- Nov 19, 2017
- 117d 18h 8m
I know this is a weird title, but hear me out.
So I'm 26F and I'd say I'm a catch on paper. I have 2 fancy degrees and a well-paying tech job, have wonderful long-lasting friends and hobbies, and have done some modeling. But I've had horrific luck in the romance department for my entire adult life (which I'm sure is made worse by the fact that I live in NYC). It's not for lack of options - I have men all over me. But all of my friends are starting to settle down into long-term relationships and I just keep getting my heart broken. I don't have any single men in my social circle (most of my friends are queer women and all of my male friends are my female friends' boyfriends who are only friends with each other), so the men I'm meeting are on dating apps, at bars/clubs, and when I'm out and about. I do have work and hobbies, but work is 100% remote indefinitely and my main hobby is martial arts so I really don't want to get involved in any gym drama by tapping into that dating pool.
I feel like the same thing keeps happening to me over and over, and it's particularly bad with guys from dating apps. A guy comes on really strong, says all the right things, obsesses over me and showers me with affection, blah blah blah. We go out for a couple of months, I finally let my guard down and have sex with him, the sex will be super passionate and will seem great and he'll gush over how great I am and act super excited to see me again, and then once we've done it a few times and the novelty is gone he'll disappear from the face of the earth and my heart will be shattered.
For years I kept blaming myself for not being pretty enough, for not being good enough at sex, for putting out too soon (no matter how long I waited), for not being interesting/good enough. I took a yearlong break from dating to get my act together, but as soon as I re-entered the dating pool it was back to square 1. I got talking with a guy who's a famous professional athlete who has a reputation for being a really nice guy, so I (foolishly) trusted him - he came on so strong for months, sent me good morning texts every single day, he was so kind and made so many promises. I eventually caved and had sex with him and he seemed super happy and gushed about how beautiful I was and how he couldn't wait to see me again. And then, poof - 2 days later, after sending me some very lovey-dovey texts initially, he disappeared.
The majority of these guys will re-appear eventually - sometimes a month later, sometimes 2 years (!!!) later - and if I engage with them again the cycle just repeats itself. But if I reject them when they re-appear they'll put me on a pedestal and become obsessed with me and will never leave me alone. And on the rare occasion that I do meet a guy who's genuinely nice and cares about me I don't trust his intentions and assume he's going to break my heart the whole time, so my anxiety or self-protective avoidance inevitably sabotages it.
I'm in therapy to work on my own insecurities and I think it's gotten better, but I have no idea how to start picking better guys. When I'm flooded with strangers and am dealing with 20 guys at a bar or 10,000+ likes on a dating app I'm only going to notice the guys who are the best at 'playing the game' and getting attention. It's not that I'm intentionally picking assholes, it's that the nicer guys aren't going to be the ones who are getting in front of me and making moves and escalating things. And because there are no single men in my social circles I have no way of asking my friends about these dudes - they're all strangers.
How the fuck do I break this cycle? I'm so tired of being hurt by manipulators who know exactly how to get a woman emotionally invested so they can get what they want. Some of these guys are attractive, but plenty of them aren't, so it's not as simple as just going for less good-looking guys. I have no idea how to vet for decent guys when I have to sort through 10,000+ likes on an app! Have any of you figured out which green flags to look for or gotten out of this horrible, nightmarish cycle?
I have no idea how to vet for decent guys when I have to sort through 10,000+ likes on an app!