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Dear Fayza: Will I be a single lady for the rest of my life because I intimidate insecure men?

Fayza_Elmostehi_headshot

Being single is awesome. But that's mostly because modern dating is draconian.

Confession: I just hate hate hate dating. It's the worst game of Keep Away ever invented, except with less cardio. I'd rather be single than play any of the reindeer games it takes to score a dude these days.

But what if you actually want to say sayonara to our singlehood, and you're having trouble waving goodbye?

You're friendly and fabulous. You're successful and self-assured. So what if your well overfloweth with awesome, but no one's drinking from the fountain?

That's what this week's letter writer wants to know.

 

Dear Fayza,

I have a dating dilemma. Actually, it would be a dilemma if I were actually dating. That's the problem.

I am very social. I make friends easily and create great bonds. My job is quite social. I meet new people on a weekly basis. On top of that, I am usually out three or four nights a week taking in my great city and all that it has to offer (not just the bar scene). I am good at striking up great conversations, talking and laughing for hours.

And that's where it ends.

I have been told a couple of things:

  1. Guys are intimidated by me. I have a great career, own a house, I don't NEED them. (I feel this is generic, I get where it's coming from, but if I've never met them, they don't know anything about me.)
     
  2. I have been told that I discourage guys from approaching me because I am so social and I talk to a lot of people. They can't tell if I am talking to them because I am nice and don't want to hurt their feelings — or  because I am actually interested in them.

I'm not saying that I need a man to make me happy. I have a great life. It would just be great to meet someone and enhance the fabulous life I already have.

- Kinda Sick of Single

 

Dear Kinda Sick,

Phew. Thank goodness you told me that your existence doesn't necessitate a man. Because, you know, I probably would've made that assumption about you. I mean, most confident, single females leading happy, fulfilled lives are only elaborately disguising the fact that a husband is all they really want in life, right?

Here's a spoon. You'll need it to slurp the sarcasm dripping from that last sentence.

I once knew a girl in your situation. Let's call her Fayza. She'd resigned herself to the fact that not only would she never meet anyone to date, but she was largely unmarriageable on the whole. Too independent, too outspoken, too interesting, too friendly — you know, entirely despicable.

But that was two-ish years ago.

Now that I'm perplexingly boyfriended, however, I'm not smugly looking down from my high horse in coupledom and telling you there's a one-size-fits-all approach to meeting a dateable human being. Because that's stupid. And patently false.

But my prolonged Smiling Suzy Singleton status taught me a thing or two — or 12.

From those halcyon years as a lone (but not lonely) operating unit, there was also an imperceptible matter I failed to grasp — I was too comfortable.

There's nothing wrong with the attributes you mentioned that separate you from the plain Mrs. Janes. Just because men need to feel needed — they are the scientifically weaker sex, after all — doesn't mean you have to change who you are so they won't feel intimidated.

But your heels are planted squarely in your comfort zone. You're doing the things that buoy the self-assured woman that you are — doing things you know you like, meeting people in situations where you control the outcomes, experiencing a social life that plays up your confidences.

Simply put, you're not vulnerable, girl. And that makes you puzzling and daunting and complex — and single.

You need to peel away those familiarities. Get outside the situations you know and the people you love. Put yourself somewhere or in something where you're challenged and laid bare and wide open — where you'll be a bit more humanized than you might appear in your element.

Now don't go jumping off a bridge or anything. I didn't tell you to do that (no, I did not!), and I'll fight indemnification for your medical bills.

You know what I'm telling you to do. I want you to be uncomfortable.

Sure, I could completely punt and tell you to try online dating or get your friends to set you up, but that's not why you put your heart out there and wrote to me.

Guess what? Writing to me was a gutsy, bold, and vulnerable move.

Yes, vulnerable. Now keep going, mama.

Cheers,
Fayza
 

You might be single, but you're not alone — you've always got me. Send an e-mail to advice@culturemap.com, message me on Facebook or Twitter, or boldly leave a question in the comments below. I'll make you feel better than any chick flick marathon ever could.

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