How to Date Instead of Hooking Up?

I've only ever hooked up (I'm 5'7-180lbs, only people who tell me I'm pretty are friends/family/obviously sympathetic strangers) so I get I'm at the bottom of the dating pool. I'm attracted to real people because I know the super hot guys have hooked up with me - well because I am easy. I've had one real relationship and after two years of emotional abuse I got out and just had casual sex simply because I can't date! I don't understand it. I've tried putting myself out there on dating sites but noones biting and if they do they don't hang around long - sometimes no date is even planned. My standards thus far
- Attractive enough I can imagine kissing him without gagging
- Has a job and takes it seriously
- Has a car
I just don't understand how I can lower my standards anymore but (maybe my problem is being a mom?) I am so tired of being alone. There has to be something I'm doing wrong to chase these guys off. Hook-ups are easy. Dating I'm lost. I try to just be me, laugh, have some fun, be somewhat relaxed (again me). Or am I just broken?

Updates:
Aaaaand that's why I seriously consider giving up. Let me note - I am NOT having sex or being sexual at all when trying to date because I do understand that's how you hook up but not date. Hook ups - me no want. Dating - me like. Lol
Thanks ak I guess I hate the idea of needing to have patience. I definitely am seeking out the good guy types but have been trying to (idiotically) stick to my age range which is also weird since my hookups usually are 10-20 years older. I'm not proud of my past but honest. And meeting people in person is beyond nerve wracking and next to impossible since all of my friends are settled down and going anywhere solo - bad.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Single mothers seem to have it really tough. I don't why, but I'm a bit biased since I adore kids. The one time I dated one, I must admit that I fell in love with her daughter more than the mother. I ended up getting the Little Mermaid for her daughter's birthday, remembering how much my sister adored that film when she was about the same age. The daughter absolutely loved it and started bugging her Mom to get little mermaid toys. She ended up with a Little Mermaid lunchbox, backpack, outfit. I felt really happy and proud that I found a new favorite thing for this child.

    It seems almost like a cruel joke that my wife and I can't have kids. As a result, we both have a lot of friends who are single mothers and sometimes voluntarily babysit their kids. It's a way for the single mother to kind of have some fun alone time, while we're also happy to hang out with their kids (I ended up getting all kinds of video games and things like that at the house and play them together with the kids: I like to kick their ass).

    We have a number of female friends who are in this situation, and it seems to me like they can't really network very effectively. Their group of friends tend to be shallow, it's hard for them to meet a lot of people. There are always children to be taken care of at home, and they have to leave early, can't do those kinds of late adult nights with drinking involved.

    Another odd thing is that at least of couple of such friends have dated what seem like the perfect guy on paper -- loves her kids, very successful, good career -- probably not the greatest in the bedroom though. And they ditch the guy for one who is very carefree, independent, doesn't care for the kids very much. One of my closest friends in this regard ditched what seemed like a perfect guy of this sort in favor of a jerk who ended up gambling away her children's birthday money while being sent on a shopping spree, leading to a break up but she still has feelings for him in spite of such irresponsibility.

    I have this kind of impression (possibly just skewed and coincidental) that single mothers have a tendency to kind of be very vulnerable and clingy to all the wrong kinds of guys. This is putting it very bluntly, but it's almost like a guy with little reservation for a girl, but instead of "thinking with the dick", the single mom is kind of "thinking with her vag". That might just be coincidental based on the type of single moms I've befriended.

    [...]

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    • Usually my suggestion is to always network, to not seek the opposite gender so directly, but just seek to meet the friends of your friends, and the friends of those friends. You end up meeting all kinds of people of the opposite gender that way. There's some truth that people tend to find love where they least expect it, but that saying is usually only true if you are exposing yourself to a lot of people of the opposite gender socially.

      But that can be difficult with kids. I'd suggest just trying that as much as you can in the limited spare time you have.

      Also you might do better with older men on dating sites. Some of them are settled down, wanting to have kids, and they might be a bit less like a raging bull, wanting to get you into bed as soon as possible. You might try to seek a more high brow approach, try to seek out more serious types. They exist out there.

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    • @redeyemindtricks [...] what we *both* get for pushing all those buttons. I can't yell at her, since it's always funny to me. I might have a lot of trouble with teenagers.

    • @redeyemindtricks (Sorry, getting a bit carried away), but another time I was in a store with this girl (she's 7) and she just started running up to random people with her finger making a gun and yelling, "Bang bang bang bang bang!". She just did this running about everywhere while I was chasing after her, going on a shooting spree with the customers. And I couldn't really punish her then either, but I told her there's no way any kind of revolver could fire that many rounds without reloading. So then I made meticulous motions on how to manually reload a revolver, one bullet at a time, and that slowed her down a bit.

What Guys Said 10

  • So you haven't had many guys interested in going on an initial date? I think it's much more common for men to only want sex and no commitment, but obviously there are many interested in a relationship. Of course many guys will see kids as a negative but I believe some will be okay with that. One thing you can change though is you could lose some weight. I bet that would give you more dating opinions. Dating sites are filled with overweight people and you could potentially use your body as an advantage.

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  • i recommend you dont mention the mother thing until the first date and see how they respond. my friends girlfriend has a kid and he was soo turned off by it but eventually the kid grew on him. just dont flaunt it on dating sites like tinder cuz guys will swipe right. if you mention the kid on a real dating site you will have better luck but i recommend not mentioning it til the first date. if he calls you out on it he's an ass wipe otherwise there's no harm in not mentioning it

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    • Hmmm I will think on that. In our area it's really not that big of an issue though surprisingly - especially since most guys are jaded about deceit they'd rather know about my boy from the start. It's certainly worth considering. Now to figure out how to see myself as a person again and not just a mom lol!

  • I wouldn't be interested.

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  • You are definitely superficial and carry already lots of baggage for your age. There may be guys who are willing to give you a chance but I wouldn't tbh. I really wouldn't know what to tell you since you already know what's going on. If don't find a way to get out of your delusion and lower your standards you are going to be doomed by the time you're 30 and no one will take you seriously by then. Good luck!

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    • How am I delusional and what standards do you expect me to follow? A pulse? Lol but in all seriousness I'm curious.

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    • Lol by your advice I will stay single forever because I won't be able to find a man who does more than sit on his ass eating Cheetos and smoking weed all day. Oh on MY couch. Nope I would rather be alone but thanks for reinforcing that that is all I deserve - 60+k a year and I can't get a guy who can at least help with bills so no I'm not taking care of anyone but my son thankyou. Everyone else can talk to their own mommas

    • Your ideal guy for a single mom is a deformed retard basically - cool.

  • Some guys just don't date single moms. You're very attractive and sound intelligent so something will turn up :)

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  • I don't think you're broken, but I bet guys on here are going to try to hook up with you now..

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  • Just be patient 🙂

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  • It's just the world we live in now. Everybody is out for themselves.

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  • sorry hun not my kids

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  • You have a pretty face, and write in full paragraphs with nice indenting and punctuation. I see lots of potential here ;)

    Your problems? #1 is you're a single mom. That's a HUGE issue when it comes to dating. It puts a big fat 'hook up' target on your back. Guys who want to hook up only are fine or even happy with single moms. They're clearly not virgins, and aren't going to pretend to be. They're usually busy which is a plus for guys who just want to do night time bootycalls then vanish. On the other hand, a child is a big barrier to a guy who WANTS to spend more time with you and do 'boyfriend-girlfriend' type stuff. Not only does your child cut into your time, but if things get a little more serious, he's going to be interacting with the child, and that makes things more complicated. Relationships with single parents can't evolve as naturally as with non-parents. They tend to either stay super casual, or jump to serious fast. It's hard to do in between.

    And it's a lot easier for guys to just walk away at the start. I say all this as someone who -has- three kids, and they're the most important things in the world to me! But kids are a big deal, and people who aren't at that stage in life don't have to BE at that stage when they can just date someone else. Even the guys in your age who want kids, would rather settle down and have kids with someone without any.

    So what can you do? Be as awesome as possible. Drop some weight. I know it's hard, but it's easier then it is for thin ugly girls to exercise their face. Be the best you that you can.

    I'm not sure what age range is easiest. It might in some ways be divorced dads, if you're comfortable with guys in their 30s. Especially if you get in better shape, to mid 30's guys you'd be a hot young thing, and they're ready to do the 'lets take our kids out and then later put them to bed and screw' type date that's our lives :p

    Your area is likely a challenge. Rural = less options.

    Go on dates. Kiss at the end of date 1 if you like the guy. You can fool around date 2. You can have sex by date 3 or so. That's a quick sex pace but not a 'we're hooking up only' pace. Be very clear you're looking for a boyfriend, not a friends with benefits. Expect him to enjoy spending time with you in both sexual AND non sexual ways. Move on if that's not there.

    I guess the car thing is normal in your area. I lived in an urban area, and was selling my first condo and buying a house (and had a kid and was married) before i had a car.

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    • Thank you I definitely am working on weight loss if only to be a good example for my boy. And the contact thing is the hardest one for me because I'm so extreme and (surprisingly) shy lol. Went on two dates with a guy and I was surprised that we hugged - so I guess he wasn't interested if he didn't try a kiss? And yes my breath was awesome I keep mouth wash with me at all times since I'm a smoker - almost everyone here smokes but still... Lol

What Girls Said 2

  • Set standards and keep them. Your standards aren't low and as a single mom you should not lower them because your child deserves the best father they can get. Try group therapy to help you understand dating better.

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    • There's group therapy for the dating challenged? I feel so in the dark. And I won't let anyone meet my son unless we are getting rather serious and if he and my son don't click - bye.

    • There is group therapy for setting good dating boundaries and how to go about the process of dating. You're right about no one meeting your son until the time is right but lowering your stsnda dos won't help you find him a good dad.

    • Thankyou and I was joking about the further lowering of my standards. Finding him a dad issue is why I wonder if I shouldn't wait until he's 18 or older for me to date since I do get it's hard to put that on a guy.

  • I want say so many things. But I just can't... I am no expert. But...

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