I’ve never had a girlfriend

An 18-year-old college freshman doesn’t know where to start. Our elder breaks it down for him: how to be authentic, put yourself out there, and form connections.


Dear EWC

I’m an 18-year-old who has never had a girlfriend. I went to an all-boys high school, and while I did have a social life, it was pretty much limited to sports, which 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 simply looking to have a relationship with someone who I can share my experiences and life with, and someone who can do the same with me, 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. I’m not sure what about me turns women away. I don’t mean that I don’t know that I have flaws, but I don’t know what to do about them. I don’t know how to make myself as physically and emotionally attractive as I can, but I am certainly willing to do 

whatever it takes. 

The problem is I don’t know where to start. As for physical attraction, I’m short and rather skinny. There’s not much I can do about how short I am, and I’m not sure if skinniness is necessarily a bad thing. I really have no idea. As for my face, I really don’t know how to fix that, either. I don’t even know if I’m ugly or not, but given my lack of luck, I can’t help but think that there’s something wrong with my appearance. As for my emotional attraction, I really could use advice on how to not necessarily change my personality and character but make it work and optimize the good parts and minimize, or possibly get rid of, the negative parts. I really don’t know how to explain my personality, but I’m not sure if that’s necessary. I guess the one thing that you should know is that I tend to spend a lot of time with myself and with my family, besides school and when I used to do sports, but now I just don’t know how to even get myself out there, especially with Covid. I could really use some advice on how to put myself out there. Essentially, I’m just lost. I really could use some good advice on how to approach this and how to begin. I know I sound desperate, and maybe I am, but I’m just really looking for some advice and trying to explain my situation the best I can. Thank you.


Sage replies

From reading your request, I have concluded that you are seeking advice in these areas:

  •       How to be your authentic self
  •       How to put yourself out there
  •       How to form bonds, connections, and relationships with women

Do not despair. You are not alone. Right now there are many adolescent young males having the same issues as you.

I think that many of the answers that you are seeking will begin with you finding and accepting your authentic self. Let’s start there.

Your authentic self:

Your true self is who you really are when you let go of all of the stories, labels, and judgments that you have placed upon yourself. It is who you naturally are without the masks and pretentiousness.

It is who you really are when you let fall to the floor the cloak of other people’s stuff that you have taken on.

Everything else that you claim to be when you say, “This is who I am!” is only a story.

Below are some steps that have helped me in uncovering my true self:

  1. Get in touch with your inner child. If you ever watch small children, you will notice just how free they are and how little they care about what other people think of them. They are happy and in the moment.

They are their true natures. They have not yet been socialized to “fit in” to a society that squashes that. They don’t care if people think that they are silly while they dance in the front yard for all of the neighbors to see.

  1. Become more aware of your thoughts. You may be shocked by the number of negative thoughts that run through your mind on any given day. After so long, our reality begins to take shape based on all of these conditioned thinking patterns.

Become more aware of the quality of your thinking. Allow yourself to sit quietly every morning before starting your day for just five to ten minutes.

We are all so much more than those old negative thinking patterns would ever allow us to believe.

  1. Follow your intuition. This is probably one of the most important factors in being yourself. I ignored my intuition for the longest time because I felt so obligated to others. Their happiness was more important than my own.

Your authentic self is the real you that is beyond all of those conditioned beliefs and thinking patterns that you have accumulated throughout your life.

When you let go of the old ways of thinking, follow your bliss, and do what you love, you begin to align with happiness and peace. These are all indicators that you are connected with your true nature. You are then allowing your real self to shine forth in all its glory.


How to get out there:

A fairly common social issue people have is that they’re not sure how to make friends and put together a social life for themselves.

To become more social, you need to learn how to expand your comfort zone, slowly. If you have a tendency to do things alone or with an old friend, just try going a step further. Go to a place where there’ll be plenty of people you don’t know well. Don’t sit in a circle and talk to only the people you know.

You are not alone if you have always wanted to be more social. Maybe a little more outgoing. Maybe with a dash of confidence?

These resources will get you ready to be more social:  

How to form bonds, connections and relationships with women:

Meeting women that you are compatible enough with to be your girlfriend is a difficult task for most guys. I know because I was a very shy adolescent. I empathize with you. Meeting women and developing a relationship may be complicated but it is not impossible. Here are some tips and strategies that I learned to deal with my shyness, boost my confidence, start and carry-on conversations, ask women out, and eventually ask one to in a relationship:

  1. Do not be desperate. I learned that the first step to getting a woman is to stop trying to make every woman your girlfriend. Instead go into every new interaction you have with a woman expecting nothing in return.

I believe that most guys will do everything they can to please girls into liking them, but guys who couldn’t care less about impressing random girls stand out like a rose amongst thorns.      

I think that most girls want a challenge, so if you are a guy who isn’t afraid to be himself, I believe girls will think that you are a guy worth talking to.

  1. Acknowledge and believe that you have all of the qualities a woman is looking for: intelligence, passion, and good work ethic. Learn to use the good qualities that you have and stop thinking about what you do not have. Do not compare yourself to others and approach each situation with a positive attitude.
  2. Act confident. You don’t have to be confident, but you do have to act confident. This will make women take you seriously. In my experience, women think confidence is super attractive.
  3. Learn to genuinely compliment a woman. Challenge yourself to find something beautiful in every woman. It doesn’t have to be something physical; it can be a cute gesture, an admirable trait, a talent or skill. I believe that recognizing and expressing true appreciation for any and every woman will make you more attracted to women and women more attracted to you.
  4. Become a good conversationalist. Don’t use “canned material”. I think the best way to make a connection with someone is to come from the heart and live fully in the moment. What you say isn’t nearly as important as how you say it. Socializing is about exchanging energy, not using trite phrases or big words.
  5. Have your own life. If you tend to fall into the “friend zone” often, this will be especially important. Girls who know what they want don’t like guys who have no lives or who cling to them like plastic wrap.
  6. Cultivate her friendship. I found that most girls don’t tend to fall for random strangers. Become friendly with her and her friends in a non-invasive, non-creepy way. Get to know her and begin hanging out as friends.
  7. Realize that most girls are only going to go out with someone that she knows, trusts, and cares about. Usually this can only be achieved by taking the time to get to know her through friendly chatting. However, do not come on too quickly – have patience. I believe that girls HATE being pressured into relationships.
  8. Sharpen your flirting skills. Keep all your friendships slightly flirty to avoid falling into the friend zone. This doesn’t mean that you want to try to get with all of your female friends, but I believe that being a little flirty will help them remember that you’re a potential partner, not just another good friend.
  9. Learn what impresses each woman. Your best bet is to be yourself. Demonstrate a unique skill, talent or something difficult to do that you’re proud of, something that sets you apart from the crowd. Not only will this make her feel good about you, but it can boost your confidence, too.
  10. Be careful not to be cocky. Self-confidence is an attractive quality, but extreme cockiness is a huge turnoff.
  11. Take your time. Don’t be pushy or needy. I think that the type of woman that you want to have as a girlfriend may need time to develop reciprocal feelings. Make her feel appreciated, not invisible or smothered. Do the chase slowly and gently to avoid looking desperate, and to allow her to get accustomed to having you in her life. Do not force the relationship; carefully look for clues on how she is feeling about you.
  12. When you feel comfortable, invite her to go somewhere or to do something with you. Make sure it’s something that you’re both interested in. If you aren’t yet ready or comfortable with the idea of sharing your personal lives to that extent, just go out for lunch or do something simple together where you can get to know her better.
  13. Remember to be yourself. You are unique. Be the authentic you. Bring out your best. Let her know you as who you truly are. Use your talents, gifts, and strengths and let yourself be known. The right girl will fall for you and accept you just the way you are.
  14. If things develop to the point where you are pretty sure that there’s strong mutual attraction, ask her to be your girlfriend. You can do this in a big, creative way or a way, but it must be in person.

Remember to be patient. Life doesn’t normally work on the schedule you envision. Your future girlfriend might cross your path tomorrow or two years from now. A healthy relationship will color your world no matter how old you are, so don’t rush into things, or else you might end up forcing the wrong person into the girlfriend role, which will cause pain for everyone involved. I wish you well.

Article #: 468191

Category: Dating/Relationship

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