First: Thanks everyone for all of the great posts, comments and advice.I promise I have not been ignoring this thread and everyone's great PM's... it's just when I get depressed I crawl into a hole and hide there for days on end. When I'm down I find social interaction to be extremely draining and difficult.
As many pointed out, I am very much lacking in self confidence, especially when it comes to women. Something I didn't share before is one of the main reasons why this is so... going through middle school and high school I was your classic "target". Sure, there were the bullies (That is a whole other story )... but I was also the target of some seriously twisted girls. They would intentionally approach me and act friendly as a setup and then do or say things for the express purpose of humiliating me for the entertainment of their friends.
I think two of the worst would be: In middle school I found a "secret admirer" note in my locker. It went on and on about how great I was and asked me to meet her at my locker after school... when I showed up I was met by a group of the "popular / in crowd" girls all laughing their ass off at me, "as if" was the main thing they kept saying. Another was when I was waiting in high school in the school administrative office to take care of some normal school business. Again, some of the "popular / in crowd" girls, two of them this time, where going on and on about all of the "things" they did with guys when out on dates. They were being quite explicit and ensured I heard every word. After going on like this for awhile they started talking to me cracking jokes about how "inadequate" I must be... hand motions, gestures and all. This went on for quite some time until I was called to the office I was there to see.
There are quite a few more I could post... but you get the idea. After such experiences I became "conditioned" to expect the same treatment from all girls. Even to this day when a girl talks to me my first instinct is to panic wondering what humiliating thing she is trying to setup for the entertainment of her friends. It takes a great deal of effort for me to suppress these thoughts and feelings.
I guess my point is that after going through so many similar situations I can't help but conclude women have absolutely no interest in me, so why even try?
I have managed to flirt and play with a few women and have some good experiences... most here. It just seems that the times we actually get to meet in person and spend any significant amount of time around each other are far and few between.
My main wish would be that I could get over all of the BS and conditioning of the past and have a normal social life with women who actually live in the same city I live in.
And I need to tell you that there is someone who thinks you are EXTREMELY cute but unfortunately she's not available. However, she always asks about you when she calls me, so don't ever think you haven't got a mojo working, because you do!
You bring up a very interesting topic that I have wondered about for a very long time. I'm not kidding or exaggerating when I say this, but one of my biggest obstacles is the fact that nearly all of the women who show any significant (and romantic) interest in me are married or in a relationship! When I stop and think about it I am amazed at the number... hell even at this very moment there is a married woman at work who is making it exceedingly clear that she wants more than to be "just a friend". For those wondering, I have not acted on this for several reasons, and I have no plans to either.
I have considered that maybe this is in part my fault because when a woman is married the pressure is off for me... I don't feel compelled to "try" and I relax more... which in turn allows me to interact and communicate far better.
Again... many thanks to everyone for listening to be moan and belly ache.