I originally grew up in Dallas, TX, and never had any problem meeting guys. I always had boyfriends from about the age of 15 or 16. In Texas, men are known to be confident and aggressive, and southern people are generally thought of to have good manners.
When I moved to San Francisco, things were definitely a little bit different. I spent most of my twenties by day going to City College and San Francisco State University, and by night attending Rockabilly, Punk, New Wave and Rock n Roll haunts. I’ve always been perceived by others to be an attractive girl, having been asked to participate in photo shoots, fashion shows, or to go-go dance at clubs or for bands. I noticed I was going out and being looked at a lot, but I felt like guys would stare at and never approach. I know I just said that I’m aware that others perceive me as attractive, but I can also say with certainty that I am not by any means a super model or anything. I only included this detail so that it is understood that the reason men were not approaching me is probably not because I am unattractive.
I can’t possibly even count the number of times that I’ve been told by friends throughout my life that “I am intimidating.” I think I am very friendly and approachable, especially in the settings of our local SF music community, where I have always felt the most at home. I was single for the longest stretch of my life at the time—4 years—and I felt this was because guys just weren’t aggressive enough. That’s not to say, I want someone to come be overtly aggressive, just confident enough to not be intimidated by me.
Finally at around 28 years old, I decided that if I didn’t want to be single forever, I would have to take matters into my own hands. I had to motivate myself to get out of my comfort zone (which was traditional male and female gender stereotypes of men being the hunter or the approacher), and I had to force myself to be the one to approach. Basically, I had to go after what I wanted, just like men have had to do since the beginning of time.
At first, this can feel embarrassing, but that is what “getting out of your comfort zone” is all about. Once I committed to have that confidence, I do feel that things changed. I would simply tell a guy, “Hi, you’re cute,” and a conversation would usually happen. Many times, I approached a guy, and we ended up hitting it off and dating. I asked a few of them if I hadn’t approached them, would they have ever approached me, and almost all of them said no! I can’t pretend that I fully understand this. I don’t know why I feel that most men I find attractive never single me out. I do try to tell my girlfriends that it is not that hard, and that they should “go for it” and make the first move if they see someone that interests them. Often times, it is as simple as just saying “Hi.” You know, it is often said that people regret the things they didn’t do… not the things they did.
When I made this change, it was before the internet and social media had taken off, it was before everyone had cell phones and were texting, and it was before the days of online dating, which is a whole other animal. Although all these things have changed society and dating, I still think meeting in person organically is my favorite way to meet. I think I’ve done a little bit of every kind of dating of every kind of guy there is. To this day, I am 41 years old, and people are still telling me that I am intimidating! I’ve had a lot of different relationships of various lengths, and I am at a unique place in my life at the moment where I may be the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I’m single and not officially dating anyone at the moment. After so many experiences, my current headspace is I am so happy and comfortable with myself, I am not interested in a relationship or dating unless the right guy shows up and I really feel it. I don’t need a guy in my life in order to be happy. In fact, most of the time when I am in a relationship, I have a lot of complaints and frustrations.
At this moment in time, I am choosing ME over all else. I’m doing whatever I want, however I want, and I’m not worried or bothered about being single at all. I have endless possibilities. I think my mother and society kind of brainwashed me into thinking I was supposed to find a guy to share my life with. I have to say, being happy and single is pretty fun. I like not knowing what is next. Any time I am in a new place, anything can happen. I still have a totally open heart, and I believe there is probably a dream guy out there for me, and if he pops up, I’m ready for him, and I’ll even be the one to approach him if I have to. I’ve heard a lot of people say that love finds you if you’re not looking for it. I’ve also heard that if you are happy with yourself, then you are ready to receive it. I am both of those things, and I’m also truly content with ME being enough. All that said, I want more women to know that the sexiest thing in the world is confidence. This is pretty universal. Don’t doubt yourself, and don’t wait to be approached. If you see someone you want to meet, GO FOR IT, and if you don’t really feel confident, “fake it til you make it,” because that is how you will learn and eventually, you will really have it.