I was wondering if you had any advice on getting to create one on one time with girls I like and am attracted to, especially when group dynamics and petty drama comes into play.
I’m a pretty nerdy guy but well put together enough that I’m not awkward. Because of this I come across the same problem in most of the nerdy circles I’m in constantly. I get left out or cut out of conversations involving any attractive girl in the group or one of her extended friends. Concurrently, for some events I’m not even invited because I apparently rocked the boat too much or cause a disturbance within the force.
Also for girls in general I sometimes get interrupted by her friends who don’t have anything malicious against me as a person, but I always get stuck with these bullshit reasons.
1. “You two don’t look good together”
2. “This other guy who I approve of likes her/called dibs first”
3. “I’m jealous of the attention she gets so I’m gonna ruin your time.”
4. “I’m just super nosy and want to know every detail” (I refuse to tell because I value personal conversation and they start getting mad at me)
5. I get interrogated about my personal life even though I tell them I’m uncomfortable talking about my family to a stranger, let alone a massive nosy gossip.
I actually talked to some of my friends (my closer and more honest ones) about this, male and female, concerned if I did some shit that made them uncomfortable or if I pissed them off by accident.
Most of them literally said that nothing was wrong, but this guy or that guy didn’t like you talking to the girl he liked, so he didn’t want to invite you. Or this girl doesn’t want you there flirting with her friend because she ships her with someone else. Or the more unattractive girl (in my eyes) likes you so she keeps intervening when you talk to her friend. Girls are competitive that way.
Other cases I have had guys try to keep me from meeting a new girl when they try to join the club or social group. Like literal usher them away when they hear I’m nearby and that leaves a bad impression of me. Girls who I meet later tell me they thought I was creepy from the way guys acted around me but actually think I’m pretty nice.
Then soon after the girl at some point disappears because one of the guys pulled nice guy tactics and confess to her. Some of the guys don’t take rejection lightly. (Also, I try contacting them because I usually get her number, but up until that point I realize we never really had much one on one interactions and she is still uncomfortable enough around me that she doesn’t want to hangout one on one.)
Its honestly petty as hell, and it’s difficult for me because we are all single and I’m not trying to be the nuisance in the room. I’ve tried going outside my social circles to date, but I sometimes don’t click with some of the girls I meet and in my search for some common ground to talk about they can tell I’m trying to flirt or get to know them so they are on guard. In comparison to when we have common interests and have a reason to interact with each other because of the club or organization we are in.
But how am I supposed to get a girlfriend and date when I can’t even get much of an opportunity to have a more personal conversation. It feel like a loop because when I ask for a one on one hangout they usually say we haven’t really talked to each other before so they are uncomfortable. And I can’t do that with these nice guys and their nosy friends around.
And don’t get me wrong the guys are overall good people but I dislike they way they go about things and tolerate bullshit from each other. I try calling things out sometimes and get told to let it go or I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. I can empathize, but I can’t tolerate the shit. What am I supposed to do, lie down and stay quiet until they all get girlfriends.
-Shut Out at the Gate
Greetings from a longtime reader, first-time writer. Thank you for all you’ve written and done over the years, which has done wonders for my confidence. I’m 29, with no real relationship experience to speak of, but I’ve finally started a real dating life. That said, I’m still figuring out what I want in a partner, and I was wondering if you could speak to one aspect that’s been bothering me.
This weekend, I went on a pre-date at a coffeehouse with a girl I met online – let’s call her “Maxine.” I enjoyed our initial texts; she was genuinely interested in my profile and seemed bright and kind. Our talk over coffee was pleasant, and though we enjoyed sharing pictures of our dogs, there was no spark. At one point I mentioned that I don’t watch much TV these days, at which point she asked “So as a millennial, what do you do for your entertainment life if you don’t binge-watch Netflix?”
We kept the conversation up for almost an hour after my confession, but I knew that date had reached a dead-end. I don’t think the question was a joke; Maxine implied that she watches Netflix plenty. For starters, I did not appreciate being stereotyped (by someone of my own generation, nonetheless), nor do I feel obligated to structure my entertainment choices around a Silicon Valley giant. More to the point, her question reflects a concerning trend I’ve observed in online dating profiles: so many of them are dull carbon copies of the stereotypical millennial. Perhaps even the entitled millennial. On Coffee Meets Bagel, for instance, the most common entries I see in the “I like” section are probably: food, travel, and yes, binge-watching Netflix.
I like good food as much as anyone but we need food to survive, so to name it as your favorite thing is redundant. Most of us only have time to travel a couple times a year if that, and there may be plenty of great stuff on Netflix / Hulu / Amazon but most of it just doesn’t interest me now. The answers to my date’s above question are instead: I photograph stuff with a DSLR, play video games, read literature, and go to the symphony. Naturally, I’m looking for someone who can appreciate and respect those activities. They don’t need to pursue those same activities themselves – that would be boring – but I definitely lean towards the intellectual type. Not an arrogant overachiever, just someone smart and passionate about her own intellectual or artistic pursuits. Those troves of profiles – with no interests beyond food, once-a-year travel, and streaming – are not an encouraging sign. Even Maxine, who is clearly intelligent and put care into her profile, turned out to be a disappointment.
My question is: have I set my standards too high, and am I in fact searching for a girl to fit an impossible template rather than just accepting people as they are? If so, how can I recast my ideas about what I want in a date, and if not, is it rude to be more direct? For example, one of my closest friends (“Carly”) explicitly stated in her old profile that she would only date men with a Master’s degree or equivalent levels of education, or higher. This was not a hard rule, but a way to increase the odds of connecting with someone smart. She met her husband online and they now have a beautiful 8-month-old. Like her, I now want to tread the thin line that separates the snobs from, well, people who think my interests are unsexy or don’t care. I just don’t want to come off as a snob myself while doing so, because that seems to be a weakness of mine. For reference, when I was crafting my own CMB profile, I considered writing that I would appreciate if my date could hold a conversation without abusing “like” as a filler word. Carly was sympathetic but dissuaded me.
I have several friends with similarly arcane interests who have had trouble forming relationships, and so I think any advice you can offer would benefit them as well. Looking forward to hearing back!
– Born in the Wrong Century
I’m in a real bind.
I decided sometime in college and post-grad that I’m not a “relationship guy”. It’s not something I was 100% closed off to, but I decided it was not something I would actively pursue either. I’ve been in several casual relationships since then, some which ended ok and others not so great. But I remained fairly certain I was not ready for a commitment of any sort.
This has changed somewhat with the current woman I’m seeing, let’s call her Em. When we first met, I had just gotten out of a casual relationship that ended really badly and left me very hurt. She basically ghosted on me and it really sucked cause we were very close. So when Em mentioned that she wasn’t looking for a relationship, that it’s something she did a lot before but wasn’t feeling anymore, I was cool with that.
Then we had our first date, and I totally fell for her. We clicked on a fundamental level. We joked and laughed the entire time and I don’t think either of us stopped smiling for long. Not quite love, but I felt a strong connection and wanting for her. Usually I keep my options open when I’m seeing someone but I knew then I only wanted to see Em.
Confession time: we do work together and she is technically one of my managers. I realize the risks in seeing someone you work with (or under) but I decided it was something I was willing to risk. We make it work for the most part and I’m only including this detail cause I feel it’s relevant to the situation.
We went on more dates and things were going great. I’m feeling these impulses I’ve never quite felt before, and I’m putting an effort to be romantic more than I ever have. It just flows naturally when I’m with her, and she seemed receptive to all of it. Little by little I started to open up to the idea of being with her long term.
Then one night I text Em saying that I really like her. She responds by saying that I should know she’s not looking for a relationship or anything, that she definitely likes the time we spend together but wants to make sure we keep it casual.
After some brief thought, I told Em I was cool with that, but I admit was kind of blindsided. Not because I didn’t think she meant it when she said didn’t want a relationship, but because I was under the impression from our interactions that like me she was maybe warming up to the idea of “being together”.
It’s also confusing because the way we interact when we hang out feels a little more than casual. We do what I would consider more or less “boyfriend/girlfriend” things: We go out on dates, we have dinner and drinks (sometimes breakfast). We snuggle a lot and don’t go just straight to sex when we spend time together. And the sex itself is great, and feels (to me at least) emotional and meaningful. We text almost every day. She also does nice things for me, and vice versa. I’ve bought her little gifts just to cheer her up a bit. One night after I had a truly awful day at work, she invited me over and talked me through it. She has a busy schedule and we both had work early the next morning but she let me spend the night with her anyway. None of this seemed to be a problem until I told her I really liked her. I admit that I became quite emotional over this as well, wondering if there’s something wrong with me, or if what I feel for/from her is “real” or imagined.
Truth be told we have only hung out outside of work six times in the last two months, though I do see her every day at work. We flirt and joke a bit but, since we have to be secretive it’s tricky. Are my feelings just moving way too fast? I just moved alone to a new city just under a year ago (she also moved out here recently) and I might just be bringing that baggage into this, plus the baggage from my last casual relationship.
Em’s response made me pause and rethink what exactly it is I’m looking for. All I know for certain is that I want to keep seeing her, and doing what we’re doing. I figure I’m getting about 70% of what I would want from a potential relationship with her anyway, minus seeing her more often and literally calling her my girlfriend. And honestly, I do feel that she genuinely cares about me from how she treats me. And I know I genuinely care about her.
I just worry that “casual” to her might mean “I see an expiration date on us, and will leave when I’m bored”. But if it’s casual meaning “I want to keep things uncomplicated and not have to plan my life around another person”, then I can make it work as that’s more or less what I would consider a healthy kind of “casual”. I also don’t want to inadvertently get my hopes up for her changing her mind. I know some relationships start off casually, but I feel that hoping for that is an easy way to get real hurt.
Thing is, for this to work I have to actually tell her all of this and have the dreaded Talk. I just have no idea how to tell her everything I just said without totally scaring her off. What do I do Doc? How do I have the Talk with her?
Doesn’t Wanna Ruin a Good Thing
Hello Dr. Nerdlove
I am currently in a friends with benefits situation with a girl I met on Tinder. I have been single for about 5 years now and this is my second try at the friends with benefits situation. I have to say, so far, I don’t think I’m wired to be in this kind of relationship.
I always saw myself as a monogamist so sleeping around was not never really my thing. The first time, the girl had just gotten out of a long relationship and wanted to be her own person for a while. I thought to myself, I’ve been single for too long this is perfect to figure out what I want ! I ended it after a week because she didn’t want to cuddle or kiss. And she had already met another guy in that week anyway so that didn’t fly with me. That was last year. Now I signed up on Tinder and met my current friend in my second week. I keep my Tinder active but I don’t go on it anymore because I don’t like to sleep around with a bunch of women. I like security and simplicity. But this girl, we hit it off right away. Same kind of humor, same hobbies etc… On the second date with her, she told me that she had a lot of bad experiences with her exes and that she was just dating and taking things slow. That put me off a bit but we get along so much I didn’t want not to see her again. A few days later she invited me to dinner at her place and I made a move. I’ll skip the details but needless to say we are very much in sync.
She told me again that she wasn’t looking for a relationship, I told her that even though I am, I still want to see her again because we really do have a wonderful time when we are together. We text every day, pretty much every morning and night, she loves it when I kiss, cuddle with and hug her. We watch tv like I love to do when I am in a relationship.
We have known each other for about a month now and here’s the big problem, even though I get a big part of what I want, she still says things like: ” I’m gonna regret when you meet someone and I have to let you go. I just can’t be in a relationship right now.” and other variants of this. I tell her that I don’t want to meet other people and that this is enough for me right now, and it is. She also tells me that she is done with dating sites because there are too many weirdos (no shit Sherlock) and that I am pretty much the only guy she is seeing. But I get very anxious because I don’t want her to meet someone else. I guess my problem is that I am split between an amazing girl with whom I get along amazingly that gives me almost everything I want, including amazing sex but with the thought in the back of my head that its only gonna explode in a horrible way sooner or later OR peace of mind and trying to find a better partner who actually is ready for a relationship…
Is there a way to change her mind ? Is there a hidden message I’m not seeing ? What’s your take on the situation ? Please help me figure this out… And thank you for your time.