Author Topic: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?  (Read 12680 times)

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PeterM

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2012, 06:25:26 PM »
Has she ever actually asked you?  If not, I wouldn't say anything. 

From the OP:

"With V-Day coming up, she will inevitably call me up at least half a dozen times to ask why she can't find a good guy."

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I get told very frequently that my standards are too high.  I'm okay with that -- I'd rather wait for someone I actually like, or remain single forever, than date someone I'm not interested in.  But it gets pretty exhausting when people keep trying to get me to compromise on my values and preferences and date someone I don't find interesting or attractive.

So unless you think she genuinely wants advice, I wouldn't go there.  She's probably heard it many times before.  And it's pretty damaging to the self-esteem, as well, to be constantly told "You're not good enough for the caliber of guys you're interested in."


I understand your point, but unless you're constantly complaining to your friends you're really not in the same situation as the OP's friend.

Somebody who's alone because they have high standards is one thing. Someone who's alone because of ridiculously high standards while simultaneously complaining to friends about how unfair it is something else entirely. OP, if she actually asks you why she's still alone I'd feel free to tell her that you believe it's because she has unrealistically high standards and expectations. If she asks you to expand rather than rejects your opinion out of hand, I'd limit myself to her unrealistic expectations of others rather than any behavior of hers that you think drives people away.

Surianne

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2012, 06:50:24 PM »
Has she ever actually asked you?  If not, I wouldn't say anything. 

From the OP:

"With V-Day coming up, she will inevitably call me up at least half a dozen times to ask why she can't find a good guy."

Yes, I promise my reading comprehension isn't THAT bad  ;D   What I meant is I think the OP should consider whether or not her friend is *actually* asking, or just venting.  I probably wasn't clear in explaining that.

That's why I think the "Do you really want to know?" question WillyNilly proposed might work well. 

I definitely agree with you that the friend's situation and mine aren't the same -- it sounds like the friend is much more interested in finding a guy than I am (for me it's more along the lines of "Ech, if a really nice guy falls into my lap, maybe I'll consider it..."), which means she may be more open to hearing reasons.  What I caution against is just offering the reasons without being prompted. 

PeterM

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2012, 07:03:34 PM »
From the OP:

"With V-Day coming up, she will inevitably call me up at least half a dozen times to ask why she can't find a good guy."

Yes, I promise my reading comprehension isn't THAT bad  ;D   What I meant is I think the OP should consider whether or not her friend is *actually* asking, or just venting.  I probably wasn't clear in explaining that.

Fair enough, and I definitely see the difference.

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That's why I think the "Do you really want to know?" question WillyNilly proposed might work well. 

I don't know that it would. For one thing, most people would say that yes, they want to know even if it might well turn out they didn't. And just asking the question indicates that you have a very definite opinion, which will change the dynamic of the relationship even if the OP's friend is self-aware enough to admit that no, she doesn't want to know.

Surianne

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2012, 07:46:45 PM »
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That's why I think the "Do you really want to know?" question WillyNilly proposed might work well. 

I don't know that it would. For one thing, most people would say that yes, they want to know even if it might well turn out they didn't. And just asking the question indicates that you have a very definite opinion, which will change the dynamic of the relationship even if the OP's friend is self-aware enough to admit that no, she doesn't want to know.

Good point.  I'm a very self-aware person (doesn't mean I don't have glaring flaws, just that I know what they are!) and quite honest and blunt, so if I said yes, it would be because I genuinely wanted to know.  Not everyone is like that (my guess is the OP's friend is significantly less self-aware, based on the wedding dress story), and I can see someone saying "yes" when they don't mean it simply because they feel curious or pressured.  Hmm.  Unfortunately I can't think of a good alternative at the moment.  I like the idea of asking the friend if she really does want advice...but I'm not actually sure how to go about it.

gramma dishes

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2012, 08:09:08 PM »
... And she's chock-full of weirdo dating behaviors:  ...  saying "I Love You" twenty minutes in, for instance.   She once went with a guy to his work Christmas party, kind of dressy cocktail thing, in what I know was a wedding dress.  She tells half-hour anecdotes about her dog.  ...

You know, I keep reading the responses and everyone talks about how she's setting her 'standards' unreasonably high, which, eh? may be true.

But why are we not brave enough to be willing to look at it from the other side and tell the truth? 

She's weird!! 

Look, she may be a wonderful, fun, vivacious, loyal friend but with behaviors like those mentioned would you really want her dating your best male friend or your very own brother?

Is there a reason you can't, as her friend, let her know gently that some of these unusual behaviors are no doubt a total turn off for guys, even if they DID somehow manage to live up to her expectations?  The hard truth is that she wouldn't even come close to living up to theirs! 

Ceallach

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2012, 08:25:21 PM »
I do find it amusing that your friend wants someone who will "like her for who she is" but is unwilling to like a man for who he is, unless he can vault a bar set so high it's ridiculous to try.

I've seen this as the problem so, so SO many times.  Many women I know hold the man to high standards but don't seem to have the ability to be introspective and acknowledge their own weaknesses. I have no issue if a person says "I have high standards, and if I never find somebody who meets them that's ok, I'm happy with my life".  Cool, that's win-win.  But don't expect me not to comment on your outrageously high standards IF you start complaining about not being able to meet anybody.  It's not rocket science - if you're looking for a needle in a highstack, chances are you might not find it.

I know so many women who want a man and can't find one.  If asked I may give some gentle advice but I never outright tell them the problem.  It's normally something so personal.  The hardest are friends who aren't too picky but have things about themselves that make them not so relationship-ready.

If I tell Friend A:   "You've picked up some really nasty demanding traits from your dysfunctional mother, you're a lovely friend and have lots going for you, but when you talk to men you're a female dog" she's going to take that badly, and defend herself as just being a "strong, confident woman".

If I tell Friend B:  "You're not putting yourself out there.  Get some exercise, stand up straight, hold yourself with confidence and you'll be approachable."  Well, that's just cruel. 

If I tell Friend C:   "You dress like a lesbian.  You know that you've been mistaken for a lesbian several times, yet you are quite clear that you're interested only in men and you really want to find a man and get married.  If you want a man to show romantic interest in you then perhaps you need to change your image so that they consider approaching you.  Maybe get a feminine haircut.  Or put yourself out there in some way like you did back when you were in relationships." 

If I tell my coworker:  "You're 40 years old and a professional who earns a six figure salary. Stop dressing like a tramp, giggling like a schoolgirl and slathering on ten feet thick make-up and false eyelashes. Also, when you're in a relationship, don't treat the man like your personal servant and create huge dramatic scenarios whereby you storm out and never speak to him again, then complain that he never called you and "broke your heart".  Grow up.   (And no, I wouldn't have minded anything this person did except she complained constantly about her lack of a man and that there were no good men and she wanted to settle down and get married. It was very irritating, and I never knew what on earth to say to her whiney jokes about man-hunts.  She was just incredibly insecure and it shone through every second of the day).


I guess what I'm saying is if somebody can find a good solution, then let me know.  I like the recommendation of life-coaching. I think in future if a friend complains repeatedly about this then I'll try saying:  "Maybe you could try life-coaching? I've heard they can be great at helping people make changes and achieve their goals in life".   
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2012, 09:44:04 PM »
... And she's chock-full of weirdo dating behaviors:  ...  saying "I Love You" twenty minutes in, for instance.   She once went with a guy to his work Christmas party, kind of dressy cocktail thing, in what I know was a wedding dress.  She tells half-hour anecdotes about her dog.  ...

You know, I keep reading the responses and everyone talks about how she's setting her 'standards' unreasonably high, which, eh? may be true.

But why are we not brave enough to be willing to look at it from the other side and tell the truth? 

She's weird!! 

Look, she may be a wonderful, fun, vivacious, loyal friend but with behaviors like those mentioned would you really want her dating your best male friend or your very own brother?

Is there a reason you can't, as her friend, let her know gently that some of these unusual behaviors are no doubt a total turn off for guys, even if they DID somehow manage to live up to her expectations?  The hard truth is that she wouldn't even come close to living up to theirs!

I agree. I'd be inclined to tell her clearly (but nicely) why guys might find her a turn-off.

Also, if you have a kind mutual male friend who can back you up and confirm what you're saying is right, that might be a good thing. She might pay more attention to a male's perspective.

Finally, if she still keeps complaining, but makes no moves to change her behaviour or standards, I think you're fine in asking her to please stop talking about how she can't find a man.

weeblewobble

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2012, 10:27:52 PM »
I've been with the same guy since I was 14. We were high school sweethearts, married young and have a really good relationship. I have single friends who tell me I'm so LUCKY I found a man so early and never had to brave the dating scene, because I have it SOOOOO easy*.  When we go out, they complain about not being able to find a good guy, and demand to know how to grab someone like DH. (Because he is pretty awesome)

I tell them the same thing every time- based on what DH has told me.  "You know how when you're looking for your keys and you toss your whole house, turning over everything you touch, trying to find them? You give up, flop down on the couch, and the minute you stop looking, you see them under your TV cabinet?  It's the same thing with guys.  They can tell when you're out looking for a man, and the more you seem to be looking, the less interested they're going to be.  But if you're just out, being yourself, enjoying your life, good men are going to see that and be attracted to that."

Seriously, men can scent desperation like bees can smell fear.

*I just want to yell, "Are you insane?  Do you have any idea how much work it is to stay with a man for more than half your life, to keep his interest, to prevent having the same conversation over and over?  And I haven't just dated one man- I've dated mid-teens "I'm not sure where to put my hands" Mr. Weeble, weird Steven Segal-obsessed late teens Mr. Weeble, early 20s "not sure what I want to do with my life" Mr. Weeble, and mid20s, "we have a five-year plan!" Mr. Weeble, and now, "dependable, law and order" Mr. Weeble. 

Is he a super-model? No.  Has he ever stood outside my window, holding up a boombox, blasting "In Your Eyes? No.  Is he still obsessed with bluegrass music and lame martial arts movies?  Yes. But the measure of a good guy is in his actions, even if they weren't the actions we were "expecting." Through it all, he has always treated with kindness, respect, and love. That's what a good guy does.

gramma dishes

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2012, 10:39:35 PM »
^^^  I love your whole post!  Made me smile all the way through it.  Sounds like you chose early and got a winner!  He did too.

Allyson

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2012, 10:40:25 PM »
It's not just women who have really high expectations, too! I have definitely met guys who are desperate to date someone conventionally attractive, often younger than them. Not just 'someone I personally am attracted to' but more 'someone my friends will think is hot, and be impressed I landed her'. This is not an appealing attitude from men or women!

I am all for waiting until you feel that 'spark'. But having an exhaustive list of qualities is, in my experience, not that helpful. I can say 'I'm usually not attracted to redheads' but if I meet a really awesome redhead who turns my crank, I'm not exactly going to say 'oh sorry you don't fit my qualifiers'.

Had I made a list and stuck to it, I wouldn't be with my awesome boyfriend now. On the other hand, before I met him, I was kind of halfheartedly casually seeing a couple of guys, neither of whom really 'did it' for me. No particular reason, it just wasn't there. But when I met my current guy I knew right away that I wanted to see more of him. Dealbreakers aside, I don't think it's useful to say 'I will only date people who are X Y and Z because that's what I like'. For one thing, if you meet someone who is X Y and Z your friends all laugh at you. ;)

artk2002

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2012, 12:28:30 AM »
But if you're just out, being yourself, enjoying your life, good men are going to see that and be attracted to that.

Self confidence and being self-possessed are sexy.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

weeblewobble

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2012, 12:45:25 AM »
^^^  I love your whole post!  Made me smile all the way through it.  Sounds like you chose early and got a winner!  He did too.

Thanks, I like him, too.

Ceallach

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2012, 12:57:28 AM »
I've been with the same guy since I was 14. We were high school sweethearts, married young and have a really good relationship. I have single friends who tell me I'm so LUCKY I found a man so early and never had to brave the dating scene, because I have it SOOOOO easy*.  When we go out, they complain about not being able to find a good guy, and demand to know how to grab someone like DH. (Because he is pretty awesome)

I tell them the same thing every time- based on what DH has told me.  "You know how when you're looking for your keys and you toss your whole house, turning over everything you touch, trying to find them? You give up, flop down on the couch, and the minute you stop looking, you see them under your TV cabinet?  It's the same thing with guys.  They can tell when you're out looking for a man, and the more you seem to be looking, the less interested they're going to be.  But if you're just out, being yourself, enjoying your life, good men are going to see that and be attracted to that."

Seriously, men can scent desperation like bees can smell fear.

*I just want to yell, "Are you insane?  Do you have any idea how much work it is to stay with a man for more than half your life, to keep his interest, to prevent having the same conversation over and over?  And I haven't just dated one man- I've dated mid-teens "I'm not sure where to put my hands" Mr. Weeble, weird Steven Segal-obsessed late teens Mr. Weeble, early 20s "not sure what I want to do with my life" Mr. Weeble, and mid20s, "we have a five-year plan!" Mr. Weeble, and now, "dependable, law and order" Mr. Weeble. 

Is he a super-model? No.  Has he ever stood outside my window, holding up a boombox, blasting "In Your Eyes? No.  Is he still obsessed with bluegrass music and lame martial arts movies?  Yes. But the measure of a good guy is in his actions, even if they weren't the actions we were "expecting." Through it all, he has always treated with kindness, respect, and love. That's what a good guy does.

Actually, that is the one thing I have said to friends in the past come to think of it.  I was very boy-crazy as a teenager, had rocky relationships etc but nothing fixed.  But by the time I was 19 I was a different person, I was in a place of cool confidence where I had a life plan that didn't involve a man.  I was off to travel the world! Wahoo!!  ...yeah, then I met DH.     :)  I'm still working on that OE, but my life has been pretty awesome and this version is much better than the one I had planned, albeit unexpected.

Meanwhile I had friends desperate for a man who remained single.  They would ask me mystified "How do you find somebody like MrCeallach?"  and I'd say "Stop looking, just find things that make you happy.  Enjoy being single. Travel, do interesting things!!"   I don't say things like that anymore as after a few years people got the impression that *I* wished I was single, and that irritated me.  I know how good I have it with DH - he's freakin' amazing.  But I'm just trying to explain to them that the grass is always greener, they should be enjoying what they have instead of chasing men while reeking of desperation.  But I feel patronising saying that.  I don't want to be a smug-married, y'know? 
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Scritzy

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2012, 01:11:15 AM »
I've been told my standards are waaaaaaaaaay too high, but I had to change my standards after my marriage ended. I don't want another man like Chip. He's a great guy and we're still good friends, but he was so freakin' naive. He started talking marriage three weeks after we met. I think he wanted to marry me because he was 29, not having any luck with the ladies and desperate to get married. Not that he didn't love me, too ... but it turned out that he didn't love me enough to deal with my "emotional issues," as he called them.

I'm looking through the dating sites now, and will automatically reject a man over one or two issues. But today I saw a man who said, "I'm fat and bald." I sent him an e-mail saying, "I'm 56 and crazy. Want to read my profile?" It might go somewhere and and it might not.

There are some things that are absolutely my hills to die on, and I'm not going to change on those issues. But I can negotiate if I meet someone who likes to go fishing (as long as I don't have to clean or eat the fish LOL!)

My mother keeps telling me that I'll never find anyone to marry me because I have so much wrong with me, and I'll never find anyone who will be as good to me as Chip was.  ::)

I'm not a raving beauty. I don't even think I'm particularly attractive, although I do think I look younger than my age. Still, I do scare guys away but not because I wear a wedding dress to a cocktail party. ;)

Your friend needs help. Life coach is a good idea.
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Iris

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Re: So what if you -do- know why your friend can't find a guy?
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2012, 02:01:26 AM »
I've been told my standards are waaaaaaaaaay too high, but I had to change my standards after my marriage ended. I don't want another man like Chip. He's a great guy and we're still good friends, but he was so freakin' naive. He started talking marriage three weeks after we met. I think he wanted to marry me because he was 29, not having any luck with the ladies and desperate to get married. Not that he didn't love me, too ... but it turned out that he didn't love me enough to deal with my "emotional issues," as he called them.

I'm looking through the dating sites now, and will automatically reject a man over one or two issues. But today I saw a man who said, "I'm fat and bald." I sent him an e-mail saying, "I'm 56 and crazy. Want to read my profile?" It might go somewhere and and it might not.

There are some things that are absolutely my hills to die on, and I'm not going to change on those issues. But I can negotiate if I meet someone who likes to go fishing (as long as I don't have to clean or eat the fish LOL!)

My mother keeps telling me that I'll never find anyone to marry me because I have so much wrong with me, and I'll never find anyone who will be as good to me as Chip was.  ::)

I'm not a raving beauty. I don't even think I'm particularly attractive, although I do think I look younger than my age. Still, I do scare guys away but not because I wear a wedding dress to a cocktail party. ;)

Your friend needs help. Life coach is a good idea.

Way to go, mum.  ::) I trust you know better than to listen.
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