Here's the situation. I was physically and mentally abused by my father for 15 years. The physical abuse is hard to get past, yes, but the mental abuse has taken its toll in a big way. We moved away and I had therapy and managed to, at least intellectually, come to grips with it was his fault, not mine. But then, terror struck again. I had a stalker, which caused me to move back home and spend a year trying to shake the feeling of being followed. During which time, my stepfather tried to rape me, sending me into a whole new level of hell.

It's been seven years since the attempted rape. I have male friends, I no longer flinch when they come near, I've been through numerous therapy sessions, and I even fell in love. Unfortunately for me, the love was not reciprocated.   I want to get out and date again, but I have a few big hang ups about it. First there is the bar thing. I walk into a bar and my breasts seem to be beacons for every drunk guy with no personality or ability to understand the word no in the bar. Doesn't matter what bar, if there's an asshole, he finds me. And since I'm hypersensitive, I do not react well. So one bad bar incident and I hide for months.

The other problem is intelligence. I know that sounds arrogant, but I'm a PhD student so a guy who talks about World of Warcraft immediately makes me mentally (and sometimes really) groan and then list the multitude of social problems caused by these games. Same works the other way; they ask about what I do and within 10 seconds they're looking for an exit or asleep.
So, any suggestions on where to find intelligent guys in a non-bar atmosphere? Something like dating with training wheels?C.


Whoa.  That’s some heavy stuff right there.  Before I go any further, on behalf of everyone reading this I give you major props for being so goddamn strong to move though these horrible experiences. If I could give you a chest bump, I would. 

Okay, but let’s get back to the reason you wrote in -- finding dudes.  Look, I’m not going to pretend like trying to find a good guy is awesome and easy.  There’s a lot of douche.  And you’ve got to go digging through some knee-deep diarrhea before you find a good ‘ol nugget.   It’s just the truth. 

C, if you’re looking to grease up those dating training wheels the best place to take a ride is online.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if I was single this is definitely the way I’d go. I wouldn’t like it, it would feel totally unnatural, but there’s no denying it’s how a lot of people hook up these days. A lot of my single friends are on a bunch of different sites, and it’s pretty crazy how many have met their long term boyfriends and now husbands on the internet.  

Now, again, be prepared as there will be some serious grossies, but the great thing is you have control over who you want or don’t want to talk to. So C, it’s homework time.  I want you to make an online profile tonight.  You don’t have to start chatting with dudes right away, but join a site and ease your way into it. 
Next thing you need to do is mix up your social scene a bit.  There’s gotta be some cooler joints in your hood that aren’t just filled with drunk tit gazers.  So grab a friend and start exploring some different hangouts.

Finally, and most importantly, start to do some things you’ve always wanted to do but never seemed to make the time for.  Every week you should be scouring the events in your city, so you know….lectures, art exhibits, interesting classes...just do those things that take that extra bit of motivation or courage because that will put you in a space with like-minded people.  This isn’t only great for personal growth but social growth.  The more you expand, the more you can take in.  

I really hope this helps C, and please feel free to write me back if you have any questions about some good dating sites or if you need me to scope out some cool events that are happening in your city. xx