Direct Answers – Empty Plate


I’m a 31-year-old female, in my last year of college, and working part-time in my field. I think for the most part I’m fairly attractive, funny, and nice, but I seem to have trouble with men. My last long-term relationship was three years ago, and since then, I’ve just had a mess of casual dating relationships.

I do think I’m a great catch, but I have some self-esteem issues that may be holding me back. The biggest one being that I’m very petite. I’m an inch over five feet, and I have a teeny athletic frame. Therefore, I do not have the typical woman figure. No breasts, no hips, no long legs. This makes shopping for women-like clothes difficult, and I know good clothes can definitely increase self-esteem!

I also do not look my age. I’d say I look five or six years younger at least. So, I’ve always been the “cute one” or “little sister” type. This overall image of myself hinders my personal relationships, I think.

I feel men aren’t instantly attracted to me because of this. I’m the friend, never the girlfriend. I just don’t know how to change these thoughts. When I look at myself in the mirror, I know I look as good as I can. I work with what I have, but I guess I don’t feel sexy or womanly.

I’ve also had trouble with friendships. Don’t get me wrong. I have my close friends, but I’m not good with meeting new people and forging friendships from those meetings. I’m not good at small talk. When I do try to do it, I feel so fake.

At this age, a lot of my friends are married, have homes, and babies, and their lives are the complete opposite of mine, so I feel really unconnected to them. I also feel like there is a shortage of single people, because when I do meet new people I connect with, everyone is in a relationship.

Being in a relationship really does make people act different. They don’t go out as much without their partner, so it’s been trying to keep a close relationship with many of my girlfriends. It’s frustrating. Small talk with females is far more difficult than small talk with males. Well, at least males I’m not attracted to. When I am attracted to a guy, I can’t really talk to him without feeling totally awkward.

The industry I work in also makes it difficult to form certain friendships. I work in construction as a project coordinator. I love my job! And yes, there is an abundance of men working in construction, but most are men I don’t want to be friends with. The ones that are a little extra special are already taken. I feel my career choice keeps me from feeling ultra-feminine, but I love what I do.

I was hoping you may be aware of some good self-help books. I’ve read a lot but haven’t found any to be all that useful. Or perhaps you have some words of advice.

I know I’m a great catch, but so far no one has tried to reel me in. The only men that seem to be attracted to me and who, I guess, I’m attracted to at first, are the unavailable ones. Whether it be because they aren’t ready to commit, or they have a girlfriend, or they are looking at me on the side, either way, it’s bad news. I’m no side dish. I want to be the main course!

~ Sandi

Sandi, you are in a male-dominated industry and can’t find a man. That’s painful and discouraging. At this season of festive meals, we’ll see if we can come up with the right recipe for you next week.

~ Wayne & Tamara

[email protected]

Direct Answers for the week of December 30, 2019

read more relationship advice from Wayne and Tamara


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here