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  #11  
Old 12-02-2012, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by onoma View Post
I think people are over complicating this. The real answer is:

Just look for women who like intellectual, serious, unconventional men.

Be careful talking about "majorities." Doing so robs people of their individuality.

You said you had no problem having women as friends... so it sounds like women DO like you. They enjoy your company and like what you have to offer. Maybe your problem is not knowing how to make things sexual/romantic. Hell, maybe your only "problem" was just missing these friends' signals that they would have been interested in more.
Right on the spot, onoma, that is exactly the problem. I am not by nature particularly observant when it comes to interpreting other peoples' emotions anyway, but my rather unusual teenage years added to this difficulty. My parents took me from my native environment (a Central European country), put me through a high school education where I hardly passed two successive years with the same fellow students, then brought me to Canada where I was dropped straight into a university environment where most of my peers had gone through the usual North American high school system I had no experience with at all.

Different people would deal with the kind of loneliness I experienced in different ways - personally, I learned to be able to entertain myself and not depend too much on others. Eventually I learned how to create a good social life for myself, which is why I have lots of friends - but playing the seduction game is something else and I never became good at it. Which is why I come back to playing up my strengths, which includes the willingness to try for long-term mono life.

Clearly, in the poly world this won't do, and if I want to enlarge my circle of sexual/sentimental partners, I have to learn how to play up my other strengths, and to interpret other peoples' signals better.

Oh why, oh why, can't people be more explicit? I am not so clueless that I won't catch obvious signals. Once, in my premarital days, I was having dinner with some friends and acquaintances, and the woman sitting opposite me started to stroke my feet under the table. I had no doubt as to what that meant! But few people are that obvious...
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2012, 11:15 PM
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Yes, it's no one else's business who sleeps with whom, but being in the closet gets old real quick. I imagine that it's cool if your wife holds your hand in public, gives you a long hug goodbye, says hello with a peck on the cheek -- a potential gf would probably want to have that same freedom, in time. You certainly can cross that bridge when you get to it, but it's something to keep in mind...
Thanks Annabel, of course I'll keep it in mind. In our couple, we have never been big on public displays of affection, it's more like continuous teasing banter, something that even some mono friends have noticeably become jealous about. "How can you guys have that when I can't?", seems to be how they feel.

But I don't feel that I am in a closet. For now I keep my newly acquired poly interest private, in part because how will it feel if, say after a few years, it becomes clear that no poly woman (aside from my wife) will touch me with a ten-foot pole? Few people like to be known as failures.
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2012, 03:10 AM
onoma onoma is offline
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Originally Posted by PolyLinguist View Post
Right on the spot, onoma, that is exactly the problem. I am not by nature particularly observant when it comes to interpreting other peoples' emotions anyway, but my rather unusual teenage years added to this difficulty. My parents took me from my native environment (a Central European country), put me through a high school education where I hardly passed two successive years with the same fellow students, then brought me to Canada where I was dropped straight into a university environment where most of my peers had gone through the usual North American high school system I had no experience with at all.

Different people would deal with the kind of loneliness I experienced in different ways - personally, I learned to be able to entertain myself and not depend too much on others. Eventually I learned how to create a good social life for myself, which is why I have lots of friends - but playing the seduction game is something else and I never became good at it. Which is why I come back to playing up my strengths, which includes the willingness to try for long-term mono life.

Clearly, in the poly world this won't do, and if I want to enlarge my circle of sexual/sentimental partners, I have to learn how to play up my other strengths, and to interpret other peoples' signals better.

Oh why, oh why, can't people be more explicit? I am not so clueless that I won't catch obvious signals. Once, in my premarital days, I was having dinner with some friends and acquaintances, and the woman sitting opposite me started to stroke my feet under the table. I had no doubt as to what that meant! But few people are that obvious...
I don't think wanting a relationship was ever your strength! Frankly from your background I suspect you can/will do great once you get past your insecurity about this.

Well, you could look up some stuff on body language and signals. There are even "pick up artist" web sites out there that can help you learn that stuff. (A lot of crap on those sites, but some good stuff too for those of us who don't quite "get it" on our own.)

BUT... frankly you're overthinking it. If YOU are interested, make it apparent. You could spend your life wondering if a woman is interested in you, only to watch her go out with the guy who was direct and asked her out.
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  #14  
Old 12-03-2012, 04:02 PM
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I don't think wanting a relationship was ever your strength!
Well, if I didn't want a relationship strongly, how did I end up in one lasting over thirty years? Raising two kids, living on three continents. If I didn't want strongly to be with my wife, she would have decamped ages ago. While she doesn't mind me being poly, she would strongly mind not being wanted.

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Originally Posted by onoma View Post
Frankly from your background I suspect you can/will do great once you get past your insecurity about this.
Oh I know I will, if I meet the right person.

I am not sure what you mean by insecurities. I am not particularly insecure, although I don't like to be turned down, even in little things. Most people don't. My wife says she admires me for even putting myself out there, where I can be turned down and made to feel inadequate. She wouldn't do it - but then she is happily mono and is content to just have me for company.

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Originally Posted by onoma View Post
Well, you could look up some stuff on body language and signals. There are even "pick up artist" web sites out there that can help you learn that stuff. (A lot of crap on those sites, but some good stuff too for those of us who don't quite "get it" on our own.)
Oh, Neil Strauss and his ilk. I have his books, I found them in - of all places - Beijing, China. Can't say I haven't thought of trying out some of his tricks. Let me see - I dress up in shiny black leather, I put on sunglasses (over my real ones? how does that work?), I start imitating Joey in Friends as I go up to strangers and say profundities like "How are you doing", with the right kind of intonation. Then measure the angle at which I face my potential partner, and the exact distance to her face, for such things matter, it seems. Oh, and pretend that I am not interested in her, in fact that I seriously doubt that she would ever do it for me. It's called Neg-ing, I think.

The main problem is that the kind of woman I hope to meet will see through me in an instant, and realize that I am playing games. And no, the kind of woman I like doesn't like to play games like that at all. If I have a particular strength (in addition to being steady and intelligent) it's that I am genuine and straightforward.

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Originally Posted by onoma View Post
BUT... frankly you're overthinking it. If YOU are interested, make it apparent. You could spend your life wondering if a woman is interested in you, only to watch her go out with the guy who was direct and asked her out.
Of course you are right. I do overthink it, it's in my nature to do so. Maybe the best I can do is to have a drink or two on social occasions, for that will decrease my propensity to overthink, analyze and project, and bring out the imp in me.
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  #15  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:20 PM
onoma onoma is offline
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Originally Posted by PolyLinguist View Post
Well, if I didn't want a relationship strongly, how did I end up in one lasting over thirty years? Raising two kids, living on three continents. If I didn't want strongly to be with my wife, she would have decamped ages ago. While she doesn't mind me being poly, she would strongly mind not being wanted.
You misunderstand. I'm not saying you don't or shouldn't want a relationship. I'm saying that you have other strengths. You've lived on three continents, making you worldly. You can probably break out a decent accent, right? Women love accents. Everything you listed in your first post is a strength rather than a liability, especially around the right women. Hell, just being married makes you more attractive to women.

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I am not sure what you mean by insecurities. I am not particularly insecure,
Really? In your first post you listed qualities about yourself as liabilities. You kept asking why anyone would want to be with you. Those are not signs of confidence. Saying you're too intellectual actually makes it sound like you're embarrassed about being smart!



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Oh, Neil Strauss and his ilk. I have his books, I found them in - of all places - Beijing, China. Can't say I haven't thought of trying out some of his tricks. Let me see - I dress up in shiny black leather, I put on sunglasses (over my real ones? how does that work?), I start imitating Joey in Friends as I go up to strangers and say profundities like "How are you doing", with the right kind of intonation. Then measure the angle at which I face my potential partner, and the exact distance to her face, for such things matter, it seems. Oh, and pretend that I am not interested in her, in fact that I seriously doubt that she would ever do it for me. It's called Neg-ing, I think.
Here's my observation on the whole "PUA" thing:

Some people need help. I had no idea how to talk to or approach women when I first read The Game. In fact, the thought of women being susceptible to those tricks depressed me terribly! But I did try a few of them, the ones that seemed the least silly and the least cruel (for instance I would never "neg.")

Did they work? Well, I got mixed results. In the end, I don't think the value of PUA is the tricks. It's that it gets you to start trying. I mean really trying, not hanging out with a bunch of female friends and hoping like you were before. It certainly doesn't mean thinking no women will be interested in you because you're intellectual or unconventional.

It means that when you find a woman attractive, you tell her so and ask her out.


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The main problem is that the kind of woman I hope to meet will see through me in an instant, and realize that I am playing games.
Oh right, at the start I suggested the PUA stuff to learn body language... not to learn pick-up lines and tricks. There are websites and even books that basically tell you "when a woman looks at you this way, it's a sign she's interested." Some people just aren't great at reading body language, but learning what to look for can help. You can also buy regular books on body language, but they won't be as focused on what you're looking for.

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And no, the kind of woman I like doesn't like to play games like that at all. If I have a particular strength (in addition to being steady and intelligent) it's that I am genuine and straightforward.
Good. Now I have a question though... if you're straightforward, were you just not interested in your female friends or did you have trouble telling them you were?

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Of course you are right. I do overthink it, it's in my nature to do so. Maybe the best I can do is to have a drink or two on social occasions, for that will decrease my propensity to overthink, analyze and project, and bring out the imp in me.
A drink or two does help. Overthinking does not help!
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  #16  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:59 AM
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Hi Onoma, thank you for taking my thoughts seriously, and for going to the trouble of answering them.

Basically, what I am trying to do is to bounce off my ideas to people knowledgeable about the poly scene, so that I can improve my chances in their world.

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Originally Posted by onoma View Post
You misunderstand. I'm not saying you don't or shouldn't want a relationship. I'm saying that you have other strengths. You've lived on three continents, making you worldly. You can probably break out a decent accent, right? Women love accents. Everything you listed in your first post is a strength rather than a liability, especially around the right women. Hell, just being married makes you more attractive to women.
Actually, I have lived on four continents - just on three with my wife. And of course I have an accent, I am Hungarian by birth. Think George Soros, if you ever heard him - although I don't have his billions.

I don't think I am that unattractive to women, but whether I am attractive enough for them to want to sleep with me without a mono bond is the question. I have little doubt that I could find someone reasonable if I was single and offered permanence.

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Originally Posted by onoma View Post
Really? In your first post you listed qualities about yourself as liabilities. You kept asking why anyone would want to be with you. Those are not signs of confidence. Saying you're too intellectual actually makes it sound like you're embarrassed about being smart!
No, they are not liabilities, but they are not (necessarily) enough.

Your main thesis holds true though. Approach women with confidence, and the game is half won. I have to keep that in mind.



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Originally Posted by onoma View Post

Good. Now I have a question though... if you're straightforward, were you just not interested in your female friends or did you have trouble telling them you were?
Here we are getting into another area, worthy of discussion in another thread. What do you mean by interested?

One of these friends I was totally infatuated with at one time, oh she could be very certain of that. I would have done anything for her, including marry her on the spot, and she knew it. I became quite good at writing love letters - these were pre-e-mail times. And I succeeeded too, to a certain extent - but in the end she married someone else, more is the pity. (Although I am pretty sure my marriage with her wouldn't have fared as well in the long term as my actual one)

But that's because I really wanted her. Other female friends were OK, and they could have bedded me if they wanted to (and some did, at least once or twice), but I was not in love with them, and it's difficult to express such sentiments very well without hurting someone's feelings and possibly endangering the friendship. Especially in a mono world.

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A drink or two does help. Overthinking does not help!
Thanks, and I'll drink a toast to you at the next poly party I go to!
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2012, 08:45 AM
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I find it somewhat unattractive when somebody approaches the pursuit of sexual/romantic partners like a science. It feels to me as if I'm being approached as a representative of my gender, not as a person. With the whole "in the dating world this will not work" and "my only really obvious dating-world strength was monogamy (because that's what women want in exchange for sex) and now I don't even have that"... Sorry, but to me that feels creepy and sexist.

Since you don't want some general woman maybe not generalise women into some weird poly-dating-homogenous-mass? Maybe not think about poly dating as something completely foreign with some rulebook you need to learn to attract women (since there is not one, because women are people and, thus, will be attracted to different things). Do you really think your dating experiences from 30 years ago are very relevant for now? You don't relate to other things and relationships in your life as you did three decades ago (I assume), why would you do so with dating?

My advice: stop thinking about attracting women/partners as a game. Start to think about meeting cool people, some of whom might be interested in you, as a new aspect of your life, which is not that different from other aspects of your life. Be yourself and have fun.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2012, 01:45 PM
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[QUOTE=PolyLinguist;170412]Hi Onoma, thank you for taking my thoughts seriously, and for going to the trouble of answering them.

No prob.

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Actually, I have lived on four continents - just on three with my wife. And of course I have an accent, I am Hungarian by birth. Think George Soros, if you ever heard him - although I don't have his billions.
Never heard George speak, but I have a Hungarian friend so...

Quote:
...but whether I am attractive enough for them to want to sleep with me without a mono bond is the question.
*sigh*

There's that insecurity again. A good portion of what women find attractive is your attitude. An even bigger portion is your clothes. Stupid, Ugly guys who are confident and well dressed get laid. Smart, reasonably attractive guys mostly shoot themselves in the foot by over thinking things and being insecure.

Quote:
Here we are getting into another area, worthy of discussion in another thread. What do you mean by interested?

One of these friends I was totally infatuated with at one time, oh she could be very certain of that. I would have done anything for her, including marry her on the spot, and she knew it. I became quite good at writing love letters - these were pre-e-mail times. And I succeeeded too, to a certain extent - but in the end she married someone else, more is the pity. (Although I am pretty sure my marriage with her wouldn't have fared as well in the long term as my actual one)
In other words you were in the friend zone. What do you mean by succeeded to a certain extent?

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But that's because I really wanted her. Other female friends were OK, and they could have bedded me if they wanted to (and some did, at least once or twice),
If they wanted too... look, individuality aside there's actually a lot of pressure on women NOT to make a first move as there's still a certain amount of judgement in our society. There even seems to be some subconscious reasons that women prefer when men make the first move. It taps into that whole confidence thing. Boldness counts.

Even if they wanted to, most women won't say anything until you do.

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but I was not in love with them, and it's difficult to express such sentiments very well without hurting someone's feelings and possibly endangering the friendship. Especially in a mono world.
It can be difficult if you put too much importance on things. You have this overarching idea that women only want sex in terms of a monogamous relationship. Or at least that monogamy is something you can barter for sex. Think about it though... if that were true, there wouldn't even BE a polyamorous world. Or at least not a heterosexual one...

There's nothing wrong with telling someone you think they're attractive. There's nothing wrong with flirting. In fact, the only thing you should worry about is being clear about your intentions in regards to not wanting a relationship. In fact, that should all be even easier in a poly setting.

Just try not to be vulgar about it.


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Thanks, and I'll drink a toast to you at the next poly party I go to!
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2012, 01:55 PM
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I find it somewhat unattractive when somebody approaches the pursuit of sexual/romantic partners like a science.
Unfortunately that's just how some of us think. Guys who are good at getting women seldom stop to think about it. They just seem to know what to do. There are guys like me, and PolyLinguist to some extent, that really DON'T know what to do... so we need lots of help.

Luckily, we're not trying to hit on you right now.

Quote:
It feels to me as if I'm being approached as a representative of my gender, not as a person. With the whole "in the dating world this will not work" and "my only really obvious dating-world strength was monogamy (because that's what women want in exchange for sex) and now I don't even have that"... Sorry, but to me that feels creepy and sexist.
If you think about it though, isn't that what our culture has told us for a couple generations? How much TV out there shows women only wanting sex in a committed relationship? Depicts guys as scumbags if they want sex without commitment? How often does the guy who waits patiently and "really loves" the girl end up with her in the end? Everything we saw growing up tells us that women only want sex in a monogamous relationship, and that the guy who waits patiently gets the girl while the guy who is a "player" loses out.


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My advice: stop thinking about attracting women/partners as a game. Start to think about meeting cool people, some of whom might be interested in you, as a new aspect of your life, which is not that different from other aspects of your life. Be yourself and have fun.
Agree 100%.
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  #20  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rory View Post
I find it somewhat unattractive when somebody approaches the pursuit of sexual/romantic partners like a science. It feels to me as if I'm being approached as a representative of my gender, not as a person. With the whole "in the dating world this will not work" and "my only really obvious dating-world strength was monogamy (because that's what women want in exchange for sex) and now I don't even have that"... Sorry, but to me that feels creepy and sexist.
To be fair, rory, I never said that my only really obvious dating-world strength was monogamy. I said it was the trump card that might tilt things in my favour. And no, I don't think that monogamy is what women want in exchange for sex. But whatever they want (and this changes from woman to woman, and even for the same woman, changes depending on her stage of life), my qualities were rarely sufficient in my pre-marital life.

Now, one of the prevailing myths of the modern era is that we should try to be authentic, true to our own self. Well, had I remained authentic, doing just things that I liked doing (and was pretty good at), I might have ended up the proverbial 40-year-old virgin. Of course I had to change myself, and when I decide to do something, I tend to do it in a systematic, logical, scientific way. That's the way I am, after all, I can be permitted to be authentic to that extent, right? And now it's time to do further changes - this is good psychologically anyway, for I don't want to become an elderly fuddy-duddy, incapable of coming out of my comfort zone.

As for the monogamy card, it was certainly a trump card in my marriage, which turned out to be extremely good, as I think people will agree. When I met my wife, she was in a transition state, planning to go overseas with CUSO (the Canadian equivalent of the Peace Corps). I could have been as smart, charming and sexy as you want - but if it came out that I had a girlfriend (let alone a wife), or had unresolved emotional issues with someone else, she would not have changed her life plans. Nice to have met you, goodbye. Throw in the fact that I was single and capable and willing of long-term commitment, now that's another story.

I suppose I could think of my other qualities as trump cards as well (my wife wouldn't have married someone just for being single, in fact she had had plenty of offers), but those qualities come pretty natural to me, I don't have to worry about them.

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Originally Posted by rory View Post
Since you don't want some general woman maybe not generalise women into some weird poly-dating-homogenous-mass? Maybe not think about poly dating as something completely foreign with some rulebook you need to learn to attract women (since there is not one, because women are people and, thus, will be attracted to different things). Do you really think your dating experiences from 30 years ago are very relevant for now? You don't relate to other things and relationships in your life as you did three decades ago (I assume), why would you do so with dating?
Actually, I do relate to most things in a fairly constant way. In my mind I am like a 20-year old, eager to go out and explore the world in all its wonders, and to find friends whatever I do. I am pretty good at it, too. I moved back to Vancouver last year, after more than 30 years absence, and I have made quite a few new friends, and I have immersed myself in a number of social groups, of which the local poly scene is just one.

From your comments (and those of others on this thread), one thing is obvious: I have created a somewhat skewed image of myself. That's because (getting back to one's true nature again), it is in my nature to immerse myself fully in whatever I do. Right now I am engaged in an online discussion of a hot topic (sex and dating, what could be hotter?), so I immerse myself in the discussion, revealing my innermost thoughts. This is what I think about, right now. I am intellectualizing, right now.

But come next Saturday, for example, and I am going to a Christmas Party organized by the local poly group. I assure you, I am not going to over-intellectualize anything. I will talk to a lot of people, I will approach those I find attractive and try to find common ground - I'll do what other normal people do on such occasions. My main problem is neither an inability to approach people nor being overly intellectual, but in sustaining conversations beyond the initial banter, unless there is a lot of intellectual overlap (as there was when I met my wife). But such meetings are rare, say they happen once a decade - hardly often enough to base my conversational skills on. Therefore I have to force myself to be more attentive in my conversations to what the other person wants to talk about.

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Originally Posted by rory View Post
My advice: stop thinking about attracting women/partners as a game. Start to think about meeting cool people, some of whom might be interested in you, as a new aspect of your life, which is not that different from other aspects of your life. Be yourself and have fun.
Done and thank you!
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