Nothing to Lose

January 22, 2012 § 104 Comments

Everyone said, email nothing to lose.

Spot on.

To paraphrase the famous song: he gave me nothing now it’s all I got.


§ 104 Responses to Nothing to Lose

  • Jonathan says:

    Now you know he wasn’t ready to appreciate you…can he therefore have been so perfect after all? Now you have the opportunity to reconsider what you imagine you need in a man and find someone who values you as one of the less than perfect beings we all are…

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    I hope your self esteem does not suffer Plankton. I still don’t understand why the acquaintances who claim you’re so right for each other do not actively matchmake you two. Now, “they” have got nothing to lose if you e-mail and get no answer. Talk is cheap isn’t it. However, I would put it behind me. If anyone else tells you you’re right for him, I would challenge them to go and speak to him and report back.

  • MissBates says:

    Tough love time, Plankton: He HAS given you something: the knowledge that he’s not interested enough to text you back, and with that knowledge comes the freedom from the unrequited crush you’ve had on him. And I’m with ToneDeafSinger on the following point: next time one of these friends of yours proclaims how “perfect” you and LongShot would be for one another, tell her, ever so politely, to shove off unless she’s willing to provide you with meaningful evidence of same, and produce him, seated at your side at a dinner party, the following weekend. End of.

    • ex-pond-slime says:

      I agree with MissBates, LS has given you his reply and I think in the kindest way he could – by silence.
      Now you can keep thinking about him and railing at the unfairness of it all and generally having a good wallow. I would understand completely. I did that for years – yes, years, literally years – after each rejection by a man who was perfect for me in every way except for the small matter of his not wanting me. It’s a very good way to remain single and I can vouch for it working for me.

    • Redbookish says:

      Absolutely agree with Miss Bates, particularly on her advice to challenge your friends. When I get given the “there’s someone out there, don’t give up” I ask: “So, how many single, not for a reason, men can you introduce me to?” The answer is usually an embarassed silence. Or they mention lovely men of our acquaintance who are clearly not interested in relationships, settling down, whatever.

      My friends are well meaning, but they can’t walk the walk.

      But I don’t hold it against my friends: I just think they need to know what it’s like. If they’re coupled up, they can’t conceive of the world I live in where there are lovely men, but they’re single-for-a-reason. Not that they’re ineligible (quite the contrary): they’ve just made the decision, either deliberately, or by omission/passivity/whatever, that they’re not interested in a relationship.

      I think these sorts of Peter Pan men have a lot to answer for. Any time I see press coverage of the ‘selfish’ single woman, putting off children & marriage, and so on, I want to scream that it’s not about the women: it’s about their male peers, who either a) are Peter Pans; or b) go for women 20 years younger.

      I see both types.

      • The Plankton says:

        Me too! Those pieces about women “putting it off till they’re too late” make me so angry when so many didn’t have any choice about it and would have far rather not have had to have “put it off”, given the choice! But they didn’t have any choice!

  • Joules says:

    It was brave and the right thing to do. Maybe it did not elicit the hoped for response but at least it puts the lid on that feeling of “I wonder?”. So a good thing.

    Loved the description of the “local brothel” a couple of postings back. Reminded me of that scene out of “Twin Peaks” with the tying the know in the cherry stalk with the tongue – perhaps my only claim to sexual fame is of mesmerising several members of the men’s boat club by demonstrating it was possible. Not sure I am still up for it – wrong season for cherries anyway.

  • paolo says:

    I am so sorry that you did not get the response you were looking for. What you did took courage.

    I know I sound like a broken record, having said the same thing several times before, but I continue to be amazed that you remain single. You seem to have so many of the qualities that men my age are looking for in a woman. I’m not sure why you are not being actively pursued by eligible (and ineligible) men (especially given the size and quality of your social circle). Perhaps you have a goiter you haven’t mentioned?

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, Paolo. I don’t think a goiter, but perhaps I stink of rotting fish and look like a warthog but can’t smell/see it myself? Only explanation! Px

    • Elle says:

      Paolo, goiter is a symptom of thyroid disease which is (a) very common and (b) thankfully very treatable.

      Not a nice comment.

    • Jo says:

      That’s the thing paolo. So many plankton on here have similar qualities. Any number of friends, aquaintances etc echo the same sentiments as you do to P. That’s the point. Notwithstanding such qualities, it’s still bloody hard to find a partner!

  • Patricia says:

    Try not to be despondent P – he wasn’t meant to be , his loss etc etc. But I empathise, been there and felt it and things WILL get better – my spiritual sister is always telling me to ‘manifest’ what I want…..and it will come to pass!? Hasn’t happened yet! But hope springs eternal in the human breast…….have a placido domingo and let calm reign today.

  • june says:

    Poor P,i sympathise, what can you do, what can any of us do. I am not sure if its better to have nothing at all, rather than these odd hopes, sometimes it seems more depressing to get ones hopes up so, and have them dashed.

    I have no-one even on the horizion, and yet i live through another lonely weekend with no hope of much else. I have good female friends coming round this fri night, all of them, apart from my fellow plankton on-line dater, with partners. Yes i am sure i should be finding unattached female friends, such as those at the social group i belong to, but quite frankly i find them all rather depressing, single women, all desperately trying to pretend what a lovely time they are having single and failing miserably. Are you same P do you prefer your coupled up friends, i do, anything designed for singles makes me want to run for the hills, as there are few men and those that are, well you know why they are single,and the odd eligible one always goes for the younger women there.

  • Aidan says:

    Chin up. We all think you are marvellous and the bloke you end up with is going to be a very lucky guy. Keep hunting.

  • thirtysomething says:

    From what you say, Longshot sounds like he’s got his own issues re: women and commitment having nothing to do with you personally.

    I do feel that you tend to put your eggs in one basket, P. I realize this can’t be helped when you fancy only that one man, but there is truth in not feeling devastated because you emotionally invested everything in one place by spreading your investments into various nooks and crannies. That you aren’t enamored by all these other twinkles (in your case, men via online dating) is irrelevant at this juncture.

  • Elle says:

    Sorry to hear about Long Shot but nothing ventured nothing gained. In my opinion not mailing you back was extremely rude. You deserve better. Being alone is better than suffering rudeness.

  • anniebub says:

    Oh sod it, what a sad epitaph to the whole sorry business. No good saying he just wasn’t worth having you, because it sounds like he was, but for some reason, (unfathomable), he just wasn’t biting. I spent the evening last night at a Burns’ Night at my daughter’s school. Have you ever done one? It was very jolly; we all brought bits of supper, and drank some wine and hoofed it up, under instruction, to a lightening band playing Scottish reels at top speed. Everyone got very hot and giggly. I was thinking about it in the light of your situation. Of course, it was all couples, had to be really for the dancing partners. They were all about your age, and there were lots of really attractive, interesting, intelligent, husbands, whom I had not met before. It just struck me, I suppose, that that is where the interesting men are; all happily married, or seemingly so, and it seems that unless you are in the market for poaching, which quite rightly YOU are not, but possibly others are, which is how they get their hands on the interesting men, your pool of available talent is hugely reduced. I really don’t know what the answer is. I met someone else the other day, an attractive, successful banker in his mid-forties, just into his second marriage, with bright new shiny wife in early thirties in tow, and a trio of daughters from his first time round. He was besotted with this new woman, so proud of all her accomplishments, and willing to do almost anything to make her happy. He was charm itself. But yet again, a lot of unhappiness must have taken place to get him to this happy spot. I don’t really know what I am trying to say, except that unless you happen to be lucky enough to catch one of those charming, ready-to-be-divorced, still firing on all cylinders types, in the moment before they fall into the arms of some lovely young siren, then it is a bleak outlook apparently, because it seems otherwise it is largely dross (aka your brief foray into internet dating – shudder!). BUT SURELY NOT!! I refuse to believe that all hope is lost. There must be some wonderful, witty, academic-clever, not over the hill, (fat,balding,puce-in-the-face) reasonably solvent, right-aged possibility somewhere out there just waiting to find you. SOMEWHERE but where? You must not give up….

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Anniebub, I am glad you had a good evening last night; it sounds great. And thanks for passing on your thoughts which are so akin to mine! Hope is exceedingly scant but manages by hook or by crook to hang on in there – just – otherwise… well, let’s not go there in fact… Px

  • Brigitte says:

    Hi P.

    Not surprising, but I’m very annoyed with him. I think it says a lot about how rude he is that he didn’t even respond with a “Happy New Year”. Don’t you just wish you could read his thoughts? “What is his problem?”, “What does he really think of me?” I find I just want to know what men think of me now that I am a plankton, because it baffles me.

    I’m growing ever so annoyed with my guy at the gym. I have to be careful, for I’m tempted to say the following:

    “Am I disturbing you by saying “hi”, by breathing the same air, by being on the planet at the same time? Would it kill you to say more than a few measly words to me? No, I’m not twenty, but you have a 3-year old born out of wedlock with your current girlfriend and you tell me you’re waiting for her to move out. Why don’t you try someone much closer to your age for a change? I’m so sorry to have killed your chance at approaching me first (you were definitely checking me out for several weeks), but you were taking so very long that I thought I would help you by saying “hi” first. You told me you’re not shy so what is it exactly? I’m the only one you don’t talk to at any length and, believe me, I have seen you stop and talk to others for 10 solid minutes – they must have a hard time getting a word in edgewise. You act like I don’t impress you in the least. I think you’re trying to teach me a lesson, like how dare I think I can pick and choose a mate at my age. I’ll be leaving you alone now. Good Bye.”.

    Of course, I would never do this. I just wish I could without repercussion, because I would have to change gyms after this. I’ve only felt like a plankton for one year, so I’m still adjusting to being one. I’m still surprised when men don’t aknowledge me anymore, well…men of my choice, anyway, and that may be my problem. I may be choosing the wrong types of men, the so-called Alpha males and Red Pill males. But I wouldn’t have to do the choosing if more men were interested in women their age. If a greater variety of men and more of them approached me, I might accept a man that chooses me. Short of men choosing me, I’m forced to do the choosing.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks for this, Brigitte. I think you were right to resist temptation to say all that to him at the gym, though I can completely understand the temptation. As for men choosing us: that would be a fine thing indeed, but bearing in mind that isn’t going to happen, we are forced to do the choosing. If there were any to choose from, might help! Px

    • fi says:

      Why not just approach him and chat to him in a friendly way and suss out if he’s interested, and if he’s not forget it? All this angst and trying to work out what he’s thinking isn’t worth it. You don’t really need to know why he’s not interested if he’s not, or whether he ever was and if so why he’s changed his mind. Anything could have happened, including deciding to give it another go with his girlfriend. All you need to know is he interested or not. And instigating chatting to him, instead of waiting for him to approach you, will give you that. I would have thought.

      • Brigitte says:

        Thanks, fi. I’ve envisioned myself asking him whether I’m wasting my time flirting with him, but can’t possibly put myself in that position. I’d rather think it’s not me and that he’s decided to try again with his girlfriend.

        As for the instigating, that’s part of the problem. I’m usually the first one to say “hi” and chat a little. His responses are usually pretty short, so that might mean he’s not interested or he’s with his girlfriend again. Lately, I’ve been a little more aloof and don’t always say “hi” unless he’s right next to me. I usually wait a little to let him say “hi” first and sometimes he does. It’s a little discouraging.

      • Brigitte says:

        And fi, I forgot to tell you that I even told him I wouldn’t say “no” if he asked me out for a beer (after knowing him for several weeks). He said we would have to revisit that later because he was living with his girlfriend and 3-year old. He has been helping his girlfriend find a job so she can move out, so things weren’t/aren’t going all that well.

        So I have been pro-active, just not sure where I stand at this point. Of course, he’s not available while he’s still living with his child and girlfriend. That may be all it is. Anyway, I’m going about my life and business all the same.

      • fi says:

        Brigitte. That’s a clear ‘no’. Unless any blokes disagree with me? You blatantly made it clear and he gave you a nice reason for saying no rather than saying he didn’t fancy you. You are the one that instigates conversation and he only says hi when he’s in your vicinity and to ignore you is rude. And when you speak to him his answers are short. To me that’s a clear no, but because you want it to be yes you’re ignoring the evidence. It seem as though at some point in the past he was friendly, and you read more into it. Blokes – please let Brigitte know if you think I’m wrong.

      • fi says:

        Oh and something else I meant to say. I think the root cause of this misinterpretation is because you don’t meet enough single men, and consequently attach more importance to one that crosses your path and meets your criteria. You’re out of practice at reading the signs too. I think a good thing to do is get out there and meet loads of single men at all sorts of events, it doesn’t matter that you don’t fancy them as the aim is not to find a boyfriend but simply to feel comfortable interacting with single men and reading and sending signs. Then you’re better able to keep perspective as well as being more likely to meet someone because maybe those friends you’ve made may have other friends you do like.

      • Elle says:

        Ouch Fi, that’s painful! However the truth often hurts. I think that if a guy is interested he’ll make a move fairly soon. Sorry to hear about the guy in Brigitte’s gym but he did sound like a player.

        It’s easy to read significance into small things when you don’t meet many single men. In my circle the younger single men are more outgoing while the older ones are more guarded. The younger ones might not see me as girlfriend material and I prefer men my age or older, but younger men can be good friends.

        It’s good to have men as friends, it keeps you in the loop so to speak and if you do meet one who wants more than friendship the male friends are always happy to give advice.

      • Brigitte says:

        Well, I suspected as much about him, just not so concretely. Sometimes it just takes someone else to spell it out for you. I’ve been putting off forgetting about him (it’s amusing to at least have someone to fantasize about), but I’m growing weary and it’s time.

        As for not meeting many single men, there is a real lack of them at many of the singles’ events I attend. The women outnumber the men 3 to 1 most times. I’d love to practise sending and interpreting all the smoke signals involved in flirting, but would hate to attract unwanted attention from a guy I don’t fancy (“Sorry, I was just practising”). I had to turn down one guy last year at an event, and it didn’t feel very nice. I couldn’t do that too often. (And by the way, I had read his signals correctly and had prepared to turn him down. Maybe because he was not a “player” or because he was interested, his signals were loud and clear.)

        Thanks for putting things in perspective, fi. It’s amazing how we plankton can sometimes ignore the signals until someone gives us a good shaking.

      • fi says:

        Brigitte. I don’t do single events. What I do is identify those things I like doing, then just do them. On my own or with friends. And I say ‘yes’ to every offer of doing something even if I don’t think I’ll enjoy it. Along the way I meet people, some of whom are men, and some of those are single. And by meeting more people I get invited to other things and I always say yes to those as well.

      • fi says:

        I didn’t mean flirting signals as to be honest I can’t do flirting. I’m just friendly and chat to folk. I’ve always been really really crap at flirting

  • rosie says:

    Sorry to hear this, P, but if there’s any shred of comfort to be had at least you won’t be agonising over him indefinitely now. If you’re anything like me and you hadn’t emailed, the ‘what if’ would have gone on much longer than is healthy. I agree with thirtysomething in that he sounds like he’s got issues with women and probably doesn’t know what the hell he wants. At this stage in life surely we can all do without that nonsense? That’s not to say it’s not completely shit when you want something you can’t have. I’m an expert at it!

    Paolo, can you shed some light on what qualities men your age ARE looking for in a woman?

    • The Plankton says:

      Thanks, Rosie. Much appreciated. Px

    • paolo says:

      Guys like me – professional, interested in ideas, literature, the arts – struggle to find interesting women, that is to say, women who are interested in the same things that we are, and can pull their own weight in conversation. A smart, emotionally capable, verbal, funny, and intellectually-stimulating woman is rare. I want my romantic partner to be relatively close in age to me (but not much older); I really don’t care about her age as long as she is physically fit and cares about her appearance, her figure, and her health, and likes sex. If I had to chose between a woman my age and one fifteen years younger (I’ve dated women that young), I will take the woman closer in age to myself virtually every time.

      • Jo says:

        paolo. These women are not rare! There are plenty on here and I know a great number of others.
        What is going wrong I wonder?

      • june says:

        I dont know how old you are Paolo, but your comment i want women round about my age but not older, sums it up for women of my age. Noone wants us, however youthful we are, men in their 50s even if they dont want younger women, dont want women in their 60s. All we could get would be men about 80 and im sorry i feel far too young for that.

        As ive said before most of my female friends are younger than me, they dont have a problem with me being older,why do men.

  • rosie says:

    Brigitte, it’s probably not what you want to hear but the gym guy sounds like he’s enjoying the attention and watching you sweat, metaphorically rather than literally, but maybe he enjoys that too. Men like that are too into themselves to have any time for anyone else.

    Am feeling particularly planktony today too – maybe it’s a Sunday thing – not that I don’t most other days. Was thinking about the internet dating malarkey earlier and have decided I can’t go there again. In my extensive and repeated experience of it the ratio of ‘dross’ was about 80/20 and if I had to suffer one more desolate, marrow-sucking encounter I think it would quite literally send me round the bend. Where that leaves me I have no idea. Paolo, perhaps you could send one of your mates round?

    • Brigitte says:

      Hi Rosie,

      I think you and others are right when you say he’s too into himself. Like P., I have placed all of my hopes on this one guy. I don’t even have a fraction of the exposure P. has had to new men, so my chances are really, really slim of finding a mate.

      I’m feeling rather planktony myself lately. It’s when I start thinking of the 40 or so years I have left to live and all I want is a companion before the arthritis and dementia start. If I can’t attract a man now, I certainly won’t when I’m all wrinkled and bent over. When I think that I may never have sex again, that really scares me.

      • The Plankton says:

        Brave words, Brigitte. Thank you. Px

      • MissM says:

        My thoughts exactly Brigitte, and I am in the same situation in that I have no exposure to new men and possibly forty years of being alone to look forward to also. I fear that way madness lies. I suppose there is always the option of getting lots and lots of cats and seeing if that helps.

    • fi says:

      In my experience, and what do I know I suppose as I’m not a bloke, I think they’re pretty straightforward. If they’re interested and you give them any encouragement, then they make it clear they’re after you. So I would conclude that maybe you haven’t made it clear, or maybe they’re not interested. Pretty simplistic I suppose but its only women that sit around reading hidden meanings into things, and its really only women that attribute complex meanings to men’s behaviour, that always end up as ‘game playing’ or ‘shy’ or ‘intimidated’ when really its generally just ‘not interested’. I think attributing all this energy trying to ‘understand’ the opposite sex leads to game playing and a feeling of being at a disadvantage which is what the blokes on PMs site feel. They just express it through anger at women while women express it through feeling sorry for themselves and group hugging. If you read a number of their posts (and view some of the links) the message that comes through is that they too want to meet a woman but they think we’re game playing and reject perfectly good guys for spurious reasons such as height, income and looks. Which we do. They also think we’re only interested in ‘bad boys’ which is why they have all this stuff about how to be one. Tvmunson aside (as he is in the minority) I do (unexpectedly) think they’re generally ok but disappointed. And they’re just the other side of the coin. Taking things at face value is so much easier because that’s how men operate. Even PMs site is really all about trying to behave in a way to get women to want them. The anger directed at planktons in particular is I think because they see us as the same girls who turned them down when they were younger and they think we’ve got our just desserts.

      • Margaux says:

        Fi sums it up best for me. Yes, we are all guilty of over analysing – I’ve lost count of how many hours I’ve spent on the phone listening to various girlfriends agonising over male behaviour, and I admit I’ve done it myself.
        Do men do the same? I could be wrong – but I don’t think so.

  • Jo says:

    Dear P. I’m so so sorry it has come to this. Although – cold comfort I know – it does not surprise me in the least. It seems to run to past form. He even kept the reply to his friends and their kind Christmas invitation hanging for ages, before he deigned to give it.
    Nothing more to say, except whatever truisms are said, you feel like shit. That’s the fact. And that’s a horrible way to feel. Be kind to yourself.
    Final thing. In view of LS’ past habit of suddenly popping up with some missive or other after a vast amount of time has passed, I would not be at all surprised if he does so again..
    Don’t go there again P. Please.
    Your wounds will heal and hopefully be covered with an LS – resistant scab. (Ugh. Excuse the image). x

  • RS says:

    This has just confirmed my opinion of Long Shot as one of those self-absorbed longterm bachelor types. It’s not that he’s necessarily a bad person but that he is far too used to having only himself to answer to and for, can do what he wants when he wants, and is just so lacking in awareness of how other people, and relationships, operate that he is best left on his own. Not to say that at some point he won’t pair up with someone who happens to be around at exactly the right time and is willing to put up with his airy-fairyness and self absorption, but for now he is NOT what you need. I swear if he DID bite, he would make you miserable, at least at this stage of each of your lives. You can’t change someone.

  • Jo says:

    P. Forgot to send a big cyber hug. For what it’s worth. Which, I can appreciate, probably does little to help. Hope it does a teeny bit. xx

  • Jo says:

    Been thinking of you a lot P. I hate it so much that you are – understandably – so low. I really feel for you. I hope it’s not too long before you can climb back up. Personally I think that if you don’t feel like posting for a day or two, you shouldn’t. x

  • terracotta says:

    Plankton – the year is but young. If LS was so spiffing how come he is not snapped up? He sounds very much up his own derriere – probs. autistic. The circles you move in sound very elevated and I think its going to be harder to get the Oxbridge seal of approval or whatever you’re after – at least most of your readers are in love with you in cyberspace.

  • rosie says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if LS pops up again, either. Happened to me after I’d been dumped – for the third time – by some guy who kept rearing his ugly head every few months. He tried and tried and tried again over the course of about a year to get back in touch but I kept my nerve and ignored him each time and felt much better for it, even if he is now coupled up with a younger model but what’s new there. I’ve even deleted my Facebook account, which was just another displacement activity anyway, so I can’t keep looking at his profile (a plankton gets bored!) and hardly think about him at all now. Can’t say he’s been completely obliterated, that will only come if I meet someone else. *starts cackling and rocking back and forth violently*

  • Margaux says:

    At the risk of being shot down in flames, I am going to suggest you stop beating yourself up, P, and put LS in the pending tray. Somewhere down the line all will be revealed. It usually is.

    What that might be – Not into the idea of having a girlfriend at this point, wanting to play the field, too preoccupied with work or himself, ‘just not that into you’ or just plain old bad timing – will bubble to the surface in due course. AND …(note the big AND here ) could all come back again when you least expect it. If you mentally file it away to be dusted off again if the opportunity presents itself makes this situation a lot easier. That’s how I deal with these things anyway.

    Take heart from being brave . But … maybe Lydia has a point in your other post. Not suggesting you lay it totally on the line but if the tone of your email was just ‘friendly’ – and nothing much more – he may not even have registered your interest?

    You know – a world where the man does all the chasing would be fabulous but in my personal experience and that of many of my friends – it’s we women who have to actually do the signalling and engineering of the circumstances that may lead to something more. I had to hang around my ex for about 6 months, putting myself in his orbit as often as possible before he even realised. It turned out that for most of that time he fancied me but just thought I was being ‘friendly’…

    File LS away in unfinished business – the year is still young!
    M x

  • MissMalbec says:

    Terracotta said it best, and I paraphrase, if he was all that and a bag of chips (or in my case, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia) he would be snapped up. It doesn’t matter if he’s got Asperger’s, has ADHD, or whatever label we wish to place on him. If he was interested, he’d lobby the communication ball back in your court not only within a couple days of receiving your email but before you ever felt the discomfort of having to do it first.

  • EmGee says:

    I am part of the cheering section: it took courage to email him, take his non-response as an answer. Even if he does finally respond, is any man worth agonizing over (ie, will I ever hear from him again, etc)?


  • Chris says:

    Oh well, here we are in 2012 and the saga goes on and on…….and at this rate will go on forever. Your acolytes offer their soothing comments. But this blog seems to be becoming a very inward looking claustrophobic world where fellow plankton confirm each others wonder and prejudice. Such a cozy place, so self fulfilling. You could find a man Planky, but that would mean switching from the aspirational to the mundane. But for planktons that would never do, for that would mean settling. As for LS, did you really think anything would ever come of that ? I mean, c’mon you are, I deduce, a reasonably intelligent woman !!

    • fi says:

      Chris. Very wise words that we should listen to. And I bet every single bloke who isn’t commenting on here, and the ones who are, agree with you, I don’t understand why women won’t listen to men in this regard. Why take advice or guidance on meeting men from women who aren’t successful at it? Why keep doing the same thing over and over again if it doesn’t work? Why keep assuming the problem lies with the men and not us?

      • MissM says:

        I’m all for taking advice from men, I’m still waiting for some though. All I got from Chris’ post was we should settle for any man willing to take us, no matter how unintelligent or unattractive he may be, and be happy about it. (So for our dear Plankton I guess that would mean the man with the face like stewed rhubarb.) If it comes down to spending my life with someone that I don’t fancy and can’t have a conversation and a laugh with, then indeed I am better off alone.

    • joules says:

      Chris – you are just getting bored with it – imagine living it, not just reading about it.

      Was thinking about my and Ps distrust of the internet dating scene. For me I think it stems from the fact that everyone I have ever been involved with was a friend first. So I really don’t know how to actually date as in stranger asks you out or you ask him out.

      And I feel like I settled with my ex (and my family thought so as well) and where did that lead – nowhere good.

      • Jo says:

        Joules. You can take as long as you like, if you want to, ‘getting to know’ more about someone before you want to meet them. Or not.
        In some ways, everyone’s a stranger when you start to embark on a relationship with them. Whether you have met them in a club, pub, at an event, through friends (even if they ‘know’ them as a friend), at a party, a class, a gallery, through work, at the gym etc etc. No-one knows what anyone is really like once they’re in an ongoing intimate relationship.Partners who can, after a while turn out to be emotionally or physically abusive. Commit adultery. Become cold, unfeeling, uncommunicative. As dull as ditchwater over time and any number of things one would never have imagined at the start. Strange things can happen….
        Don’t want to be maudling. There are plenty of good relationships. Just that a stranger is not only someone who one might meet only on the internet.

    • Redbookish says:

      You could find a man Planky, but that would mean switching from the aspirational to the mundane. But for planktons that would never do, for that would mean settling.

      Maybe Ms P. is worth the aspirational, is better than the mundane?

      Planktons can be alphas.

      • Chris says:

        Well, what would I know ? I just chuck me two pennys worth in here and see where it goes. I still think that what we have here is a case of ever decreasing circles. Planktons can be alphas…what the heck has that got to do with becoming part of a contented couple, which is what I thought Planky is/was aiming for ? Anyway, I’ll go crawl under me rock now !!

    • Jo says:

      Hi Chris. Sorry that’s not true. We have often challenged each other on here and not just ‘confirmed each other’s wonder and prejudice’. Even challenged P.
      We’re not so stupid as to simply swallow each other’s views wholesale. There have been any number of contrary views about each other. Sometimes with fairly hurt feelings. No inward looking claustrophobia here actually.

      • Chris says:

        Great, soooo… many of you have successfully hitched up lately ???

      • Jo says:

        Chris. The reason a lot of people have not successfully hitched up, are many and varied. (For men as well as women). Not just because of your
        (incorrect) rather narrow viewpoint. As I said, if you were to read through the whole of past comments on this blog, you will see that people’s thinking/viewpoints/prejudices/ways of behaving/ etc etc have often been challenged. Indeed, read through at least the last 4 or 5 blogs and comments and you will see what I mean. That’s just a few.
        Some of what you said has a point though. It’s just such a wholesale generalisation.
        How many have successfully hitched up lately? Well, me Chris!
        As have others I know.

  • rosie says:

    Paolo, if what you say is true you’re a rare beast. It’s my experience that men do like ‘verbal, funny and intellectually stimulating women’… to have a good time with before they settle down with someone safe and unchallenging, or, if they’re middle-aged themselves, someone younger. I’m sure there are some bunny boilers out there but are women with such attributes really that scarce? I’ve known truckloads of women with said qualities (and I include myself here!) who can’t find a guy prepared to stay the course for love nor money. Hence all the mountains of resources (including this blog) out there dedicated to the subject.

    • geoffrey says:

      Rare maybe but not unique. I want precisely the same things as Paolo. The problem I am finding as a single man is much as I found it when I was 25; – women want the LS types – poor communicators, playing hard to get, but in their eyes authentic, rather than those who actually show any interest. They think that anyone who is actually kind and provides emotional security is too good to be true. I agree with Margaux that LS should be put in the pending tray; after all P, you show by keeping up a daily blog for 6 months that you are into regular communication and feedback – exactly what LS is not providing. So there is no way he can currently meet your needs!

      • The Plankton says:

        I take your point entirely about his communication qualifications V mine. As for women wanting LS types, it isn’t true, not really, although I know it may seem like that. Px

      • fi says:

        Unfortunately I think it is true. I’ve heard men say this time and time again and didn’t believe them, but now do. What we think we want is not really what we are attracted to – we’re always looking for that ‘spark’ which doesn’t really come with the nice steady reliable types. I also think we confuse the feeling of anxiety – on edge, butterflies etc and think it means we are attracted to them

      • MissM says:

        I agree with many of your comments Fi but not the one on anxiety. For me, anxiety is not being on edge or butterflies in the stomach or anything else that can be confused with attraction. It is more akin to a feeling of imminent death, failure to breathe and/or a complete dissociation with existing in the world. Not pleasant by any measure.

        Other than that, to each their own. I don’t look for spark myself, attraction yes, spark no. Given that I can suffer from anxiety, the unpleasant sort described above, I specifically want someone who is nice, steady and reliable.

        I wouldn’t reject someone for being too nice, but I would reject them for being too physically repulsive. But who is going to be so cruel as to say that to a person’s face? Hence the old spiel of “you are a really nice guy but I see you more as a friend etc”. The truth is that is basically saying, “sorry but if I had to touch you naked I might just throw up”. More simply, ‘too nice’ is code for ‘too ugly’.

        Sorry guys, but everyone, male and female, has their limits on who they would shag. I am also sorry that in trying to be polite and kind when refusing you, women have given you the idea that niceness is somehow a bad thing.

    • MissM says:

      I do think men want a ‘verbal, funny and intellectually stimulating woman’ it just happens that men find the sexy young blonde who has legs to her armpits is always also the most verbal, funny and intellectually stimulating woman in the room. For some reason the better looking women are also smarter and funnier too, which probably applies to men if we are honest. When it comes down to it we all want someone we find physically appealing, which is perfectly reasonable, since there is no point being involved with someone if you don’t want to be physically intimate with them.

      Kindness and emotional security are very attractive attributes, and can help make a plain man become the sexiest thing on two legs, but there are so many other factors, like confidence and sense of humour, that also come into play. It is rather simplistic to continue with the idea that all women like ‘bad boys’, maybe some women do, and maybe some ‘bad boys’ also have other attributes that make them very attractive to women. Quite often while bemoaning the fact that the popular girls have gone off with the bad boys, those nice and kind guys also completely overlook the plain quiet girls that no one ever seems to notice.

      • fi says:

        Again – this line about men preferring young sexy women, and it not mattering how thick they are, is I think an urban myth. No doubt some do, but the majority? Not in my experience. Again that isn’t what the blokes on here are telling you but again, that’s just being ignored. Maybe the fixed beliefs are contributig to the problem.

      • june says:

        Yes agree Miss M, you have got to fancy the bloke.I had one want to contact me on POF yesterday, he was bout 90 miles away but he was just repulsive, i couldnt have been in same room as him let alone had sex with him ever, and he was 2 yrs younger than me.

        Fi says go to places where single men are, where exactly would she suggest, the singles group i belong to is mostly full of women, repulsive men, any that are ok and attractive go for the younger women every time. I think thats the problem for older women,where do you go.

      • Elle says:

        Hear hear about plain quiet girls! We’re the ones who weren’t ravishing in our teens and twenties, were the last ones to be kissed and lost our virginity at an embarrassing late age. Ah well, maybe plain quiet girls are destined to be plankton.

        Maybe we find planktonhood easier because we never got lots of attention, even in our youth. We would happily give the stewed rhubarb face man a chance. But in our world, even men like this are out of our league.

  • rosie says:

    fi, you’re very easily pleased if you class those as ‘wise words’. Maybe you could enlighten us on how to be successful rather than just offering empty rhetoric?

    • fi says:

      Ok but I can’t promise it will be successful, only that I think its more likely to be. Look at men’s actions and take them at face value rather than trying to interpret them. Assume men are straight forward and if they aren’t indicating an interest, then they aren’t interested. Stop doing what unsuccessful women advise as if it worked they wouldn’t be unsuccessful. Listen to what a bloke tells you about mens behaviour – they really do know better than a woman about other men. Widen your criteria that are probably much narrower than you think/acknowledge to yourself they are. Don’t join in self defeating moanfests with other women making generalisations about men as all it does without you realising it, is reinforce the sense of defeatism that hinders future success.

      • Steve says:


        You’re spot on. I have lost count of the number of times girl friends have mine have asked for help in ‘reading between the lines’. My answer is always the same – read the lines, there’s nothing in between.

        Between you and me, we ain’t that smart; we tend to say what we mean. I know that isn’t always the case, but in general, we are quite straightforward.

        I have always felt that women are much harder to interpret. I am afraid that I must agree with other correspondents when it comes to the types that (many) women find attractive. Sadly, it seems to me that women like bastards. I have often wondered why women appear to prefer this type of man, while claiming they want the exact opposite.

        It seems to me that (many) women are after someone who is both spontaneous and consistent, wild and reliable, mysterious and honest; or to put it another way, a complete contradiction in every respect. Of course, no such man exists!

      • The Plankton says:

        There again, men seem to be into women who are complete bitches, no? I wish I were a bitch.

      • fi says:

        Steve – this is what I hear constantly from men. The gulf between what women say they want, and what their actions demonstrate. I used to dismiss it as nonsense but thought I owed it to men to consider it. And lo I found it to be true

  • fi says:

    P. While I’m at it I may as well go the whole hog. You are not upset over LS. You didn’t even know him and what little contact you had with him left you uninterested in him. What you’re actually upset about is losing the potential relationship with him, which was only ever in your head, and you also believe this confirms your planktonhood for ever. You decided months ago that he was right for you based only on the fact that he fitted your narrow criteria – you don’t know him at all and had you got to know him you may not have even enjoyed his company. Now if you can see that it should make it easier for you to see that you haven’t actually lost anything at all, nor have you as a person been rejected. But it is time to widen your criteria and where you look so that you don’t attach a disproportionate importance to a random future encounter. Said with affection x

  • Kirsty's Boyfriend says:

    Very perceptive comments here, Fi.
    I would also point out a couple of other things. It’s pointless our commenting without knowing what exactly P says in her emails ( I appreciate that’s just not possible P). It’s pointless referring to men in the generic term as we are all individuals , some are shy, some aren’t, some prefer younger women some don’t care and I could go on and on. So even advice from “a man’s point of view” is worth very little.
    I’m not in any position to pontificate as I’m the wrong age, wrong sex and ,so far, haven’t been in your position but that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine it and don’t feel compassion for those seeking love.
    What I can do is pass on a couple of observations .
    The harder you look the less success you will have – don’t ask why it’s just one of those laws of nature, perhaps you scare us off. Maybe it’s like skiing , let go, have faith and suddenly you’re flying.
    Emails are so easy to misread in the sense of what is meant. A light hearted comment can be given hidden meanings that just aren’t there. There are no inflexions in an email that there are in a voice and these can change a meaning dramatically. Don’t rely on them, give the guy a call.
    Stay lighthearted – no one loves a sour puss. Funny is sexy, grim isn’t. Ask men what they find sexy, you might be surprised. Victoria passed away a little while ago, you are all at least our equal so why not?

  • rosie says:

    Well fi, if that advice isn’t a generalisation (I agree with what you’ve said about LS, btw) I don’t know what is, but you’ve obviously got the men- and-dating business all sewn up. Which just makes me even curiouser as to why you haven’t landed one yourself.

    • fi says:

      Rosie. I don’t have one because I’m not really looking as I’ve said before, and as I’ve answered you several times before. I’m going to ignore any future questions asking this again. Although I think what you’re actually saying is my perspective is wrong because I don’t have a man, and obviously I would have if I was right. The point of view I express is mine, gleaned from my male friends and other blokes I know. I get on well with them and see things from their perspective a lot of the time. I really like them as contrary to women, they are pretty straightforward and not given to bitchy undercurrents. I have no shortage of offers though which to me merely reinforces to me how nice they are if you let them be, and stop judging their behaviour by the same criteria as you would a woman’s. You don’t have to agree.

      • MissM says:

        I suspect that you may be right when you say “I think what you’re actually saying is my perspective is wrong because I don’t have a man, and obviously I would have if I was right”. Even though I agree with so much of what you say Fi, and certainly don’t dismiss any of it, there is something to be said for getting advice from someone who has succeeded in going from plankton to partnered, as opposed to those still plankton. As you yourself said earlier “Stop doing what unsuccessful women advise as if it worked they wouldn’t be unsuccessful.”

        That is why I quite enjoy the aspect of sharing and empathising with those on here who are fellow plankton, more than I am hoping to find some sort of answers. I think that is a female thing, to use the sharing of experiences as a method of gaining validation, comfort and a strengthening of social bonds, while males are driven to find solutions. If someone does’t have a solution that is okay, it is enough to know someone else feels the way I do about the experiences we have in common. I’d like to thank everyone who written a comment that has made me go ‘those are my thoughts exactly’.

        Having said that, I do like all the new ideas, views and information I can get. On the whole anything that I find thought provoking has to be a good thing. I am just going to give more weight to any suggestions that come from former plankton over those from current plankton. Unfortunately there seems to be many more plankton than there are former plankton around here.

  • rosie says:

    Hmm, I distinctly remember you saying you were ‘actively looking’ not too many posts back. Your words, not mine.

    • fi says:

      Well I don’t know when that was, but actively looking for me consists of doing all the stuff I normally do and keeping my eyes open for anyone I find attractive, as opposed to doing it and not bothering to look. And that’s about as much effort as I put in. I was on pof for a few weeks a few weeks ago but am no longer.

      • fi says:

        To further refine it – by actively looking I mean I’m open to considering a bloke I’m speaking to as a potential lover. The fact that I’m not putting anymore effort into it than that also indicates that I’m not really that bothered. The reason is I’m actually happy pottering about doing what I do, and at the back of my mind is that sooner or later I’ll meet someone that is enough to shake me out of the rut I’m in. I have 2 blokes that I go out separately with when I fancy seeing live music (both have girlfriends and its platonic) and I also go out with my brother and his mates. I like the way I get to be feminine (doors opened for me, hands on my back as I’m escorted through doors etc). I do loads of things. I’ve friends to phone or meet up with along with new friends I’ve made too. And holidays with other single friends, and married women friends who leave their kids with their husbands. And of course nights round at married friends, regular cinema going, and coffees with friends at weekends. I also have relatives and friends visiting me for the weekend, my diy, reading and lunches with my adult children and their partners. And my trips to art galleries with friends or on my own. And my film club (full of men) that always end up in the pub. Sometimes I think it really would be nice to have a lover as well, and that’s when I think I’ll keep an eye open, but I don’t want to have to stop doing all these other things. Then I think sod it – if it happens it happens, if not then it doesn’t . A lover is what I want – not a partner or husband. And if one appeared in front of me, was keen on me and he had an interesting mind then fab. And when I’m actively looking I’m literally looking around me to see if anyone fits the bill. But whereas say on saturday I might be doing that, by the following weekend when I’m doing something else I’m not thinking about that. As I’ve said before I don’t want to see someone more than once a week – dinner and a movie and good conversation with a lover I like and feel affection for is enough for me. Why is that concept quite so difficult for some women to grasp??? I don’t have a hole in my life I need to fill with a man, I have a really enjoyable life but think it would be nice to be intimate with someone who I valued as I value my close friends, and who would be good company. And I could offer that too. My problem is, as I’ve said many times before (before rosie goes through all my posts trying to find inconsistencies) is that actually I find men want more of a relationship than that.

    • MissM says:

      Good article, it made me laugh and despair in equal measure. (According to that I am really, really, good at being a liar.) But I will use it to help transform myself into “a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self”. That sounds like a pretty good aim, wish me luck.

    • Jo says:

      Yes. Very good article indeed Fi.

    • Brigitte says:

      This is an excellent article. I first saw it a few months ago. I loved it so much I made a copy and have read it several times. It’s not just for women wanting to get married, it’s for those of us looking for love. It makes some very, very good points.

      And MissM, I practised all of what appears under “You’re a Liar” with my separated boyfriend in 2010. I would have continued for God knows how long had his wife not called him back. The oxytocin crash was brutal.

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