Lesbianing with AE! Are You Undateable?

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Dear Lindsey,

Why do the women I like always see me as a friend and nothing more? I haven’t had a girlfriend in ages. Every woman I click with either has a girlfriend already or is not interested in me that way. I’ve started feeling like there’s something wrong with me that they can see, but I can’t.

-JD

Hi JD,

Some friends of mine had a similar issue where they always fell for women who were married or partnered – physically and emotionally unavailable in other words. They would get intense crushes, hyper-analyze everything they knew about their fantasy woman and her partner, wallow in the whole “why is this happening to me” thing, bemoan life, and then find another unavailable woman to crush out on.

All this when there were plenty of unattached or non-monogamous dateable women out there who they could have given their attention to.

You could have the worst karma, but I’m wondering if there isn’t something similar going on for you. Your attention is a limited resource. Are you, intentionally or not, squandering it on women who can’t be yours because you’re afraid of some aspect of being in a relationship? Is it safer and easier for you to crush out on your happily coupled gym buddy than risk a crush on someone who could date you?

Your attention is a limited resource. Are you, intentionally or not, squandering it on women who can’t be yours because you’re afraid of some aspect of being in a relationship? Is it safer and easier for you to crush out on your happily coupled gym buddy than risk a crush on someone who could date you?

Your attention is a limited resource. Are you, intentionally or not, squandering it on women who can’t be yours because you’re afraid of some aspect of being in a relationship? Is it safer and easier for you to crush out on your happily coupled gym buddy than risk a crush on someone who could date you?

As for being friend-zoned all the time, are you being too shy? Are you approaching new women as friends — no checking them out, no light flirting, no sweet texts, none of that vaguely romantic stuff? You have to show your hand a little bit.

This might be as simple as telling someone at the end of a night out that you had a great time and you would love to do it again. Like, telling them in person and watching their face for reactions. If their cheeks blush or their eyes twinkle or a smile passes across their face, they might be interested in you as more than a friend. If they nod and say something like, “Yeah, this was fun, next time I’m going hiking I’ll let you know,” then they’re not into you that way and knowledge is power.

My hunch is, if you could get it sorted sooner you’d be alright. You wouldn’t let yourself get hung up on women you kind-of-like but don’t know how to ask out. You wouldn’t construct elaborate fantasies about your first kiss. You’d see there wasn’t a mutual spark, you’d let it turn into friendship, and you’d move on emotionally.

If you could get it sorted sooner you’d be alright. You wouldn’t let yourself get hung up on women you kind-of-like but don’t know how to ask out. You wouldn’t construct elaborate fantasies about your first kiss. You’d see there wasn’t a mutual spark, you’d let it turn into friendship, and you’d move on emotionally.

It’s when you get stuck in these patterns that problems arise. You want change — women who like you back, women who are available to you — and so it’s up to you to make it.

Part of that is recognizing the patterns that hold you back. Part of it is owning your responsibility in keeping those patterns alive.

And the rest of it is changing what’s driving you mad by making different choices in the moment. It’s not an easy process and I don’t mean to suggest that it is, but in a way your being stuck is something to celebrate, because it’s pushed you to the point of making change.

Also? You might be too picky! If everyone you like is either already partnered or not into you that way, try to broaden your dating pool. Revisit some of those criteria that go into your ideal type. Dare yourself to go out with someone who is so totally not your type. Embrace the learning curve. Try something new, because what you’ve been doing has only gotten you here.

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