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Dating and Relating

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I am 18, and a bit of a loner. I have never been in a relationship of any kind, and I’d just like to ask how the entire process works.  I have girl friends, of course, but it’s the all important space between the words. As a bit of background, I am a geek, smart, but socially inept. I have no idea what to say to people, and thus never make the first move in any way. If someone else starts a conversation with me, I can generally muddle along, but I am forever second guessing myself. I would not say that I lack confidence, but I tend to be very self-conscious, especially about what others think of me, not so much my appearance. For example, this is the third rewrite of this question I’ve done, because I am often considered to be arrogant, and I am really trying hard to remedy this. At this point, I’m not even sure I have a question, or whether I just need to tell someone how insecure I’m feeling.

It sounds like maybe what you need is just more experience with people; this will make it easier for you to get a handle on the complicated ways that people relate to one another. Also, the more you spend time with people, the easier it will become for you and you’ll grow to be more confident/comfortable. Confidence is important because it’s something that other people pick up on, especially the women you might want to date.

In fact, sometimes even pretending that you are confident/comfortable in a situation can make you feel more confident. Act relaxed and you’ll feel more relaxed, etc.  As they say “fake it ’till you make it”.

Also, don’t worry about all the girls that are your friends: friends who are girls often have other friends who are also girls and they may be happy to introduce these friends to you as romantic prospects. ^_^

You say you’re very busy in your life, so I think it might be good for you to take some time to relax and plan some outings with friends – go with them to a party once in a while. It will give you the opportunity to watch how other people interact and will give you the chance to meet some new people and practice becoming more comfortable interacting with people.

You could even plan to go see movies with friends – this kind of outing is great if you’re worried about having something to say to other people, because you can just talk about the movie.  ^_^

Relationships can be built many different ways.  Some people end up in romantic relationships with people they started out being friends with; this offers the advantage of being involved with someone who you already know you get along with and with whom you have things in common.   Other people end up in romantic relationships more spontaneously, perhaps after a blind date or after meeting when out with mutual friends.

You never know how you’re going to meet a romantic partner, so they key is to be open to seeing it and make a move when you think they might be interested.

I hope this helps!

Going for drinks after a show is a great idea because it automatically gives you a topic for small talk

6 comments to Dating and Relating

  • NDO

    Jump in and start swimming. It’s people, not water, so you won’t drown. At worst, someone (maybe even a girl) will see you flailing about and decide to help you. At best, you will succeed grandly! Try to stop analyzing yourself and your methods and goals. Try to have fun learning about other people. The less you concentrate on what you’re doing, paradoxically, the better off you’ll do in most social situations. Try to be the most enthusiastic listener in the room.

  • Sam

    I’d say start socialising more, but don’t try to force a relationship, you won’t find one that way. Just go out, have fun, and it’ll drop in your lap one day (pretty much how I found all my girlfriends in the past – and my wife).

  • mandy

    have patience, it’ll come to you when it’s right. but in the meantime, i think you should just go out with your friends and meet sum new ppl along the way. usually the best relationships happen when you least expect it so dont push for a romantic relationship right off the bat (you’re 18, you have a while to get serious about someone) right now, just have fun and explore a little. you may end up meeting the right person while you are, and you may not, but either way, you’ll learn about relationships, life, etc. and from there you’ll kno more about yourself and wat you’re looking for in a mate!

  • Chry

    Hey Shay,
    love your wise and empathic answer!

    Hey you-who-asked,
    wish you all good luck!

  • Ds1

    Three tips for you:

    1. Be cool – don’t go into anything hoping for something, let it happen organically. People can sense hidden agendas from a mile away.

    2. Be excellent – Do one thing that you’re good at – anything – in her company. It’ll show her that you’ve got something going for you.

    3. Be gone – we pursue that which retreats from us or more theatrically, leave the audience wanting more. Don’t be that clingy guy, just leave and if there’s anything they’ll find you.

    ps – yeah it’s the Tao of Steve but they’re good rules even though the movie is terrible.

    It also helps if you are a little weird, bad boys are out – complicated/complex characters are in.

  • two caveats:
    I don’t completely agree with “Be gone” because it’s no fun trying to date someone who is hard to get a hold of or never around.
    AND only be as weird as you actually are – don’t try to be something you’re not because that takes up a lot of effort and you’re better off putting your effort into other things (like smelling nice, wearing clean clothes, taking them on interesting dates, and relaxing so you can be your own wonderful self).

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