Am I really required to play emotionally manipulative games and fundamentally change myself in unnatural ways in order to be successful in dating?

I don't mean "land tons of sex". My definition of "success in dating" is being able to "land" a romantic relationship.

I have never dated myself because I have never managed to get a date. I have asked girls out and tried countless times to talk to girls in general, but I am just not good at connecting with people in general, beyond a basic day-to-day level. Most people have "fear of rejection" and "fear of asking him or her out" that holds them back, even though they can decently connect with people and forge friendships. I have the opposite problem: I have no qualms with respect to actually asking girls out or making moves and that's what people assume at first glance. I simply have a hard time connecting with people.

I have also been deprived of an active social life and social acceptance of my peers throughout my childhood and that is the reason for my low self-esteem with respect to the social/romantic aspect of life.

On the other hand, I read all these stories of all sorts of game-playing tactics people employ and how they fine tune their behavior in unnatural ways to not seem "too needy" or "too clingy" and "be attractive". If that is what it takes to be successful at dating, then I might as well resign, because I am a sensitive person and have no desire to play emotionally manipulative games. I am from no angle a "manly man". You may say, "Nothing worth having comes without a price." Yes, self-improvement such as improving social skills, having passionate interests, and even going to the gym makes sense and seems reasonable, not just for dating but just for a better quality life in general. Doing things such as these is "change", but it's natural change that a person can actually feel good about making, as opposed to becoming a "jerk" and/or some carbon-copy of a person that adheres to all sorts of "dating rules". Am I really required to do the latter if I want to be successful in dating?

Suddenly, it seems like spending a decent amount of quality time and wanting a committed romantic relationship is now deemed "clingy".

Something as mundane as sleeping with a teddy bear is now apparently considered a "red flag" for insecurity.

Naturally responding to calls and texts is "needy".

Being sincere and honest is now "unattractive" because it's "predictable" and "boring".
If that's true, then I have no hope because by that logic I am "clingy", "insecure", "needy", "unattractive", "predictable", and "boring", which I probably am. I don't object to being referred to those labels. I object to the basis for being called those things - if I am those things simply because I sleep with a teddy bear, have no desire to play games, and am sincere and honest?


Most Helpful Girl

  • No, you're not. Self-improvement is encouraged, and taking initiative, but not mimicking others completely or acting like a jerk (that won't help much in getting a quality girl, at least).

    None of the things you mentioned are bad things - spending quality time, not playing games, being sincere and honest, etc. That's all good. You just have to find someone who has similar wants/needs and expectations. It's not always easy, and I think being able to connect with people is going to be a big one to work on, but there are girls who feel the same as you do.

    I think you'll be fine. I didn't date anyone at all in high school, but that completely changed as I got older. So, don't give up hope yet. You're not even 18. I wouldn't worry about it so much


Most Helpful Guy

  • Play no games, for games have ends and losers. I can sympathize with your position, indeed, it is not unfamiliar. What you need to do is find the right person, with whom you will quickly realize you don't have to change change yourself or manipulate them. Sincerity and honesty are absolutely not unattractive, predictable, or boring. At first glance, everyone shows these things. What you need to do is show that you genuinely possess these qualities. Despite what you say, you clearly pay great heed to the labels assigned to you, and you must stop this if you want to get anywhere. You're listed as under 18. I'm 19 and I sleep with a teddy bear sometimes, as do 20% of college students according to one study, so don't worry about that. If asked, cite sentimentality instead of insecurity as your reason.


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What Girls Said 2

  • it seems u r wiser than your age. what they don't understand is the challenge is in keeping that relationship going well and maintaining that attraction to become love. They only know how to play mind games to seem cool and all that. these are all empty on the inside so don't u worry. I don't think u should change yourself, it is definitely important to try to connect with people more and when you find those that are close to you just be friends with them...

  • You need to be more sure of yourself. If you genuinely want something you should go about getting it in a genuine way. The person who will love you for you will enjoy your realness and your affection.


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