I have a dilemma which I’m hoping you can help me with.
I am an outgoing, outwardly confident girl. I enjoy meeting new people, and I make friends with both guys and girls very easily. However, I have no success when it comes to dating and love. When I examine my relationship history I am forced to conclude that guys see me only as a friend, or perhaps as a potential friend-with-benefits-not that I go for those types of arrangements. Although several males have made sexual advances towards me-so it can’t be my looks that are the problem, right? I’m in good shape and reasonably attractive- they just don’t seem to see me as having girlfriend potential. I have met lots of guys that I find attractive, but there seem to be only two outcomes. Either they become a good friend but seem oblivious to my flirting-some of my male friends end up asking me for advice on how to approach other females they are interested in, for goodness sake!-or they respond to my advances, we have a brief fling, but it never develops into a serious relationship because the guy ends it. I am 99% sure this is not a sexual chemistry problem-never received any negative feedback, anyway! Every single time a guy breaks up with me, he has wanted to remain friends, in fact most have strongly stressed that point, and most of my exes remain buddies with me. This leaves me with two possible conclusions. Either I am attracted to the wrong sorts of guys, i.e. emotionally-unavailable men, or there is something about me that means guys just do not see me as a long-term prospect.
My question is, what qualities does a girl have to be seen as girlfriend potential? Are there certain behaviors or personality traits that might make a girl seem like a great friend, but eliminate her as a dating prospect? Any advice?
Thanks for writing. Your dilemma is not that uncommon. And at least one of your suspicions is correct. (It does sound like you’re attracted to the wrong sorts of guys.) But there’s more to it than that. Let’s start with our shallow answer.
If a guy finds you attractive, hot, sexy, or any other superlative, you automatically have potential as a girlfriend. Potential is the key word here. If potential doesn’t morph into a more certain standing you’ll end up either being a short term, or long term booty call. That’s not typically what most women are hoping for. Sure physical chemistry can be a great part of a relationship, but it’s really only one piece in a larger equation of trust, respect and love.
What really struck us about your question, was how willing and available you seem to be for these guys. This might be part of what’s going on for you. Just like nice guys can be cursed, so can nice girls. You sound like a very nice girl, and guys can sniff these girls out from a mile away. They are an invaluable resource as you’ve realized, because most guys have no clue about women. (They need advice from a woman and you’re giving it to them. That needs to stop.)
It sounds like you feel reasonably comfortable with your looks, and your ability to converse, so maybe it’s the way you carry yourself that’s causing the problem. This doesn’t mean you lack confidence, but it sounds like you’re making it too easy for the men you meet. Guys like somewhat of a challenge, and making yourself too available, at least at first, is going to keep heading you into familiar territory. And how many new guy friends do you really need??!! Let the guy do the pursuing! Let him make the advances!
We don’t believe in game playing, but a little mystery is okay. We also think you might want to hold back your eagerness to connect emotionally, until the man you’ve just met proves himself to be a worthy constituent. That means evaluate each person, and if they really have boyfriend potential, then proceed slowly. If they don’t, have a good time and move on. And definitely don’t go out of your way to prove you’re a cool girl. The right guy will know you are.
But let’s get back to our initial point. Yes, you are going after the wrong guys. This is easy for us to say, but difficult for you to change. However, start becoming more aware of your patterns. Become more aware of red flags, or other signs that tell you the same old thing is happening again.
Be positive Jess. Just by being out in the world, eventually you’ll meet the right guy for you. But it’s your job to recognize when it happens. Think about all these trials as good practice. All of these dead ends are getting you more prepared for when you finally do meet a great guy. It will happen!
Best of luck and keep us posted.