Ask Margot-I’m Just One Of The Guys…

Men see her as a pal, not a potential partner. How can she change that perception?

By Margot Carmichael Lester

ear Margot,
I'm surrounded by eligible bachelors in my church's singles ministry, but none of them wants to date me. They all consider me their confidante. So I hear all about who else they want to date. Why don't any of them want to date me?
I've been the consummate gal pal for what seems like centuries.
I'm fun, I love sports, and I think men rock. So what's the problem?
— One of the Guys

Dear One,
You are preaching to the choir on this one, sister. Story. Of. My. Life. I've been the consummate gal pal for what seems like centuries. So I know all too well how frustrating it is when you hear every single thing about the love lives of cute and available men, except the one thing you want to hear. So let's see what we can do to get you the attention you desire.

There are a bunch of reasons a guy may love you, but not love you. Here are the most popular:

He genuinely wants to be your friend.
Some guys just dig us as people. They don't feel the necessary fuego to think of us as potential dates. But they do like spending time with us. And they genuinely care. There's not much you can do in this case except enlist his help as a wingman.

He likes the company of women, but doesn't want the strings.
This is my friend Misha. He consistently chose to spend time with me over other, obviously interested, women. But it wasn't because he really wanted to have a romance with me. He saw me, his "pal," as a way to be seen with a cool chick, without actually having to be with one. He didn't like feeling obliged, and going everywhere with me kept him free of that kind of entanglement.

He needs a place-holder.
This one's kind of complicated. Maybe he's just out of a bad relationship and is trying to fill the void safely with a lady friend like you. I once was crazy about a guy who seemed interested, but always talked about the fiancée who left him. After a while, I realized that he was trying to make me fit the hole she left in his life.

But it's not all on the dudes, here, sugar. Could be that some of these gents aren't beating a path to your door because they think you're not interested or available. Ironic, isn't it? And yet, it happens more often than we like to think.

"But, Margot," I hear you wailing, "I'm in a singles ministry. Why would I be doing that if I weren't interested in dating?"

If only it — or men — were that simple. Make sure of a few things before you go any further:

Are you looking and acting like a woman?
One way to get the guys to date you is to make sure they stop seeing you as
Be a little less friendly and a little more flirty with the dudes who interest you.
one of them. I don't mean you have to dress like Ginger on Gilligan's Island (in many polls, after all, it's Mary Ann most dudes want to date), but you've got to get your girl on. Be a little less friendly and a little more flirty with the dudes who interest you. And accentuate your physical beauty. If you wear makeup, get a professional consultation. And think about getting a few good wardrobe items that really play up your best attributes.

Are you confident and secure?
Do you feel like you can compete with the women these men are dating now? If you think you can't, you won't be able to. So take a quick inventory of all the things you have to offer as a girlfriend (physical and otherwise). Heck, even ask your guy friends what they think. Then paste that to your bathroom mirror. Go over the list every morning and night, and just before you go out. You'll start to believe it. It sounds crazy, but I know it works because I've done it myself!

Are you becoming friends too quickly?
We know we can go too fast in a physical relationship, but we can do the same thing with friendships. If a guy you're interested in starts treating you like a buddy, step back a bit. Be less accessible and more girly. If you let it go too far, it might be too hard for him to see you any other way.

While you're working on all this, go ahead and tell your buddies that you need an assist—that you want to meet someone to date, whether it's in the singles ministry or not. And it's their job to help you. You'll have some new guys to practice your feminine wiles on, and you might just find the man of your dreams in one of the new guys—or one of the old ones!

If you have a faith-based dating conundrum and want columnist Margot Carmichael Lester's advice, drop her a line at
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