Dear Dr. Psych Mom,
I’m 23, single, and feel like there is something wrong with me. Guys just don’t seem to like me the way they like other girls. I have never had a serious boyfriend and am actually a virgin, although most of my friends don’t know. I think my problem is that I’m not outgoing enough. Can you give me some ways to talk to guys more easily?
Thank you for your time.
Lonely in a Big City
First off, there are really no magic tips for talking to guys, except to seem friendly and interested in what they are saying. If you have been able to make friends, you’re going to be able to talk to guys. People are people. Try saying, “Hi, I’m LBC,” and then throw out a question about whatever situation you find yourself in. For example: “How did you meet [the host]?” if you’re at a party, or “What do you think of the food here?” at your workplace cafeteria. Try to keep questions open ended if you can (“What do you think of this neighborhood?” versus “When did you move here?”) in order to keep the conversation going longer. Smile and act interested in the answers you get. With some people, a conversation will develop, and with others, it won’t. When you feel a click, you’ll know it, and the conversation will start feeling less like work.
Even though you just asked about ways to talk to guys, I’d also like to talk about how down you are on yourself. It’s concerning that you find yourself so inadequate compared to other people. Not everyone has to be super outgoing and sexually experienced. It is fine that you’re a virgin. Plenty of girls end up regretting sleeping with the wrong people, and you don’t have that issue. Introverts comprise 50% of the world, so there are fewer outgoing people than you think. Extraverts are just so loud that you think of them as the majority!
I get the sense that you have felt bad about yourself for a long time, and that you’ve always felt like a misfit or like you are worse than other people. If this is the case, I would urge you to focus on all the things that make you a great person. It is hard to date when you’re unclear why people would want to date you. You need to sell yourself on yourself if you want to be able to sell yourself to others!
In therapy, I often have clients with low self-esteem write out a list of 10 things they like about themselves. Can you think of 10? You can start with 5 at first if you’re really stumped. Are you kind, honest, loyal, intelligent? Ask your friends or family for ideas if you’re stuck.
Before you get into a relationship with any guy, I encourage you to fix the relationship you have with yourself. Many girls think that falling in love will magically make them feel better about themselves, only to discover that, instead, they are more insecure than ever. I know many couples where one partner continually has to bolster the other’s self-esteem. Eventually, everyone gets tired of having to be a cheerleader for an insecure partner.
So, LBC, before you worry about how to start talking to guys, figure out why guys would want to talk to you. I bet that once you feel better about yourself, you will notice guys starting to talk to you more and more. Confidence is the best conversation starter!
Till we meet again, I remain The Blogapist Who Thinks You’re Awesome, Even If You Don’t.
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