurturing relationship, and should be expected.  Not right away, but as the relationship matures there is an element of compromise and accomodation that takes place where personalities become more malleable.  This only comes naturally after people are comfortable with each other, and after the initial romance.  It is not easy to change yourself to become a better person on your own, and it is an even harder thing to swallow when someone else asks it of you, but if you are strong in how you feel about your partner (you love this person and want it to work), and are confident in your own strength of character (even if you change you are still the same person deep down), then changing for the better, with the help of your partner, can be quite loving and enjoyable experience.  It can also be a harsh whip.  So, when this comes up, it's up to you to make your partner aware that the approach to such subjects is as important as the content.  Creating the right setting (a strong relationship bond), and framing the wording right (using compassionate language), goes a long way toward helping another person to change a slightly difficult aspect of their personality.        
     
    Stacy Witscher
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    Roberto - beautifully put

    Jan - As an extreme introvert, I can relate to the difficulty in attending events. For me, hosting events has always been more comfortable, home field advantage and all that. Once my daughter and I are on our new property, we will start doing this again. My daughter, in particular, is looking forward to meeting new men.
     
    natasha todd
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    I would disagree that introverts can't just do what they love and they will find someone.
    If you attend a poetry class for example, you are likely to meet men who are also into poetry. Same goes for book readings, book clubs, craft classes and if you do a job you that you actually like then you're probably in good company too.
    I'd so like to point out that a young lady my not be looking for a young man but that I think the advice on this thread would also apply to young ladies looking for other young ladies.  Except finding other ladies may be harder because we'll... Is she flirting or is she just being a supportive complimentary friend? I feel like it's harder to tell with women than with men.

    Whatever your preference of partner, I think joining a group or club is a great way to meet people. If you are so introverted that even joining a book club is stressful then I would suggest doing it anyway, it might not be as bad as you think or join online forums, my cousin met his wife on a photography forum.
     
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    I am a 68 young grand father,and I have been bringing up a grand daughter since she was 3 by myself.
    We get on really well, and some people argue I am not firm enough with her, but she is well mannered, can speak well in almost any company and when I explain she has done something wrong, she can acknowledge it.

    I don't rant and rave.
    BUT, I have said the if any boy wants to date her, he has to ride his bike out to my farm, 8 kilometres into a forest to speak with me and have a cordial etc.
    I explained that shows he is willing to put in the hard yards.

    If a girlfriend breaks her bond with her, do not be her friend.

    Treat boys as friends, its not important to have a 'boy friend' even if the girls say it is.

    So far she has discovered boys are trouble, some girl friends have broken her trust, and having boys as friends is nice.

    So I am making some progress.

    The other one is, don't let a boy friend drive your car or ride your motorcycle, he will trash it, and I have been able to show her evidence of that.

    I hope that helps, and if you are over 25 it may still work for you.
     
    Pearl Sutton
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    Roberto pokachinni wrote:  There is a difference between passing judgement on someone and using discernment towards getting what you need. In the former, I would say that people who smoke tobacco are such and such a type of person, blah blah badmouth, blah blah, judge judge judge.  In the latter, I would say, "I'm the type of person that does not want to live in a tobacco smoke environment.  I grew up in a household with constant smoke and I really didn't like it then; not one little bit.  I don't like to be downwind of smokers, let alone cohabitate with them, so I'm choosing to not advance my relationship with this person as a partner, and even as a friend it will be challenging as I will always have to be upwind."  The way I see it, this difference between discernment and passing judgment means that prejudice does not need to be involved in the former.  Discernment is about making good decisions for yourself; it's not really about the other person.



    That is, I believe, the absolute best thing I have read in this thread yet.
    My hat is off to you!
    That makes sense. Really good sense.
     
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    What kinds of nerd conventions do engineers attend? That are more or less fun?

    As a terrible introvert, the things that I like to do are all inside my house or yard. If I don't make a conscious effort to find somebody, I might as well prepare to be single forever.
     
    Mike Jay
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    Good question Tatiana.  The challenge is that while many engineers do attend nerd conventions, a lot of non engineer nerds do as well (I believe).  I guess non-engineer nerds could also be viable partners.  I'm mostly familiar with the engineers...

    I'm guessing any event associated with Star Wars, Star Trek, Comic con, science, board games and face-to-face games (dungeons and dragons, Magic the Gathering, etc) would be a place to start.  "Gamers" of the online persuasion could be a possibility but I think the ratio of engineers to non engineers would be less favorable in that community.  I'm not sure if these would fit your definition of "fun" or "less fun".  For the people you meet, they'd be likely very fun so you might be stuck with a Trekkie forever.

    Of course, getting a job in a place that has an engineering department would grant easier access.  But that is a higher hurdle to entry.

    Putting the words "engineer" in a dating profile could help engineers to find you.  For instance, "I'm an introvert but I think I'd like to date an engineer, rocket scientist or performance artist".  

    Hopefully Greg or another engineer chimes in on other ways to find us or have us find you.
     
    Jan White
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    Roberto pokachinni wrote:

    Dating taught me some of that too. To begin with I wanted to be openminded and not rule out people based on what felt like prejudices. After a couple dates I started ruling out people who labeled themselves spiritual or religious or had kids or smoked pot. I didn't want to be that kind of person but it turns out I am and just like you shouldn't choose a partner who you want to change, don't try to change yourself to be with someone either.  

    A person can create criteria that make a person acceptable or not to be a partner.  I would not call this prejudice; that's common sense about knowing yourself and your own needs, in my thinking.      



    I agree, which is why I said "felt like prejudice." My inlaws are fundamentalist Christians and half the people I know smoke pot. It took me a little bit to be honest that things that have little impact on what I think of someone as a person generally are dealbreakers in a mate.  On the surface anyway, making decisions about someone you've never met based on whether they identify as religious or not had the flavour of discrimination for me. It took a while to be okay with that.

    I also agree with what you say about growing and improving yourself in a relationship. I think the key is that you need to be improving yourself not changing who you are

    However I think this has the potential to be dangerous for women who have a history of repeatedly ending up in unhealthy and/or abusive relationships. I think for many of them it may be safer to be quite strict about even little habits they might change for a partner until they feel quite safe in the relationship. I realise that's not the kind of situation you were talking about. In a situation like that though, being extra careful you're only changing or improving things about yourself that make you happy for yourself or that give you a sense of accomplishment would be important. Also being aware of whether your partner is making an effort for you
    or if it's onesided would be a big thing to watch for.
     
    Tatiana Trunilina
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    Mike Jay wrote:Good question Tatiana.  The challenge is that while many engineers do attend nerd conventions, a lot of non engineer nerds do as well (I believe).  I guess non-engineer nerds could also be viable partners.  I'm mostly familiar with the engineers...

    I'm guessing any event associated with Star Wars, Star Trek, Comic con, science, board games and face-to-face games (dungeons and dragons, Magic the Gathering, etc) would be a place to start.  "Gamers" of the online persuasion could be a possibility but I think the ratio of engineers to non engineers would be less favorable in that community.  I'm not sure if these would fit your definition of "fun" or "less fun".  For the people you meet, they'd be likely very fun so you might be stuck with a Trekkie forever.

    Of course, getting a job in a place that has an engineering department would grant easier access.  But that is a higher hurdle to entry.

    Putting the words "engineer" in a dating profile could help engineers to find you.  For instance, "I'm an introvert but I think I'd like to date an engineer, rocket scientist or performance artist".  

    Hopefully Greg or another engineer chimes in on other ways to find us or have us find you.



    Thank you! This is actually really helpful! I like science!
     
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    I am older now, but when I was more interested in dating, I had trouble reading the reactions of the ladies I was meeting. I still do.

    At some point, I just gave up trying and I assume now that I will always be single.

    Not much to go on as far as advice goes, but perhaps someone has some insights about how to gauge if there is any reciprocal interest, or whether the person is just naturally friendly.


     
    Pearl Sutton
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    Tatiana: One of my ex's (who is out of town, I can ask him later for better info if you want) goes to conventions where they show off the lasers they have built, and to computer conventions.

    The gamer and comic conventions are fun, but then you are meeting gamers, unless that's what you like.

    An interesting thing to do might be to find the local convention places near you (big and small) and get their schedule list, see if any of it sounds interesting to you.  Or if you are that type, hire on to work the conventions.

    Maybe think on what you like to do in your house/yard, who else likes to do that stuff? Where might they go if they were more social? This is what has gotten me to the steam tractor show, and the old car shows.  The man of my dreams will be greasy, and probably welds :D And something I posted in the "how to meet girls" thread might work here too. Be prepared to ask questions. I took a unidentified tool with me to the steam tractor show, had a great time learning what it was. Admittedly, the men I attracted with it were too old for my taste, but we had quite a discussion going on about it before it was identified. If it had been a better weather day, I bet that much discussion would have attracted some of the younger guys too, We got rained out, most people had left. Be prepared to say "Why did you put a green laser on that, does it mean something special?" gives a shy guy the chance to say "Oh YES! It makes this glow paint glow when I hit it with the laser..." Do a bit of research, have a half a clue, make it something you are interested in learning, because he will be, or he wouldn't be there. And be prepared to be educated on lasers or whatever :)  (Quote that applies to guys that go to those things  "The odds are good, but the goods are odd!" That's a feature, not a bug in  my world.)  

    Wise quote of the day: "The hardest thing to forgive a person for is the very quality that made you fall in love with them." Don't fake interest in something you hate. You don't want to hate the thing that let you find him. If you don't want lasers torn apart on the kitchen table, don't hit a laser builders show, because I guarantee it happens. (Or flamethrowers tested in the house... oh dear. That was interesting) Think about what would mesh with your reality and dreams. (Thankfully my house was made of rock. It was fireproof.) I knew a girl who dated a guy "He's so smart! Always reading!!"  A year after the wedding "I hate it! He always has his nose in a book, looks annoyed if I talk to him!" She wasn't willing to forgive him the quality that made her fall in love. The divorce followed soon after.

    And my laser building ex will be entertained that he is being slandered here today :)  "You ARE my bad example!!"    Awesome man, we couldn't work out a relationship that works for both of us. One of my best friends these days.  Still trying to get him to give me a laser cutter :)

    Look to see what conventions of any sort come near you, see if any are something that might fit your dreams, and go, ask questions, especially of shy guys.

    Good luck finding the man of your dreams! He's probably out there, and he's probably as introverted as you are. Makes it harder, but not impossible by any means.
     
    Roberto pokachinni
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    To the introverts out there, I'd like to add that I can relate.  I was an extreme introvert for a long time.  I had a friend though that pushed me to talk to people (women) and helped me break out of my shell.  That and I've had relationships break down and have sought council, and have done work on myself.  A lot of people refuse the last two mentioned things because they feel that it is a sign of weakness.  I used to believe this as well.  But I have learned that seeking help is a sign of strength.  It is possible, and it is of great benefit to break out of introversion.  Your world will open up for you.  The main concern that a lot of people have (and why the are introverts) is fear of rejection.  But this is primarily self-doubt that a person is reflecting outwards onto others, and thus experiences it falsely as the judgement of others.  There is a lot to be said for Self Compassion, and really truly understanding those fears that are holding you back from becoming social.  I highly recommend the work of Brene Brown, and also Kristen Neff in these regards.  Heavy introversion is not a natural state, it is learned behavior from listening to an inner voice that is telling you that you are not good enough for the group to accept.  At least that was the case for me.   I shouldn't write that about everybody generally.  But that is how I understand it, particularly after finding these types of teachers and looking at my own behavior and listening to what my thoughts were actually saying to me.  I can also appreciate those people who will say after reading this, that I simply do not understand their level of introversion.  But believe me when I say that I was a very serious introvert and that I definitely can relate.

    Here's Brene Brown's 8.4million hit ted talk:  



    And here's Kristen Neff's over 1 million hit TedX talk:

     
    Pearl Sutton
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    Mark Kissinger wrote:I am older now, but when I was more interested in dating, I had trouble reading the reactions of the ladies I was meeting. I still do.

    At some point, I just gave up trying and I assume now that I will always be single.

    Not much to go on as far as advice goes, but perhaps someone has some insights about how to gauge if there is any reciprocal interest, or whether the person is just naturally friendly.



    Mark: Yeah, that's an issue isn't it? Those of us who don't read people well run into that.
    I suggest post the same question in the thread about How to Meet Girls, see if Dale Hodgins has any ideas, I know he's watching that thread. Not sure if he's watching this one.
    Most of the people who do things naturally can't explain how well. I bet he can.
    And I want to know the answer to that one too....
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    I just thought of a place to meet LOTS of nerds/engineers: Train Shows!

    My husband and I have gone to a few, and those places are FULL of really, REALLY nerdy guys, both young and old showing off their model trains!
     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Jan White wrote:I don't think I agree with Nicole about not looking for a guy. I also don't think the common advice of just get out there and be involved in things you love is particularly helpful for inverted people. I just do not have the mental and emotional energy for that. If I did meet a compatible guy in a setting like that I would be so stressed and exhausted that nothing would come of it.



    I think it depends on how one's introversion shows up. Conventions for me are really rather overwhelming (so is shopping). But, a class or workshop, I can focus on what we're learning and talk about what we're learning. Or, I can talk while I pull plant trees or build a house. I have a really hard time with eye-contact, so I get really nervous in one-on-one activities where there isn't something else to look at, so I can look at something else while I talk.

    My husband had some advice for guys on telling when a girl is actually attracted to you, verses being nice (and this might be hard to tell, because she might start out being interested, then decide you're not the one for her, and then turn to just being nice):
  • When they look at you for longer than two seconds
  • They ask you things most people don't ask you
  • They laugh about what you said, and keep asking you questions.

  • He says, "That's a good start. That's a girl that might be interested in you."

    He also--simultaneously with me--came up with train shows for a place to find reliable guys. "If you want your life on a straight track with a dependable guy, go to a train show!"
     
    Sarah Koster
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    Nicole Alderman wrote:

    Jan White wrote:I don't think I agree with Nicole about not looking for a guy. I also don't think the common advice of just get out there and be involved in things you love is particularly helpful for inverted people. I just do not have the mental and emotional energy for that. If I did meet a compatible guy in a setting like that I would be so stressed and exhausted that nothing would come of it.



    I think it depends on how one's introversion shows up. Conventions for me are really rather overwhelming (so is shopping). But, a class or workshop, I can focus on what we're learning and talk about what we're learning. Or, I can talk while I pull plant trees or build a house. I have a really hard time with eye-contact, so I get really nervous in one-on-one activities where there isn't something else to look at, so I can look at something else while I talk.

    My husband had some advice for guys on telling when a girl is actually attracted to you, verses being nice (and this might be hard to tell, because she might start out being interested, then decide you're not the one for her, and then turn to just being nice):
  • When they look at you for longer than two seconds
  • They ask you things most people don't ask you
  • They laugh about what you said, and keep asking you questions.

  • He says, "That's a good start. That's a girl that might be interested in you."

    He also--simultaneously with me--came up with train shows for a place to find reliable guys. "If you want your life on a straight track with a dependable guy, go to a train show!"



    I think there are a lot of stereotypes about what introversion is, that it isn't. You can be super super outdoorsy and still be very introverted. You can be extroverted and still be a bookworm. It's not your hobbies that indicate introversion/extroversion, but whether social interactions give you energy or drain your energy.
    When I go through the woods to get to the trail in the park, there's frequently a guy by the pond fishing. This stresses me out so I avoid him and stick to the tree line even though it's like 5 times longer than going straight through. When I pass people on the trail, I dread having to respond to "hello" or make eye contact. In fact, if I DO find a man attractive, there's NO FLIPPING WAY I'm going to make eye contact with him for two seconds or longer. I can only sustain eye contact if I find a guy totally unattractive.
    The train show might be a good idea, there's a good seasonal display here in the winter but unfortunately the local year-round place is geared towards children. It's easier to talk if I have a good excuse to stare at something (trains!) other than people. I used to have a much easier time talking to people, but I've always been introverted. Now it feels like my throat is swelling shut if I need to talk on the phone or talk to a stranger. I must come across as extremely rude, but there are times when I just can't force myself to talk.

    I think that, at least, I know now which things I'm willing to "change" about myself (and by change, I mean grow as a person) and which things are precious to me and worth too much to sacrifice for another person. It's easy to question yourself so much that you allow another person to denigrate your morals and character to the point of disintegration. I think I've learned that I don't like sex enough to be forced to do it when I DON'T want to just to be able to have it when I do. It's kind of sad that I went through that, but I think I love myself more than I did before. Anyway if a person is pushing you to violate your conscience in ANY WAY, something maybe as simple as he litters, or if he makes you feel like a less wholesome human being, stop there. It isn't worth it. No matter how much he SAYS he loves you, what he's doing is not love. I think that for introverts, trauma can be easily compounded because predatory people know what to look for, someone who is already hurt enough for them to f**k with mentally and control and doesn't have the social skills to defend themselves or be assertive, or even to know when someone has crossed the line.
    I think what I'm realizing is that I'm not going to be ready to meet anyone, let alone have a relationship, until I heal significantly from accumulated trauma. For God's sake, my ex is sitting in jail unfit to stand trial for breaking my jaw. He threatened to kill me. I'm scared he'll come after me whenever he does get out. How could I open up to someone now? My head still throbs from where I was hit over my eye. Man I'm a wreck. I'm not going to be able to trust people unless they earn that trust, because I've been hurt too much, and that seems to me to be unfair to the other person.
    Sorry if this is like tooo graphic or inappropriate.
     
    pollinator
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    These are all wonderful ideas! I find myself, however, kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. Would definitely be open to any suggestions/feedback.

    I live off grid, very rural. I also have three kids. Having my kids kind of prevents me from just picking up and getting involved with things unless it's other kid type stuff (for example, we are going to start getting involved in 4H soon) but I can't just go to workshops/classes/etc. maybe once or twice a year, max.

    Online dating has been hit or miss with mostly miss. I am frustrated with the number of generic "bros" that message me and I'm not even sure I'm ready for a relationship in that sense. I wish I could meet someone locally would would not put high demands on my time since I have a homestead to run, house to build, children to raise, and a business to operate to pay for it all. Someone who would have a marathon mindset, in that sense. My time is so limited but guys always seem to want someone who can be spontaneous and go out frequently (and I think a lot of them are looking for a wife and I'm not sure if I want to tie the knot again)

    I am considering that it may just be best for me to shelve the idea of dating until my kids are grown. But I probably won't be an empty nester for at least another 12 years, and in the meantime, celibacy sucks :( And I'm not a one night stand kinda girl.

    So here's what I've done to get myself "out there"

    I've started a local homesteaders group on Facebook which seems to be thriving! Although mostly married folks but at least it puts me in touch with likeminded people and maybe something can come out of that.
    Girls and I will be starting 4H next month.
    I also started a youtube channel and the motivation for that was certainly not to attract a mate but I realized in hindsight that it does "get me out there" at least virtually.
    And of course I do have profiles on many singles sites and singles groups on Facebook but I have a hard time with the online thing. I don't get romantically attached until I know someone pretty well and most of the guys I meet that way seem to want to get flirty and stuff right away when all I want is to have meaningful discussion and get to know him.

    Anyway... your thoughts are welcome, all! 😅
     
    Pearl Sutton
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    Dale did reply to Mark on the thread about meeting girls (if you haven't read that thread, you really might do so, these are kind of the same thread, just from different sides. Link is at the bottom of the page, in the Similar Threads list.) Told him how to tell if a girl is interested in a guy. Nichole had asked her husband the same question. What I see in this is advice for socially inept girls: These are some of the ways you let a guy know you are interested.

    Nicole Alderman wrote:
    My husband had some advice for guys on telling when a girl is actually attracted to you, verses being nice (and this might be hard to tell, because she might start out being interested, then decide you're not the one for her, and then turn to just being nice):

  • When they look at you for longer than two seconds
  • They ask you things most people don't ask you
  • They laugh about what you said, and keep asking you questions.

  • He says, "That's a good start. That's a girl that might be interested in you."


    Dale Hodgins, on the thread How to meet girls, things every young man should know wrote:
    With women, I think it's mostly about body language and movements. There's online resources that can help you with this. If she leans forward while you are talking, that's a good sign, if she makes adjustments to enhance her own appearance, that's a good sign. If she touches you in any way, whether it just be your hand or her hand on your shoulder or leg if you're sitting, that's a good sign. If she smiles constantly, that's good too.  If she laughs at funny things, that's good. If she laughs for no particular reason, this might mean she's nuts, but it could also just mean that she's nervous, because she's not sure of your intentions and hoping that you're headed in a certain direction.
    Even if she smacks you, that can be a good sign. I don't mean to knockout punch. I mean that you've told a dirty joke or tried some other risque move, and she gives you a little punch in the shoulder but then remains there with a smile on her face, waiting to see if you've got any more.
    The number one way to know that you are getting somewhere, is if she will go somewhere with you. And I don't mean that you're going to drag her off to bed. I mean something as simple as, getting off of the stone wall you're sitting on at the public event, because a nice bench just came available. If it was a random meeting and you're both sitting on or leaning against that wall, and she agrees that walking to that bench and sitting down with you is a good idea, you are in my friend. It could even be something that happens in a coffee shop or restaurant. Suppose you meet right under those big irritating speakers. You don't have to stand there and yell at her for 10 minutes. You say, there's a good spot! Let's grab it. Assumed consent, based on the shortage of tables that someone else may grab if you don't act now. Any woman that is interested in you, will take that little trip with you. And if she was just chatting to be nice, she will excuse herself and be gone.



    I never noticed I do those things... they are right. Especially if I'm nervous, I mess with my hair, smile, look for excuses to touch, hope to see a sign I understand that it's mutual. it's interesting to see this through Dale's eyes.  

    Nichole tells of her husband bringing her flowers, asking what they were. She ID'd them, handed them back. She didn't catch the cues, that he thought of a way to ask her a question like I said above, about something she knew about. I read Dale's example of moving onto a bench, and I can see me saying "oh, no, bench hurts my back" and missing that cue, because I am answering the question asked, not the intent. Interesting!!

    How do we work this into our "game"? Dale uses that word for the tricks a guy learns to be attractive to women, I'm not sure I like that word, but the idea is good. Add to our pouch of tricks, maybe? I'd rather have a pouch, a pretty one please.... :)


     
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