Do flings count?

This college student is still looking for a real relationship.

You’re not alone, says our elder—who admits that lots of guys are lonely, But here’s how to better your odds.

Dear EWC:

I’m an 18 year old who has never had a girlfriend, except for one summer camp fling, which I don’t even know if it really counts. I went to an all boys high school, and while I did have a social life, it was pretty much limited to sports. Given that it was an all-boys school I didn’t see many girls, unfortunately.

Now, in college, I don’t really know what to do. I mean it makes it even more difficult with all that’s going on right now, but even without it I probably still would be struggling just as much. I know I should put in most of my effort into school, but I also feel like I should make connections and relationships. I need advice on how to form bonds, connections, and relationships with women, something that I seem to struggle with.

I’m not looking for a relationship just for the sake of it nor any twisted, unselfish reason; I’m hoping to have a mutual relationship with someone who I can share my experiences, love for adventure, etc. with, if that makes sense. But I’m not sure how to make this happen, how to find someone who I can love and who can love me back.

CraigJ replies:

Hmmm, seems like a letter I could have written at about your age, minus the all-boys school bit. Also, it applied on a general level to most of the guys I knew at the time. None of us was particularly good at meeting girls, even though we all were somewhat obsessed with the subject.

So, let’s see what happened. I met a girl in a bar. One guy met a girl at a party with a group of friends. Another one met a girl playing co-ed flag football. And another went on a blind date. Another met a long-term girlfriend in a class. Then things kind of kept going from there.

The point is that we were all mostly idiots when it came to females, and somehow things worked out, one way or another. And all of this occurred in our late teens, early twenties. So, don’t dwell on it too much.

Also, don’t make the whole thing life and death. I know there is a lot of social pressure on people to connect to someone, and when we’re going through it, we all wonder why others don’t see how great we are, but generally things work out ok, even if you’re clumsy or inexperienced. Oddly enough, a lot of times, the opposite sex will make all of this easier.

As for what the real cool guys do that helps them get all the girls, my general opinion is that they just aren’t afraid. They become easy to talk to, they listen, they make eye contact, and they find a way to connect. Asking questions is also a biggie, especially ones that get people to talk. I know a lot of people say that a sense of humor is also important, and I am sure that is true, but I’d qualify it a bit to state that a humorous attitude is actually more important than actually being funny. People tend to like those who are light-hearted.

Another trait I would add is to just be open to whatever is said, and don’t be too quick to respond, judge, or react. From experience, challenging people on their thoughts and ideas isn’t always the best way to get to know girls. Go figure.

You undoubtedly could get better advice from someone who was eternally good at this, so don’t be afraid to re-ask your question. This is from the point of view of someone who probably was a bit like you. My first two years in college were pretty lonely in that regard. But as I got into things, learned a little bit, stumbled around a lot, grew up a fraction, the relationships came. And, naturally, this presented a whole new set of issues, but that’s another story

So my advice; put yourself out there a bit, be a good guy, keep your eyes open, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make things happen; you have plenty of time. And you’re right, getting grades comes first. Like I told my daughter going to college; have a good time, but do your job. She did both and didn’t meet a guy she really liked until into her thirties. The time is the time.

I hope this helps a bit and I wish you all the best.




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