My roller-girl regret

I saw a cute girl at the roller rink and I didn’t say anything to her. Now I can’t get her out of my head.
Let this one go, says our elder — but don’t pass up an opportunity next time.

Dear EWC

So I went to roller city with my family for my little sister’s birthday party and I saw a girl there as it was a public party and anyone could come in. She kept looking at me, clearly showing an interest, and I wanted to go talk to her but I didn’t. Now I regret not doing anything and now I just can’t stop thinking about what could’ve happened. So I just need help to keep her out of my head.

Lloyd replies

Hi there. One of the reasons I chose to respond to your letter is because it brought back pleasant memories from 60 years ago spending hours at the local roller skating rink, going in circles, but having fun. I seem to remember occasionally seeing a really cute girl there but being far too shy to consider approaching — I mean, what would I say?

From what you wrote it sounds like you may be a little shy as well. I have some thoughts to hopefully help you understand what’s going on, which in turn will free you from your obsession. I think shy people are especially vulnerable to getting fixated on what is unavailable. That way you are safe and you don’t have to challenge your lack of ‘guts’ (for lack of a better word). In other words, being obsessed with someone you’ll probably never see again gets you off the hook for engaging with girls that you actually know and have access to.

Another thing that’s going on here is a very common human tendency to replace the unknown with perfection. You know nothing about this girl except she’s cute and she smiled at you. She could be a serial killer with bad breath and a laugh that makes nails on a chalkboard sound musical in comparison and you wouldn’t know it. But that’s not how our brain sees it. Everything you don’t know about her must be perfect in your mind and therefore, she’s the one and no other (real) girl can compare. If you can realize and let go of that fantasy, your obsession will subside.

So my advice is to shake this one off, take it as a lesson learned and vow to not pass up an opportunity like this again. When you politely introduce yourself to someone, the worst that can happen is they are not interested and though it might sting a little at the moment, you’ll live. In fact, there is truth to the idea that is taught in many sales programs. If, say, one out of ten on average says ‘yes’ to your pitch, then every ‘no’ is not a failure but a step closer to that yes.
The sooner you say hi to the next cute girl who smiles at you the sooner roller girl will fade away. I’m rooting for you.

Letter #: 446038
Category: Dating/Relationship

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