I'm thinking I should just enter new posts on this subject rather than my original plan of going back to the original and editing it over and over as needed. I know I'd need to edit several times.
This was so clear earlier today when I thought about doing it.... Anyway, I have more or less given up on the "direct" approach of actually proposing a date face to face. It's too risky to approach a stranger [based on appearance alone] or an associate [that is, that stage between stranger and friend], and I don't have any female friends that aren't either married or not interested in me for some other reason. I'd FAR rather date a friend. That could actually be fun rather than the normal blank look and then the sort of "how do I get out of this?" look I've gotten every time I've ever tried the direct approach before. Where would I approach a stranger? If it's some place I'm more comfortable, I risk them complaining to the management and me losing a place I actually like for NO gain. If it's a new place, I'm less comfortable, and even less likely to sound properly confident and not arrogant. Anyway, previous attempts have been failures, research indicates that this is a likely outcome in any case, and a viable alternative does exist.
One of those "previous attempts" is a woman in my gardening volunteer group. See? I'm taking all the steps for being more social: volunteering, asking for advice from friends at work, and even going back to school. Anyway, I asked that woman at the group. She said she'd get back to me....and then didn't get back to me. I should have realized what that meant, but I really was interested in her, so I asked her. She got that look and then I knew, but it was too late to pretend I wasn't interested. You can't bail out. You have to ride it down in flames because any attempt to bail looks even worse. Or anyway, I think it does.
So, I do the computer dating thing. I know more about the prospect going in, and not just what she looks like. She's obviously willing to date, opposed to the total unknown with approaching strangers or the near unknown with associates. She's probably looking for someone slightly "higher" up the traditional 1-10 number scale than she is [aren't we all looking for someone better?], and so I should confine my search to women slightly with a slightly lower number than I have.
I know what sort of "look" I want. I'd rather see a woman in her work clothes, or whatever she would be wearing if the encounter wasn't a date. It's more intimate. I feel like being dressed up is a mask, and I'm honored when I don't have to try and look past it. Not wearing the mask is a clear sign of trust, and I truly value that. It's one of the things that impressed me about my [now ex] wife. She wore "normal" clothes on the second date. I was flattered.
Current progress: 22 or 23 dates. 1 six month relationship. Hundreds of profiles read. Most of those 23 are after that six month thing, and most were from Match.com. I'm on eHarmony instead now, and I have resolved to only be on one paid site at a time and to only accept a few "matches" [or whatever Harm calls them] at a time to avoid super saturation. I find that I really have no way other way to limit the contacts to a level where I can easily keep track. I would prefer to just accept 3 or 4 at a time, and weed them out [or they weed me out] and I would replace them from the pool of candidates, but it doesn't work that way. For one thing, some don't bother to reply one way or the other. For another, they all reply at different rates, so some of the ones that I think aren't going to reply are merely going to reply when I'm already communicating with 3-4 other prospects. It's no where near as efficient as I'd like.
I have finally more or less settled on my own profile wording after making it more specific as I got more replies and then less as I got less replies. Odd that it happens that way. The more I say what I'm actually like and what I actually want, the less replies I get. One less from that experiment: never admit to any faults. I'm not sure why that is... maybe because all the women just assume part of the profile will be lies and if I'm talking about faults then I must be REALLY screwed up? I don't know. I've heard that soldiers have to look like young Napolean's on their efficiency reports just to have any chance of promotion. Is that for the same reason? There are many parallels between getting promoted and getting a date.
However, I wish it wasn't like that. I wish it was like the movies or TV.... Every homely woman is actually a swan in disguise, and only the jerk males are going to be dateless by the end of the story. You can be yourself without fear of being ostracised. You've seen those things.
Hmm. THis is too long... I should probably try and pare it down....