I just hit 30 and I start to wonder why I’m still single. I’m quite good looking but it seems that the guys that approached me always fell into douchebag category, I don’t know why. I don’t shy away from making the first move, but that hasn’t worked either. Neither is online dating. Help?
Based on my experience and observation, here are the factors that I think keep you from getting a date:
1. Not enough socializing
I don’t mean that overused, wrongly applied word by NGOs and government agencies alike. But socializing as in meeting a lot of people. Watching rom-com or Korean soap opera for the umpteenth times won’t get you a date. So go out there to meet people and don’t limit yourself. Be friends with everyone, not just guys but women, straight, gays. It will sharpen your social skill and they may have somebody who they think will suit you. I met my husband, for example, through a mutual gay friend.
2. Being Picky
I’m not saying you should just go ahead and try to be with those men you considered douchebags. But I’ve seen how my girl friends are easily put off by minor flaws, like not being tall enough, or being a civil servant, or having a thick Javanese accent and so on. Sure, appearance matters but who knows, behind that ugly civil servant safari lies a good heart and a great sense of humor. And you’d soon forget the short stature (or the thick accent) once he delivers intelligent lines that shows what a brilliant mind he has.
Sometimes perceiving ourselves too, and unrealistically, highly sabotages our chances at finding love. I have a girl friend who said about a potential suitor, “He’s fine and all, but he’s already 45 years old.” To this I said, “Girl, we ain’t 25 either. Maybe if I were a dude, I’d go all Johnny Depp and date a 20 something.”
Also, finding a date is not that different from marketing ourselves. Not all of us look like Sophia Latjuba, so know your niche, find your market, or branch out to a wider audience.
3. Coming on too strong
You’re not afraid to make the first move, good for you! Girl power and all that! But maybe you come across as coming on too strong and exude desperation, like having a sign that says “I want to get married soon” on your forehead. You’d be put off by a guy acting like that; it’s no different with men.
4. Focusing too much on your physical appearance
I’ve learned that guys are not that different from girls in the sense that while physical appearance matters, they also look for interesting people with character. I’ve seen how women go on a tough diet, freak out when a tiny pimple popped up on their face, and make sure they maintain their fair skin but they forget to improve their character.
Comedian Mark Normand was spot on in one of his stage acts: "I wish women were more insecure about their conversational skills (than their bodies)." I cannot agree more. Read more books, be resourceful and knowledgeable, because in the end, after the physical attraction and the sex fade, it’s the conversation that keeps a relationship going.
5. …It doesn’t mean that you can abandon physical appearance. At least look presentable. You don’t like seeing sloppy, dirty looking guys either, do you?
6. You’re a bitch
Again, men are not that different from us. As we look for kindness, positivity and all those virtues in other human beings, including our potential spouse, so do men. Unless you’re Kate Upton, or, again, Sophia Latjuba (can’t help it, she’s just stunning), I don’t think people, guys included, would put up with you if you’re bitchy, loud or annoying.
7. Last but not least, maybe it’s simply just not the time yet. And it should not really be a problem. I blame it on romantic comedies for depicting singlehood as horrible and pathetic. It’s not bad being single, really.
As much as I love being married, sometimes I miss being single because there are a lot of perks to it too. You can go wherever you go, whenever you please, you can decorate your own place as you like, you can have me-time anytime, you don’t have to cook or buy two different meals because of different taste, and so on.
Just enjoy it. Be like a dude. Flirt around. Have one-night stands (safely). Travel, travel and travel some more!
Got a burning question about something? Send it to [email protected] -- in English or Bahasa Indonesia -- with the subject "Ask Madge" or tweet your question to @the_magdalene.