I am sort of old fashioned in the sense that I prefer the man to ask me on a date. I am 27 years old and the only guy who has ever shown any interest in me turned out to be an abusive jerk. What am I doing wrong?
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Wow, you are 27 years old and are convinced that men do not find you attractive. If you will allow me to make an educated guess, it is that men do find you attractive! But, you ask an important question, “What am I doing wrong?” You are aware that you are doing something to discourage men from meeting, dating and becoming intimately involved. What is it that you are doing wrong?
This question is difficult to answer without knowing you. That is the reason why psychotherapy would be a good idea for you. In fact, I want to urge you to enter psychotherapy with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist or Licensed and experienced Clinical Social Worker.
Nevertheless, I will hazard some ideas about the mistakes people often make when they are having difficulty meeting intimate others. Perhaps one or more of these will throw some light on your situation.
1. Human beings do a lot of communicating through non verbal means. Facial expression, bodily expressions, arm gestures, tones of voice, smiles or frowns, etc. All of this and more is called “body language” and it lets other know whether or not you want to be approached or not. Remember, most of us are not aware of the body language we are using until someone points it out to us.
When you see an attractive man and he looks at you, do you avert your eyes or smile at him? Do you hold your gaze with his? Do you sit with your arms and legs crossed or open. Arms and legs crossed means “do not speak to me.” Get the idea?
2. When speaking to a man or to a woman, do you show interest in what they are saying? Showing interest has much more to do with body language than with agreeing or disagreeing with them.
For example, studies show that when a single woman mimics or imitates some of the behavior of the male they are speaking to, the male finds her very attractive. How is this done? If a man has a way of expressing something, perhaps by starting each sentence with the word, “well,…” she could respond by using the same word in her next sentence to him: “Well,…” Same thing with some gestures, etc. You do not need to know why it works but that it does work.
Nodding the head in agreement rather than shaking it in disagreement, while listening, sends information about whether you are “agreeable or not.”
All of these are beginning steps towards attracting someone. If they connect, talk with you and ask you for your number or for a date, the idea is to show interest and enthusiasm. Then, the more often you meet, the more you each work on getting to know the other and in continuing to show interest.
There is no way for me to know for sure but, I suspect that you are sending non verbal messages that state that you do not want to be approached, even though, in your mind, you do want that approach. Show that you are open and interested.
There is one more thing: Sometimes people are quick to judge and reject others who are interested. For example, there can be a “snap judgement” that he is too fat, too short, too bald, too tall, too this, too that, etc. These are real people and, just as you want to feel accepted, so do they. Perhaps they are not aware of what their body language says. Give them a chance. Get to know people rather than rejecting.
I hope this is somewhat helpful.