I'm a 28-year-old man who has tried everything; I've asked out so many women over the last few months.... I've tried dating sites, I've been to bars and grocery stores, and I still haven't gotten a date. I've never been on a date, never had a girlfriend. How can I get a date with a woman? I'm open to any advice you have, and I mean any. I'm very desperate.
I think the key to your problem is the word desperate. The problem with desperation is that the first whiff of it causes others to flee.
Now I'm not saying I wouldn't be feeling exactly the same way if I were in your position—certainly I've gone through keening, hyper-needy, I'm-never-going-to-get-laid, years-long dry spells myself. After a while, it makes you crazy and you start looking at even the patently unsuitable as potential fuck fodder. After all, he's got the all-important pulse, doesn't he? Who cares if he also has three felony convictions, four illegitimate children in three different states, and a collection of STDs that even the CDC hasn't yet heard of.
Which is exactly what you don't want. Obviously.
I applaud your willingness to try anything. You're clearly not afraid of failure (which is key), and you are nothing if not tenacious. But the carpet-bomb approach to dating—asking any and all comers to be your best gal—rarely works. And when it does work, you generally end up with the female equivalent of the guy I just described. Perhaps they're related.
Though we've never met, I'm wondering if you're trying a little too hard. I know—I tell people they're not going to get anywhere if they don't make an effort, and now here I am, advising you to chill out. So pour yourself a cocktail and read this next guy's letter:
I think you were right on when you said that finding love has nothing to do with being deserving or worthy—that meeting someone special comes down to luck. Yes, one can make their chances better by practicing good personal hygiene, having good manners, and actually listening to what the other person is saying. But a lot of single people do all those things and are still single. And lots of people that are in relationships never did those things. Bottom line: Life isn't fair.
Going online to find romance is no guarantee of having it. I do have my profile online; I've gotten some responses, but most never bothered to write back.
I know advice writers have to say something when people ask how to find love, but perhaps the truth is that sometimes there is nothing to say. What I try to do is do things that give meaning, purpose, and joy to me. I hope I will meet that special someone, but if it doesn't happen, I think I'll look back on my life and say I had a good one.
Michael is correct—life is not fair. Here we have two lovely men who are making every effort and are still not meeting anyone. (FYI, I never said online dating guaranteed booty!) Michael has the right idea by working toward improving his life. Maybe someone will come along, maybe they won't; there are no guarantees for any of us. But people who are happy and fulfilled on their own make much better partners.
I realize that you want a simple answer, Luke, but there isn't one. I don't know you, nor do I know the kind of women you're pursuing. Maybe you have bad breath and all your problems could be solved with a dental visit. Then again, perhaps you're preppy but only interested in goth chicks. I'm not psychic.
There's no one guaranteed way to get a date anyway. (Though if I could figure that out, I'd be loaded.) My advice is that you quit trying so hard and, for the next couple months, stop thinking about dating. Concentrate on making friends of both genders, consider therapy (it might help sort out the anxiety you must be feeling), and make like Michael and try to turn yourself into the best person you can possibly be.
And yes, I realize how corny and not helpful that sounds, but unfortunately, it happens to be the truth.
Dating dilemmas? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.