Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
Sabine
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Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:28 am

I have so many crushes on people on the app that are people my type and my age range, but unfortunately, people are not matching with me (at least immediately).

I haven’t been getting so many matches in terms of girlfriends and not for long and I hope to get close with someone during the quarantine (even if it just for friends). I really wonder what can be wrong with my profile or how am I going about it. I really want to attract a certain physical type, fellow femme, fashionable, long haired queer women that are 18-26 (thats my type). Maybe I am just way too picky, but I know what I want and I know what type I am really attracted to and I know what personality I am attracted to. But the sitch is, I also haven’t been on really so much dates in the first place in terms of romantically. I also am more comfortable online, since I get to see who is attracted to women or not or who is not and finding groups of women or people under 21 is rare (and also I feel too old). I also sometimes feel too young in some groups geared towards older women or people, like 18+. Even then, the people can be very scarce to date.

I have been to both a speed dating/mating event on my app and had some good friends that responded to me, but most of them were out of my age range and out of my country (plus my situation is quite complicated as well).

Could it also be the lack of activity in general or the interest in socialization because quarantine and people are focused on their own shit as well. I want to do more virtual (and in real life) pride events and more events where I can meet fellow femme lesbians, but it’s kinda hard. Plus, it may not last for long and I may be a little afraid of ghosting and of texting them for longer because they may be creeped out (that could be irrational). I really would like to do some zoom dating as well, but unfortunately, I do not get so many zoom dates with people and again, not the perfect match.

So, I don’t know what to do. I am in Europe and stuff is opening up and this one cafe is, but I know a connection will not form or may not last long because the distance. Also, I want to be as safe as possible as well too. I would really like some advice because I don’t want my pride to be a sad one and I am tired of being single (I am nearly 20 years old, I am a fellow high femme lesbian who has a vintage aesthetic, modern and sometimes punk aesthetic). Just feel hopeless during the quarantine and perhaps after - but don’t want to be!

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:48 am

Hi Sabine,

I think you're right that quarantine, social distancing, and people trying to follow safety guidelines around COVID-19 are playing at least some role here, since it's probably changing how people approach dating apps. That being said, if you have specific traits you like (which most people do) that will narrow the pool of dating prospects some. Too, can you give me a sense of how much reading you've done on how to make an effective dating profile?

It can also help to remember that luck and good timing are a bigger part of dating than many people admit. So patience is a big player when it comes to meeting people. Often, finding ways to meet people both on dating apps and off increases your chances of meeting someone you hit it off with. You mention wanting to do more Pride things this year. Have you found any online events you'll be attending?

Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:33 pm

To answer your first question, I have included 5 pictures of myself and this as my profile description:

“I’m an artistic femme lesbian, film major, animal lover, feminist and a major pop culture geek. I love to make art, watch youtube, watch netflix, make movies, act in them, make food, discuss philosophy and current events, listen to music and travel.

I am looking for a fellow femme for friendship and love, which means warm hugs, hand holding, kissing, empathy, the best is yet to come

Hit up me if you want some deep intellectual conversation and dank memes.”

Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:37 pm

To answer the second, trying to find events is hard because you have to look at specific sites and I feel its not all year round. Cafes in Europe may be open, the websites are not updating (also same for the virtual events). I am psyched for virtual Dyke March and SF pride and Vienna Pride, but I really want more details on the Dyke March and SF Pride! I also would like more chances to talk to people as well, which of course not everything has to lead to dating but ..., I lost one of my very great lesbian friends last and this year so I am very sad! In short, I am trying so hard, but I am not getting anywhere!

Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:59 pm

And also, I was thinking to ask my parents to go on another dating app at the same time, but then they disapproved of this one (which is called Tinder). It got some interest in me because my mom’s friends daughter found her girlfriend there. Also, I heard some other people found their soulmates there, so I want to try it, but I can’t because my parents. I have to get approval of them for everything. With my lack or people to socialize due to me forgetting or just anxiety, it seems like I have them to trust and them to talk to mainly. But thats a whole nother issue, its a silly thing for me to really want an app your dad doesn't approve of because it isn’t safe (we agreed that discord is a no no for me because even though I wanted to talk to people I know in this one group, it is not a secure website, maybe even so than Tinder) even though I have feelings. I have been trying to fight all of these love feelings and I know patience is key, but GOD I feel so lonely some of the people I have around me (online and off)!

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:18 am

Can I ask why your parents have a say over whether you get to use Discord or certain dating apps? You mention that you need to get their approval for everything, but given your age, it seems like now is the time they (and you) may want to be practicing you making those decisions for yourself.

I think exploring those Pride options is a great idea! With feeling lonely and wanting spaces where you can meet other lesbians, were you super involved in those spaces prior to the pandemic?

Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:05 am

My dad is a cybersecurity expert and he has to check every single app and setting before I interact with people. I made several mistakes sending nudes to people and getting catfished on Insta and guess what, my insta got hacked. Now my parents can monitor my account! I try to be so safe and I can tell when a person is a catfish! That trust is kind of broken and my parents were like that before then and actually deleted my first instagram account when I let too many strangers into my private account.

In terms of the Discord, my parents determined that I can only talk to people on that one group where I was before (only one girl couldn’t have so many messages or chats, so Discords). However, I cannot let people into public chats because considering my behavior (which is true, I have been acting quite lonely and self hating sometimes) and most of them are even men.

I heard this is not for Tinder my moms friends daughter (who I am becoming a friend of) as she many many wlw people and I want to try it. Again, I want to advocate for myself, but don’t want to get myself upset. My parents are reasonable, not abusive. I love them and they are supportive and they move me so much!

Yeah, I was kind of. I was involved in the QSA and I was involved in little clubs and of course I was online.

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:21 am

Has the QSA or those other clubs you were involved in moved online or otherwise kept going during the pandemic? That might be a way to stay connected to people you already knew and got along with.

Thank you for all that background. I can see how those incidents would make both you and your parents more inclined to tighten security on your digital presence. That being said, it doesn't seem like this is going to be a sustainable solution long-term, especially if a lot of your social and dating life will be online. It's already affecting your ability to date, since it's removed a platform you want to use from the running. And, if I knew a potential partner (or even a potential friend) had parents who were heavily monitoring their accounts, it might limit my willingness to engage with them there, you know?

At a certain point it may be a better plan for you to take what you've learned from those mistakes and learn how to use it to be safer going forward. Vetting strangers, learning who to let into our online circles, and even how to spot red flags of a predatory or dishonest person are all important skills in this day and age. But it's going to be harder for you to learn them if your parents are acting as the gatekeepers. Does that make sense?

Too, if you worry that some of your self-hating or other unhealthy behaviors might manifest on social media or other online spaces, that's something to bring up and work on with a therapist.

Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:32 am

I haven’t heard much from this QSA, which is my college QSA. There is a private Discord, which again, I don’t have and forgot about.

Yeah. I really understand. They don’t constantly monitor my account though, they can watch what I do on my phone, but they don’t! They also have my passwords to my account, but its for safety reasons. I love them truly, they are supportive of online dating, they allowed me to go to TWO online speed friending events! Just sometimes they are also worried not only about the safety but the time and about me getting overwhelmed with the amount of things I want to do or time to do! Need to reduce the amount of stuff I do, again online dating takes time but the app I have is kind of at a dry spell and I vibed with people but people ghosted me so badly.

And they have been complementing me on how safe I have been and how better I have been on detecting catfishes and on conversation (I have autism and I have had great social skills). And when I read my texts between my moms friends daughter, my mom was kind of shocked.

Again, I am kind of not worried as I am the kind of person to stand up for myself when it gets dangerous, when they want nudes, when they want money, when they want to sext. Basically, if it puts me in trouble or my account to get hacked. However, I have trouble when a friend or person I don’t get along with (like people in the past), mostly in person or a family member gives me feedback or wants me to do something I don’t want to do. Especially when its family. I have an irrational fear of confrontation and getting rejected for my ideas, and that could be definitely true here.

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Alexa » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:28 am

Hi Sabine,

It sounds like 1) the venues that you're currently using (apps, etc.) are not working well for you right now, and 2) you're talking a lot about how/whether to expand your reach using other sites and ways of engaging with folks with your parents. Since, as you've talked about with Sam, online is the safest way to go during this pandemic, I'm glad we're talking about expanding those options!

Could you tell me more about what these conversations look like with your parents? I think that even if you are okay with their involvement in your making choices about dating & talking to folks online, it's still very worth it to talk about how you can advocate for yourself with them when you're trying to branch out and meet more people. I agree with Sam that doing so online during this time, and while you're young, is great practice! It might be helpful to think here about sharing your wants and needs/establishing your autonomy with your folks.
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Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:51 pm

They have in the past, but they have not gotten me real dates. But besides that no one is really dating during quarantine, so why should I be worrying about that. I should be worrying about it when I get back to the states, which is late July or early August. In addition, we paid premium for the other app, so I do not want to delete it or get rid of it! I just want to consider Tinder as an option as well, but I am going to work it out with my therapist on how to speak to my parents as well. And yes, we are considering offline options as well like bars and clubs in Austria (when they open) or through LGBTQ+ friends of Delaney and moms friends.

They are okay with the concept, its the app they may not be. They have to check the app first and thats the problem. Plus, I am scared its me thats the problem, as I tend to get upset and I am non confrontational (which is irrational). I just need to advocate on this specific app - Tinder.

Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:32 am

Update: Now I did some research on Tinder and I am a little cautious, there is a tone of queer women, but there is a ton of straight men and a ton of couple hunting unicorns even if you go through the filters. But, she does say its easy to use and she had many relationships, but I am not so sure and ultimately, I have to use it myself. And I don’t want to quit the other one entirely, even though there is less people. But does it make sense to use two apps at the same time and use offline options? Does it also make sense to use Tinder?

On top of that, Mom and Dad says to keep your options open because they met in a class in their 30s and my sister and her boyfriend met while she was at a swim meeting in Budapest. However, it is not that simple for me as a queer woman and I am more comfortable interacting online in terms of relationships when they are a woman. I want them to understand that, but its my fault for being so desperate (even though I am trying and not being passive) and maybe in the end its not hard, but its my own fault. Who knows!

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:23 am

Hi Sabine,

In terms of the online options, plenty of people use more than one platform or app to look for dates. So, if you like the one app but what to try others as well, that's something you can totally do!

With your parents advocating to keep your options open, it might help to remind them that looking for dates online doesn't remove your ability to meet potential partners out in the world. Too, looking online and in person is technically keeping more options open than just focusing on looking in person. And as you point out, dating as a queer woman comes with it's own challenges, and using online options is a way of dealing with those challenges.

You've mentioned a few times that you're scared you're the problem or that you worry you're at fault. Can you say a little more about where those worries are coming from?

Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:13 pm

Thanks and I want to do that, but I really don’t want my parents to make sure that am not overwhelmed with time and stuff to do. I complain that I don’t achieve my goals enough so I don’t want them to worry too as all I complain about is friends and girlfriends, but focus and study hard and actually do stuff! But I may not get Tinder plus or gold (where I can change my location), so I may just get it while I am in the US.

I really would like them to understand this, but the perspective is really hard especially when they have their own ideas. Also having other apps is also having other options too. Its keeping a lot of options open. They approved of recently a speeding dating event which is on an different app I tried to be on. I hopefully will attend it!

For one thing, I am non confrontational and I always internalize everything. If I seem wrong and I cry and I break down, then I am the problem for instigating the conflict. I always feel like this because of my anxiety and I dump my problems sometimes when I am upset. I really should keep things to myself or I would not take advantage of or embarrass myself. Further, it convinces some people that I am not ready for a relationship (which is not true in my perspective, but okay).

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:28 pm

Have you ever talked with your therapist about how you approach conflict or feeling upset or anxious? Crying when you're upset, or even venting about your problems is automatically "instigating" a conflict. But if you feel like dealing with conflict is something that's really hard for you, that's definitely a skill that can be learned.

Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:06 am

Well, my parents don’t feel that way, but I do. My parents and other people feel that I don’t start fights but I do. I don’t want to make people upset or end relationships. I want to deepen them, which is what makes a great girlfriend relationship. But all I ever get is ghosts. My lesbian friend from one year is gone and now her mom is contacting me because she cut off everyone (we were so close). A lot of people are gone in my life. I feel so bad that I may have been the cause of that and I am drifting further apart especially during corna. I am going to another event and I am going to Pride events in Vienna and my anxiety is kicking because I want full fledged relationships but I know it will all be practice. I don’t want to get hurt or hurt anybody and I know it may be my fault ... how can I fall so quickly into infatuation or friendship and then flighty and fall so quickly out of?

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Heather » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:25 am

Hey there, Sabine.

I don't think it's flighty to fall quickly in and out of infatuation because that's kind of what infatuation is all about. In other words, infatuation can feel deep when it happens, but it's usually something that lives very much on the surface of things. Because of that, it's easy to fall both in and out of it, because it hasn't really gone deep in us. Do you know what I mean?

With the friend you're talking about, that doesn't sound like that one is one you.

Honestly, I think that right now, with the pandemic, is pretty much the worst time ever for anyone to be trying to find new relationships, especially dating relationships. I know that really sucks when you feel lonely and really want those relationships, but I do truly think that for just about everyone, trying to date at this moment in time is more likely to be an exercise in frustration than anything else.

On the other hand, I think it can be a good time for trying to make and nurture friendships, which we also all need and which also help us develop social and relationship skills. Friendship is the basis of all good relationships, after all. How do you feel about potentially truing to make that shift for now?
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Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:44 am

Yeah, it kinda feels like that. But ontop of my fear of confrontation and disappointment and perhaps a self eating tail of not wanting to be ghosted, I already put myself into a compromising positioning.

Well, this friend even cut off her mom and her brothers! And I am trying to climb out of that hole by texting some people. But maintaining close connections is hard. I like your shift in focus, but I still really want to date and try to do so. Perhaps, I am going to try Tinder when I get back to the US as well. I want to discuss it with mom and dad without crying and have me be safe as possible, but of course, I don’t want to upset them.

Just, it feels like a long time and I know I never know who I meet along this way, but I’m afraid they will not be near me because it is not possible. It seems so sad for me because I have been trying so hard since the beginning of last year and beginning to think its me rather than other people (even though they have shown interest in me and I know I have great qualities).

Also, I know I don’t want to compare myself to other people and I don’t want to log out of social media. But maybe its not my purpose to have a girlfriend because others deserve better and actually worked hard to get there!

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Heather » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:30 am

I hear all that you're saying and I absolutely understand why you're feeling the way you are. I agree that it sounds very sad for you! This is really terrible timing. I'm so sorry. I don't think this is about it being your "purpose" or not to have a girlfriend: we all deserve love and intimacy. I think it's just a matter of you having some complicated circumstances, limited opportunities and then, of course, a freaking global pandemic. :(

I wonder if maybe if might work for you to think about this giving you time to lay some groundwork for when <knock wood> we are in a different place with the pandemic and dating is more possible? For instance, maybe now is a time to start having a series of talks with your parents to gradually work out ways for you to be able to use Tinder or other apps safely? Maybe also you can start to work with them to find some middle ground between their concerns and your desire to date?

By any chance, have you looked into if there are any LGBTQ+ community groups in your area?
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Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:14 am

Yeah, I know. I am coming up with a plan for socialization as well with my parents too. My moms friends daughters girlfriend and her actually want to hang out with me! So, that great!

Yes, I am trying to have that talk and I sent an email to my therapist and my dad at the same time. I am considering Bumble as well as Tinder. They are more open about online dating because of my being a queer woman, the results about my current dating app and the COVID-19.

Also, after going to the find femmes event, I really hit it off with a Danish girl. I don’t know if I am ready for a long distance relationship. I want to video call her soon as a friend, but I don’t know if shes interested in me and I am kind of afraid of her ghosting me.

Yes I did. I want to go to bars in my area frequently.

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Amanda F. » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:17 pm

HI Sabine,

Those plans sound good! As for the Danish girl, there's no way to know what she wants except to just ask. I totally hear you on the fear of being ghosted - that's a reasonable concern, especially these days. But if you don't ask her how she feels or whether she'd be interested in some kind of a relationship, you'll never know. Dating can definitely require steeling yourself with bravery sometimes. You've got this!

We've got some tips on how to do that here (the piece applies to all genders): How do I ask a guy out?

What do you think you might say to her, to see if she's interested/tell her how you feel?

Sabine
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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:11 am

Well ...
Turns out she wanted to find someone near me and I explained to her I just wanted to be friends. And then, she stopped talking to me frequently.

I joined another event by the same company, except its the UK and EU and I had to clarify with them that I am staying in Austria, I live in the US! I am coming home in August!

Why do I keep failing at this? Why do I keep failing in relationships and friendships or at least FEEL like it! I recently have a new match (and she friend requested too) and she seems like a genuine person, she asked me about movie recommendations and also about how I am doing during the quarantine. I really don’t want her to to ghost me or vice versa! She didn’t leave me on read nor read my messages. I’m worried though, is it something with me or my anxiety.

I really want more than ever to maintain relationships in the US! But I’m afraid I cannot and I won’t be able to with people who want to meet up with me in Europe. It feels like its just me, my family and my sisters friends, my online friends and my existing friends in the US occasionally. Feels like its been fading more and more ...

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Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Siân » Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:44 am

Hey Sabine,

I think that you make an important distinction here - you FEEL like you're failing, but I don't think relationships are really something that you fail at. You mentioned a therapist - have you spoken to them about the fears you have about being ghosted, and how it feels like you need a relationship urgently?

In your last paragraph, you mention having quite a lot of connections, with family and online/faraway friends. What is it that seems to be fading? How much time are you spending connecting with the people already in your life vs new - potentially exciting! - people?

Sabine
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My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: California, USA

Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:05 am

Yes I have. I feel like I need urgently friends and a relationship because of how hard COVID-19 is, bot that it is hard for me because I can go outside but because distance away from my actual home. I want to get emotionally invested, but I know it will sometimes hurt. But, I know I will be lonely if I isolate myself!

It seems to be fading because I cannot keep consistently contacting those friends either via text but most important video. The new people, I am spending a little more with than my friends. But perhaps, my family I am spending time with, but I don’t seem to be intimate or close even when I tell them my issues and sometimes when we get into arguments I feel bad. They are not abusive or cold, just not always understanding of how I react (which is odd). Perhaps we are spending too much time together?

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6515
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Why can’t I find a girlfriend?

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:30 am

In those conversations with your therapist, what have they advised in terms of dealing with those fears and feelings of urgency?

With staying in contact, what if you tried something simple like setting reminders for yourself to text them or see if they're interested in chatting? That way you keep consistent contact and keep fostering those relationships.

With your parents, what reactions of yours do they not seem to understand?


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