I've never had a long-term relationship...why?

It has never made too much sense to me...

I'm 40 - I've been wanting a girlfriend since 8th grade. As incredible as this sounds (particularly to younger readers), it's the truth.

Maybe I'm too picky, but I'm not sure that's it. I have had some short relationships (usually a month or two) before I get dumped.

I sometimes read up on the "nice-guy" syndrome...but you'd think after so many failures I'd be able to change my behaviour, but it doesn't seem like anything has worked.

Friends say I try to rush into things...and that kills it before it begins. About half of my friends are married, but the friends I spend most of my time with are my single friends...which isn't too surprising because often single people hang out more with single people.

I live in a major city, so when I meet a woman for a date...it's likely I am one of two or three dates she's got that week.

I am not a 10, but I am much better looking than average and I've always managed to attract women throughout my life - HS, College, adulthood, etc. However, I have found myself dumped by guys that were - less physically attractive, less educated, and not even as witty as I am (if I may say).

I've been told that I lack confidence (at this point sure). I've been told that I am too much of a "doormat". That I fall to quickly. All of the usual things that someone would say in this case.

I guess my question is...am I doomed? What I have done is be myself...however, that comes across as a weak and insecure person (which is maybe who I really am deep down). Thus, I have lost (several) women that I'd have married. In the last 10 years there have been 4 and 3 of those in the last 5 years.


Most Helpful Guy

  • It definitely seems like you need to change your approach with women. Trying to hold back and jump in 100% right away would probably be a good idea. It may sound cliched, but most women want to feel like they have to work a little bit to get you. If you are just immediately completely available and accommodating, they tend to lose interest and/or get annoyed.

    I would also suggest seeing a therapist to work on your self-confidence/esteem issues. That is probably a big part of what is holding you back. You won't be alone forever if you don't want to be. You just need to work on yourself a little before trying to dive into another relationship.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      I've had a history of being too available. I guess it's sort of like the economic rules of supply and demand- the more something is readily available...the less value it has; the more scarce something is...the more valuable it is.

      It's interesting because if I acted that way with my clients or my friends...I'd loose business and friends. I have to learn to change my behavior when it comes to dating.

      I've never been a game-player, but acting desparate isn't good

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What Girls Said 3

  • You're 40, so you're past the age of wanting to have kids (most likely). Do you typically go for younger women who are at that point? Who are you dating? Do you have a "type" of woman you are dating that keeps dumping you? Are you shooting for a 10 when you should be going for a 6 or 7? What are your actions when you are dating? Do you call everyday (creepy)? Do you text incessantly? Do you drop everything to spend time with her? Do you have a life and hobbies or do you spend all of your time searching for "the one"?

    Do a little introspection here.

    From a woman's perspective, its kind of creepy when you find out the guy you are dating has never had a long term relationship, but has "always wanted one". Someone who has found 4 women they would like to marry in the last 10 years, yet who has never had a relationship for over a month, has some serious soul searching to do.

    I can't speak for all women, but I do know there are things I look for in a man that make him more attractive as a mate/partner:

    1) is he driven, does he have goals, has he achieved said goals?

    2) does he have secure employment (yea, it's cliché, but I don't want to be the one paying the bills)?

    3) Does he have long time friends?

    4) What are his hobbies, is he willing to share the hobbies he has?

    5) Does he have a solid relationship with his family?

    6) Is he planning for the future? Does he have a retirement plan? Does he know about investing?

    7) Does he have a pet? Is he responsible?

    8) Is he clean, does he take pride in his appearance?

    9) Does he eat well and drink in moderation?

    10) Can he hold an intelligent conversation WITH me (or does he do all the talking)?

    Obviously these aren't all the things to consider, but they are things that I know I look at.

    There's a lot that goes into a relationship, one of the main things that will turn a girl off, no matter what is the "creepy" factor. There is this leer that some guys have, that really creeps women out. No amount of money or material possessions can eliminate it. If you want to know what it looks like check out Millionaire Matchmaker, its the episode with the duck embryos (that guy still gives me the creeps).

    I could keep going on what makes a man an attractive mate, but I think you get the drift. And to end with my favorite expression: "Be the person you want to find"

    • Thanks for the comment. I guess I left out an important detail...the most important thing to me in life is to have children. I've always felt this way.

      As for falling in love too fast, without a doubt a huge problem for me. I need to work on that (they've been more than a month, but less than a year).

      On your list, most women (I think ) would say I score perfectly on all but #7 (I do like pets). Women seem to prefer dating guys who bring less to the table, but make themselves a challenge.

    • I can't comment for what most women prefer, frankly I find "most women" to be a bit idiotic, at least the ones that still go to bar's beyond 25.

      If you are finding women that don't have expectation's and are still looking to "reform" their "bad boy" you are looking in the wrong place. Real women know what they want, how to get it, and have expectations on how they should be treated and treat others with the same respect. She's out there, probably at the library or bookstore :P

  • My 0.02: Hang out with men more often; don't read self help books -they may be informative but are not pro-active tools for self acceptance; can't go wrong seeing a therapist who actually talks; get a big punching bag and whack the hell out of it daily; don't talk about your relationship with women; and be really careful about doing what I tell you to do because I have no idea what it is like to be a man.


    • Thanks for the comment. I'm seeing a therapist now...not sure if it's working, haha. I hang out with my male friends all the time. I find it interesting that they're typically blowing off nice women (or so it seems to me).

      I haven't read any self-help books (yet)...that's what the Internet is for :). I'm looking for a woman's perspective too...that's very important to me. So thanks.

  • Just be more interested in the girl and what her wants and needs are. First go slow and just get to know her as much as possible. Once you are dating ask her what it is that she wants you to change about yourself to make her happier.

    If you are really interested in getting help go to the self help book section and find a book on dating. Buy a few and read 1-2 books a week and try to make yourself more of what women want.

    good luck

    • Thanks for the comment. I am trying to go slow with the woman I've been dating/trying to date. I've been out with her several times since the 4th of July and we haven't done anything physical (besides kiss). Maybe I am taking it too slow this time...historically my first dates ended up in the sack. Now at 40 I'm trying to take a very different approach. However, I'm starting to question if this is better...maybe I missed that "window" when she was excited about me.

What Guys Said 3

  • you are arrogent. work on that and take a deep dive on why they dumped you. the solution is in the failures.

    • Hi Brian...I don't think I'm "arrogent", but maybe I'm "arrogant".

      I do appreciate your commenting...I'm not sure how I came across in my post, I was just trying to draw a picture of myself for readers - so that they can better help me...maybe I did that poorly. Not too many people I've met have described me as arrogant.

  • The grass is always greener on the other side right? Sounds like you have it made, why do you want marriage. And you failed to mention one very important detail when you described yourself, how much money do you make?

    • I have enough financal security so that I could take on a family and they'd be able to live comfortably, go on vacations, go to private school if we wanted, etc. If I did get married, my wife wouldn't "have" to work. However, I don't think I'd be a good match for someone without a career. She doesn't have to make a lot of money- just someone educated and productive.

      You're right, the grass is always greener. However, I mentioned in another comment - the most important thing for me is children

  • Here's my opinion, I don't buy into that game and player stuff, only primitive and trivial relationships work on that basis.

    A true relationship one that is meant to be, is one that is formed on a fundamental basis, where two people share the same world view, together they consolidate there beliefs.

    You need someone who share's who you are.