Tell Me About It: I’m 27 and losing faith in men
Where are the sane, lovely, mature men who want to sweep me off my feet?
Illustration: Getty Images
Q I’m a nice, well-educated, confident, reasonable-looking 27-year-old woman, and for the past year I have had nothing but disappointing experiences with men. I have tried following the rules, breaking the rules, ignoring the rules and everything in between, and yet, whenever I feel like something is about to blossom, it all goes wrong.
From 16 to 25 I had four serious boyfriends. At 25 I had a big heartbreak, and voluntarily became single. Since then I have lost a considerable amount of weight, secured my dream job and am verging on (gasp!) happiness.
Except now, on Sundays, I occasionally feel a bit lonely. Sunday is the day for cuddles, breakfast in bed and walks with dogs (distant, cloudy memories to me). It’s the one day of the week when I can’t really be that glamorous girl about town, and I usually end up in my pyjamas watching Netflix alone.
I go out to find someone to stay in with but whenever I find someone, it goes wrong. There are the first-stage guys you meet through a friend, or on a night out. You chat, maybe kiss, maybe more, you get on great and you think “yes, I quite like him and he’s really into me”. He takes your number . . . and doesn’t call. Next time you see him out, he pretends he doesn’t see you.
Then there are the second-stage guys who do text, and you think: “This is good, but be careful. Remember last time.” So you text for a while, making sure not to sound too eager, or too cold, and then, out of the blue – nothing more. You may even have been on a date or two. Maybe he bought you a rose and complimented you on your shoes. Second-stage guy really gets my goat; his behaviour is so illogical. I understand if you’ve changed your mind, mate, but at least let me know.
I have only once got to the third-stage guy, the guy you date for a few months only to find out that he’s got back with his ex, who is now pregnant.
Fourth stage is a happy relationship. Where are the sane, lovely, mature men who want to sweep me off my feet? I’m rapidly losing faith.
A I wish I could wave my wand and replace your duvet with a cuddly man. You say you’re confident socially, but I wonder how confident you are deep down. Stop putting yourself in the hideous limbo of waiting for a man to call: it’s wearing you out.
Matchmaker Sharon Kenny says: “Build your confidence by taking control. Never give your number to a man you’ve just met. If he asks for it, take his number instead. Men love the hunt and they admire go- getters with a bit of spirit.”
If you’ve met him on a Friday, text him on Sunday to say you have a busy week but maybe you’ll make contact Thursday to see what you’re both are up to. When texting back and forth, stay detached, keep it brief and never send two texts in a row – it looks pushy or desperate, and “men hate it”, says Kenny.
If you meet, make it an introductory drink (no more than two); don’t let him get you drunk because while he may think a willing girl is what he wants, it probably isn’t.
On nights out, never hook up with a guy after 9.30pm, because by that stage everyone is under the influence and nobody is taking anyone else seriously, she advises. As irresistible as it may be, no snogging (or more) of guys you have just met.
Consider men who are five years older than you, who might be maturing and thinking about settling down. Be choosy and take your time, Kenny says.
If it’s any comfort, in the course of her work Kenny meets lots of professional women your age who look like supermodels and are at their wits’ end.
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