I received my first “Need Advice?” form this week, after my post about dealing with anxiety. It was filled out anonymously (I’ve decided to call him ‘Mr. False Confidence’), and I’m not sure if it’s completely factual, or if it was completely made up. That’s beside the point, because it posed a very good question. I’m glad whoever took the time to write this reached out because I’m sure the vast majority of young adults are going through or have been through a situation similar to this. I, myself, have experienced this a few times. So I’m excited to share my response with y’all. Below is the message I received:
“What do I do if every time I try to speak to a woman the conversation/message is never continued past the first few words. I like to think I’m the shit? Not in a pompous or arrogant way – I just like myself – no one seems to feel the same way – I have loads of friends and live a pretty healthy social life. I make GREAT money where I am at and feel I’m pretty successful for working at a Forbes associated company at the age of 21. I talk to them and blehhh happens. I don’t think a girl has ever crushed on me or liked me. Even all the relationships I’ve had I feel they haven’t REALLY liked me. It’s an odd life I live. The only problem I’d imagine I have is that I’m like 6’3 and 230 pounds so I’m like 20 pounds overweight but I carry it well… idk maybe I’m just asking to hear “nah man – you just have to wait for the right one” but I figure that everyone else has experienced these things in life and I haven’t. The feeling of being wanted as just more than a friend. All I want in life is a companion to travel – love – and enjoy. Fml hahaha”
Dear Mr. False Confidence, I want to start by saying what I’ve gathered about you from your short message. I noticed you started by being overly confident, then quickly revealed that you do have some insecurities, both blatantly, and between the lines (hence the name I gave you…no offense, of course). I can tell that you’re happy in some areas of your life, but there are things you wish to improve. Which at 21, I’d say is a pretty good spot to be. Hell, I’m only two years older than you, and I’m sittin’ in about the same spot as you. Now, I’m certainly no expert on dating, or relationships. I’m about as awkward as they come, especially when talking to someone new. But I know exactly how you feel, as I’m sure most of the readers do. Basically, you seem like you have some of your ducks in a row, but there’s still some things you want.
“The only problem I’d imagine I have is that I’m like 6’3 and 230 pounds so I’m like 20 pounds overweight but I carry it well…”
The fact that you came out and said this is a “problem” makes it a problem. Personally, I don’t give a shit whether you hit the gym or not. It’s all in the way you carry yourself. If you’re not happy with your weight, you’ll carry yourself that way, and people can sense your insecurity. That manifests, and affects your body language, and the way you act and speak to a woman. We LOVE confidence. Now, I didn’t say cockiness. ‘Cause I can’t stand a cocky guy. Confidence is quiet, subtle, and extremely sexy. So you have to decide – if your weight is something you’re unhappy with, sign up at a gym, start eating healthier. Make the commitment to better the way you feel, for yourself, not for anyone else. If you don’t mind a little extra poundage, then I say screw the shallow girls. You have to either learn to accept yourself the way you are, or change it.
“I talk to them and blehhh happens. I don’t think a girl has ever crushed on me or liked me. Even all the relationships I’ve had I feel they haven’t REALLY liked me.”
I’m calling bullshit on this. There’s at least one girl, somewhere, that has liked you or currently does like you. But it seems to me, that you may be chasing the ones that are friendzoning you or even full-on writing you off.. Meanwhile, you’re probably friendzoning her, or she’s feeling the same way as you – insecure and afraid to talk to you. I see this happen far too often. You are going after the wrong girls. Period. The end. Now, as for the actual part where you initiate conversation. Regardless of your setting, you need to make sure you’re comfortable. As comfortable as you can be in this situation… By this, I mean, make sure you’re happy in your own skin when you confront a lady. Again, that quiet confidence is going to help a ton. BE COOL. Keep it casual. Don’t be overbearing (by the way, I sure hope you’re not talking about initiating first time conversation via social media…I’ll come back to this point). Before you approach her, make sure she’s aware of your presence; you don’t want to freak her out. A good sign she’s interested, is she’ll keep looking in your direction, and making eye contact. Once you do get a conversation started, make sure to keep it relatively short and light hearted, and watch her body language. Girls tend to twirl their hair and play with their jewelry when they’re interested. Another good sign would be how she’s sitting, or standing in relation to you. If you notice her body is turned more towards the door, you’re done. But girls tend to cross their legs when they’re interested, and it’s a good sign if her top leg is pointed in your direction. (Side note: don’t pay so much attention to these signs that you’re not listening to her… that’ll get awkward FAST.) Let her do most of the talking, if possible. And try to make jokes. Girls like jokes; just make sure it’s not overly sexual or super offensive. If this is taking place at a bar, or maybe the grocery store, or somewhere you may not see her again, judge the above-mentioned signs, and if they’re looking like things are in your favor, ask for her number. When you do score her number, do not, I REPEAT, do not text her right away. Again, play it cool. Let her sweat a bit. If you’re talking to someone you already know, and will see again, the same signs apply. The scenario should move a bit slower, though. Have a couple of casual conversations. Continue to say hello in passing. Make sure you don’t come off too strong, but don’t hold back too long so that she thinks you’re not interested. Then she’ll feel dumb. After a few of the casual run-ins, hopefully you’ve been able to narrow down something the two of you might have in common. Use that to your advantage. At this point, you’ll want to ask her out. If possible, try to do it in person, but a text or Facebook message would suffice. But be creative. Find something fun that both of you could do together. Don’t just say, “hey, wanna grab a drink?” Impress her with something more original. Now as for the social media conversations, Mr. False Confidence. It’s almost NEVER OKAY to initiate conversation with someone you don’t know via social media, at least in my opinion. Don’t just go around adding girls and messaging them something stupid like “Hey, beautiful,” especially if you don’t know how to spell. This is creepy… REALLY creepy. And if you’ve done that in the past, and she hasn’t answered you back, now you know why. If you do happen to add someone you don’t know, and you get a conversation flowing, just remember one thing: they have a TV show about these kinds of relationships. It’s called Catfish, and it’s horribly disturbing. Think twice. Now to wrap things up, Mr False Confidence, you may still have some time before you do find that “right girl.” Trust me, I feel your frustration on that. But these things take practice, and you and I both still have lots of personal development ahead of us. Don’t get discouraged; you seem nice enough. But we’re young. You’ve got a lot going for you, and as soon as you stop over thinking things, and sending negative energy into the universe about your non-existent relationships, you may just stumble across someone that this all comes naturally with. Be patient, my friend. As for me, I’m going to hang out with my cat, and eat some Oreos. Good luck.