I am 17 years old, and have NEVER had a girlfriend. I am attracted to women and all, but have never had a girlfriend. I’ve liked many girls. It may be because I am shy when it comes to women, I just don’t know. So, is this abnormal? What can I do about it?
BG needs to know more about your technique. If any. You say you’ve liked many girls … but is BG the only girl who knows that? Look, if you’ve been too “shy” to talk to them at all, you could not be more “normal.” (Also, single.) Just listen to what the supercute Everyguys who wrote What Men Want have to say: “When men feel that spark of attraction, we become excited and nervous. … It is the woman we really want to meet who makes us tongue-tied. We erect a barrier of fear and desire that may become difficult to break through. As soon as the spark is lit, our confidence tends to plummet, we lose our rap, and we become fearful, fumbling idiots.” So now do you feel normal? (Also, hopeless?)
Listen, Mike, if walking up to a complete stranger and saying “Where do you been here all my life often?” is not your style, so be it. It’s just as well. So try to meet and hang out with people in situations where you already have a surer foothold, a more comfortable context. Thing is, though, when you LIKE-like someone; you’re gonna feel shy. It’s part of the tingle. (Also, terror.) But take heart, not flight: we actually think it’s pretty cute.
Okay, here’s my situation: I’m a 24 year old male who moved away from my friends and family to attend a University. This college town has been my residence for the past six months; this is my first time away from home. Life is great for the most part except for one minor inconvenience: I don’t have a girlfriend or more importantly, friends.
Before I moved up here, I was surrounded by my tight group of cronies. I’ve even been fortunate enough to have a few relationships with some righteous babes. Now that I’m living on my own, I find it difficult to make friends. At school, there’s a few acquaintances that I sometimes chat with but I really don’t have a whole lot in common with them. So the chance of me hanging out with them is pretty slim. It seems like whenever I’m in a social situation I tend to clam up and make people think that I’m some kind of snobby bastard. In reality I’m actually a decent-looking, nice guy (no really, I am) so I’m not sure what my problem is.
Around town, I’ve seen a lot of local goddesses that I’m quite attracted to. It’s really not my style to go up to them and say, “Hey baby, if we were an alphabet I would put U and I next to each other.” All my relationships in the past have been initiated by her, meaning I have never played the part of the aggressor. Keep in mind that I have never been in love before and I’m beginning to think that I never will.
I have worked extremely hard to become independent and start my new life in this college town. There is no way in hell that I’m gonna move back home because of my loneliness. I’m not sure how much longer I can live without having any friends to drink beer with or any girls to snuggle with. I love being alone but I hate being lonely. Boy am I a mess.
Filed under: issues, media — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:16 am
Really, New York Times? The Gray Lady is at it again, telling women — in a dippy, unmoored “trend” piece — that you can be successful in work. Or love. Not both. See, because successful women scare the men away. That’s the price we pay, ladies, for liberation. “Is female empowerment killing romance?” asks the article, in a sentence so backlashtastic it’s not easy to cut and paste on a full stomach. I don’t know, I thought when female empowerment brought us the freedom to date and marry for love, not to mention use the Pill (speaking of which, must read this), that was kind of romantic. There’s so much else to eviscerate in this piece that I’m not even sure where to start, other than to say that when I opened the page and started reading, I literally had to scroll back up to the top to see if someone had accidentally sent me a link from 1997. Or 1957. Or — whatever.
Look, I’m sure there are men who are put off by “successful” — “ambitious,” “strong” etc. — women. I’m sure there have always been men like that. Even since before women were “liberated.” So, um, maybe that’s their problem? And even, even to the degree that men, en masse, are scared by female success, again: THEIR PROBLEM. Why is always women who have to dial it down? What’s more, the suggestion that so many menz are SO SCARED of SCARY SCARY WOMEN is ridonkulously insulting to men, too.
And then there’s this advice, annotated by BG in brackets:
Leave the snazzy company car at home on the first date [because MEN HATE SNAZZY CARS]; find your life partner in your 20s, rather than your 30s, before you’ve become too successful [show of hands: who in her 30s wishes they'd married that guy from their 20s?] [also, by the logic herein, that guy from your 20s will dump you when you become "too successful"]. And go after men who draw their confidence from sources other than money, like academics and artists [avoiding people who draw their confidence from money is sound advice for anyone; however -- oh, for God's sake, this is just silly].
The article does showcase some excellent boyfriends (who appear to be European. COINCIDENCE?!). See:
Ms. Kiechel in Paris says her boyfriend actively encourages her career and brags to friends how intelligent and hard-working she is. Ms. Haag and Ms. Domscheit-Berg both earn more than their husbands and report that their men actually enjoy watching the waiter’s reaction when they say their wife will pick up the tab.
That’s great and all, but it’s kind of like saying “How nice that your husband HELPS OUT with the baby!” The above attitudes should be a given, not a plus. And I know they are held by far more men than this article gives credit to. The day we’ve really achieved — or at least driven our snazzy cars closer to — liberation is the day we start to see articles telling the fellas that if they’re scared of successful women, they’re just gonna have to man up.
BG’s alter ego caught up with BG’s favorite new dating expert the other day at Salon.com. But Katherine Chloe Cahoon was also kind enough to stop by BreakupGirl.net to offer some exclusive advice to our readers, especially those who’ll be traveling across the pond on winter break!
BG: I am not blonde. Will European men still think I’m cute?
KCC: You don’t have to have blond hair to attract European men. Opposites do attract! So if you are in Spain and have blond hair, they’re going to like you. Plus, it’s relative. I’m not that blond, and they considered me to be one of the blondest girls they’d ever seen. Also, they would love you in Sweden.
BG: If I can’t get to Europe, what are my next best options for meeting European Men?
KCC: The world is becoming so international that I have actually met European men in the States. I would say the best place to meet them is at the dance clubs because dancing is so prevalent in Europe. It’s not like the States. You wil go to a club and they will know how to salsa and cha cha and samba — everything, you name it. I was in New Orleans five months ago and there were 20 European Men at the dance club! It was ridiculous! I am in Seattle now. We are pretty ethnic in that we have lots of different people from different countries. It’s very global and I have met Europeans everywhere from the grocery store to the park.
BG: What were they shopping for at the grocery store? Espresso, I guess?
KCC: Most of them were getting fruit. They were buying melon. They were just learning English, and they asked for help. That’s how I heard that they were European.
BG: There are a lot of countries in Europe. When I am able to go, where should I start looking?
KCC: When I went there to study I had an international media and management major. So I chose where to go based on what would be best for me business-wise and what piqued my interest. This is the number one key for women. They shouldn’t wake up this morning and say I have to find a boyfriend or go on a manhunt. They should say, I want to have fun and learn the culture and be carefree. So I would pick the country based on personal interest. Like if you know a language or speak a little that is an excellent place to start.
BG: What’s your advice if I meet a man from one of those really small countries and he doesn’t speak any English?
KCC: I think that girls should be in Europe to have fun. I advise you to pick up as much of the language as you can, but then don’t worry about it. I met guys whose language I didn’t speak, and they didn’t speak mine, and we had a fabulous time. It’s amazing how much you can communicate without speaking. You rely on pantomime. You can’t date someone seriously that way, of course. Though I have a friend who made it through five dates by relying on pantomime. And also as you’re in a country for more time you’ll pick up the language and will start to be able to converse with the natives.
BG: Why European men in particular?
KCC: I love American men as well as European men and men of many different nationalities. But I found that when we go to another place like Europe to lern the culture it’s much more fascinating if you do it with the natives, and European men very much want to show girls an excellent time. If you do go there showing interest in their homeland, your experience is going to be enhanced.
Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:17 am
MSN.com, Match.com, HappenMagazine.com: they’re in a healthy and satisfying 3-way relationship. This Ask Lynn column is being promoted at Match on Yahoo this week…
This week Lynn advises Searching in New Hampshire — a 50-ish single mom looking for a man who is willing to date a woman with small children.
I have been online and have dated some but the minute I share that I have a nine-year-old, I don’t really hear back from the men that I’m corresponding with. I understand that most men my age have older children and have moved on from the kid thing.
Folks, this is getting as old as the people who allegedly lie about their age on the Internet. Are we really still slamming internet dating? It’s kind of like saying cell phones are bad, or “technology.” In the latest crabby smackdown, Rhodri Marsden, writing in The Independent, “reveals” the “truth” about Internet dating: things don’t work out more often than they do. Stop the presses? Because um, that is also true of bricks-and-mortar dating as well — it’s probability, not cynicism — not to mention, well, life. Saying that he has — aha! — found people who’ve been bruised by Internet dating! is like saying he’s found people who have been bruised by…dating. Duh. Everyone said it was handy. No one said it was magic.
To be sure, there are differences, concrete and ineffable, between dating online and IRL. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The fact that you can likely “meet” more people online than off does translate into more rejection: again, that’s math. And the Internet probably makes for more colorful before/after bait/switch experiences, but that’s because of the built-in online -> real-life progression; that’s story structure, folks. (Said it before: you mean all the people you meet on singles hikes tell the truth from day 1?) So to throw the Internet babes out with the bathwater is, to put a fine point on it, just dumb. So, too, is — if you’re single and would like to change that — not making Internet dating part of a diversified meeting-people portfolio.
So, enough. I’m outta here. Because BG spends some of her time online, and some of her time “getting out there.” See?
Charles Atlas meets the 97-pound weakling meets that guy who’s so handsome he never really had to develop a personality meets … well, many, many women in Japan. It’s Charisma Man! I’m pretty sure the images of Japanese culture are reductive, if not offensive, but (as you’ll see) the underlying notion that the same person can be different people to different people — follow me? — is spot on. What do you think?
What is the consensus about men dating single moms? I am an educated, attractive, fun to be with, early 20’s woman with a 7-month-old son. I broke up with his father about two months ago, but lost interest in the father about five to six months prior. I would like to meet someone, but am scared no one will want to date me because of my baby. Where would I meet a guy?
– Single Mom
Yeah, it might be a little tricky. Everyone — male or female — who fantasizes about having all sorts of firsts with their soulmate might think, “No fair, s/he already got to do the kid thing with someone.”
Still, it can be done. I checked with my single mom friend Rachel — who, mind you, is getting remarried shortly! — and she says you definintely want to be discreet (but not cagey) at first. “I asked a guy to come into Toys R Us with me, and I never heard from him again,” she says. But she also pointed out that you do have a built-in screening process: it’s not that a guy for whom a kid is a deal-breaker is bad — but the ones who do stick around are, more than likely, way into you, and not freaked about the dad thing.
But where? By this point, Rachel’s 14-year-old daughter piped up. “Parent-teacher conferences!” Not a bad idea. But I bet you’ll find someone before your son is old enough to give advice.