July 24, 2011

She likes me but doesn't want a boyfriend

So I've been after this girl who is like the sweetest girl ever but I'm kind of shy and I don't know how to make a move. She is also shy so I don't want to do anything that will make her feel uncomfortable. We have been to a couple movies together but just with a group of friends. I felt like I was stuck so I asked one of her close friends to find out if she liked me and what her thoughts were. I found out that she does really like me :) but does not want a boyfriend because she’s too young. I would be willing to wait but I do want us to be sort of dating or at least something more than normal friends... How do I play this one out??

My advice:

If the information you received is accurate, this girl needs to be respected for her decision to postpone dating until she's a little older. However the main reason why people abstain from dating is fear. People fear getting hurt emotionally; they fear the unknown (especially when they're young and inexperienced); they fear being stigmatized;  they fear commitment; they fear intimacy; they fear losing independence; and there are other fears that could make a person suspend dating.

It doesn't make sense to wait for her, since you hardly know her. It makes more sense to talk to her directly and ask her out. You want to hear the answer from her; you don't want to rely on what her girlfriend said.

Most younger guys today are shy or, shall we be more accurate, insecure. This insecurity expressed in shyness results from the strong position young women take today: they're independent, knowledgeable, confident, and they take initiative! Plus, when they're very young, like your friend -- they don't need guys (in the way guys need girls) so they're happy with the company of their girlfriends.

I'd like you to stop thinking that you might be making her (or any other girl) uncomfortable if you approach her and reveal your intentions to her. It may only be uncomfortable for her if she’s not ready for it, or not interested in you. Most young (and not so young) men use this argument as an excuse to avoid approaching a woman because they fear rejection. But rejection is part of life. We try new things and sometimes they don't work well the first time around. But if we really want something we will be motivated to try one more time and one more time, and at the end we will succeed. Most guys are afraid of rejection, but most guys also take the risk here and there, because there is no other way to get what you want if you don't ask for it.

Moreover, women (and girls) consider guys who take a risk – attractive, so just by approaching her, expressing your romantic interest in her, and asking her out, you show some of the qualities that she is looking for in a romantic partner. Women really like when they are pursued romantically UNLESS they are not interested in you. Many women will say they don't want a boyfriend right now, or they are just out of a relationship and taking a break or they may be back with their ex-boyfriend, or they just want to be friends for now, or even that they are too busy... But know this: when a woman is interested – given time (and some courtship) she will reciprocate.

If you want to know whether there is a chance to have some kind of relationship that is more than friendship, you will have to find out directly from her. First ask her out. You can say something like: "how about you and I meet sometime without the group?" and watch her reaction. If she seems hesitating, say: "I'd really like to get to know you better". If she says she is too young for dating, ask her if you could be friends for now. Women need time because with time they have a chance to get to know you, and when they get to know you they start building trust in you, and when they have trust in you they will let you get closer to them, both emotionally and physically. But you must show your romantic interest right from the start!

The only time it's OK to be friends first when you like someone is when you have first expressed your romantic interest in them. And even then, as you are getting closer as friends, the onus is on you to, every now and then, remind her, in various ways, of your romantic intentions. If you stop doing that, it will be much harder for you to later turn the relationship from only friends into lovers.  Thinking, like many guys do, that becoming her friend will eventually somehow lead to her falling into your arms and passionately revealing she had always wanted to be with someone like you -- is detached from reality. Nothing will happen if YOU don't lead to it. 

You don't need to declare your romantic intentions (this seldom works) but there are fine ways to let her know, through body gestures, flirting, and using certain words in your conversation. When you do that, you can also see how she responds and you can then better evaluate your prospects for success.

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