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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


Dear LBC,

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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  1. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone – I am a guy who has the same problem. Over the past 5 years I’ve probably had 50 first dates. On very rare occasions I may get a second or third, but never more than that. I’ve tried to figure out what I am doing wrong, and most likely it is because my personality isn’t “fun”. Most girls are looking for someone lighthearted who “makes them laugh” and that just isn’t who I am. My personality is very serious, and I mostly talk about my work, because that’s what I am passionate about.

    I know on a theoretical level what I would need to change about myself in order to be more popular, but that change is *extremely* difficult to achieve. It would require me to change the essence of who I am.

    Another way to look at this is to say, “I don’t need to change who I am – I need to find the person who accepts me the way I am.” This path isn’t easy either, because you will probably experience lots and lots of rejection before you find that person. The key is to remember that by being persistent, you can hopefully find that person who complements you and brings out the best in who you are.

    Also, you are still very young! I didn’t even begin to think about dating until I was 29. Try to just enjoy your time learning, growing, and exploring and don’t worry about finding someone to accept you. Maybe if you just live your life on your terms, that person will find you!

  2. Hey there! I’ve been wanting advice on boys, I am currently 16 years old and I’m not really wanting a boyfriend or anything but I don’t really understand why I’m usually the odd man out when it comes to boys liking me. Usually my friends would tell me about a couple of guys complimenting them but I never really get any. I ask this question not to “improve” the way I look or act to get a guy, but rather understand why they don’t act the same around me than with other girls. I kinda consider myself more of a Tom boy but I’m a mix between being that and wearing dresses and skirts and all that good stuff. I have nothing really special about me, I have regular dark brown eyes, dark curly brown hair, light/tan skin, and I’m 5’8. My friends say that I have great sense of humor, I’m outgoing, very happy alot, and have a pretty big personality. So if you can help me understand my little dilemma, I would be forever grateful.

    Thank you so much!

  3. Lady’s please ok im a 19 year old male who was raised to believe that a woman are never ugly she is in a blooming faze ok I was never told to go after a lady because she’s the hottest or richest but to go after the woman who is kind who has good character and judgment which means if a guy is going after that Dumb world’s hottest woman instead of you whos the dumb one who doesn’t see the miss America in you I was raised to believe in one thing only never see yourself higher than the woman because they give birth to your next of kin you might see yourself as fat ugly nerdy but the males in my family see you as a woman who is growing in to a swan

  4. I am 28 years old and have been focused on my education rather than dating. I received my master’s degree in 2014 and just started on my career and promised myself I would not let a guy get in between my dreams. I think that I want a relationship but I guess people are right when they say you should learn to love yourself before you allow someone else to love you. I love who I am on the inside but physically I do not think I am much to look at because I have that plain appearance that men do not necessarily drool over. I see coworkers dating and it makes me wonder if I will ever get to experience that. I am not desperate by any means but it would be nice to see how it feels to be with someone seriously. I also consider myself a tom boy but can dress up when the occasion is right. But it seems guys fawn over girls who are a perfect 10. They seem to really have it all. Oh yeah, forgot to mention I am a 28 year old female virgin. Sounds depressing right?

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