Reflections on young love by an older, wiser, introvert

by on Feb.25, 2011, under College, How To, Relationship

This one is for both of you clueless guys and you frustrated, heart-broken girls that are attracted to them.

Ladies, does the guy you like or are interested in seem to have no clue, or do you think he doesn’t like you?  Guys, are you nervous around girls or never seem to have anyone interested in you?  You both have come to the right place.  By the way, while this article is aimed primarily toward college guys and the gals that like them, it also applies well to boys in high school (and sometimes younger).


Perhaps a little background into why you can trust my advice:

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I left high school nearly a quarter century ago, and a local community college two decades ago.  Back then, I was the unluckiest guy in the world when it came to love.  Between my unusual physical problems and the then-current social and political (and medical) atmosphere – both local and national, even world – I was prime for rejection.  To top that off, I was the product of a traumatic, dysfunctional childhood.  And, as we now know, I have a genetic predisposition to be introverted (shy) and socially clueless.

Now I see things differently: first, the social norm of dating in southern California in the late 80’s was not, in contrast to my belief, the norm for the rest of the country – it was peculiar to a large metropolitan area instead.  Second, I believe that I was oblivious to the social signals given off by girls/women that I see so readily now that I’m much older.  Having returned to college has been sort of a social awakening for me, particularly when I see a poor, clueless guy completely missing the rather obvious signals those young ladies offer in trying to get the guy to understand and act on that attraction.  More often than not, the poor girls’ hearts are broken a little as the guy remains unaware to the underlying romantic indicators.

What’s worse is that I see myself in these sad guys, and know unquestionably how they feel and what they are thinking.  My wife suggested that I go let the poor soul know what is going on.  Unfortunately, that is more likely to make things much worse by spooking the luckless hap into avoiding contact with his female suitress altogether.  Another possibility is to clue the young ladies into understanding why thier interest acts the way he does.

And here it is: He’s afraid.  Not the unmasculine type of fear, but a fear of scaring away his romantic interest by her knowing how he feels when she (in his mind ‘likely’) doesn’t feel the same way about him, however erroneous that may be.

Girls, if there is a shy guy that doesn’t seem to get it, understand that it is perfectly okay to tell them upfront that you like him and want to get to know him better.  Trust me, too often we have an inkling but are so fearful of the potential for both being humiliated and losing someone we like.  The best approach is to stop giving him signals and be blunt.  If you have a hard time with telling him, try simply holding his hand, or pulling up a chair right next to him.  At first he might ‘freak out’, but don’t be dissuaded!  He’s just been startled and doesn’t know how to react properly – usually it is a stark fear of reacting the wrong way (which is exactly what he ends up doing).  Do it every time you get the chance, and very quickly he’ll be relieved that his akward reactions, fumblings and mumblings aren’t scaring you off.

Of course, one last thing: he may, in fact, be completely and utterly unaware and clueless no matter how blatant your ‘signals’ are to you, your friends, or other people.  Really.  Especially if he’s a bit ‘ADD’ or Asperger’s.  In that case, you’ll have to take the lead and just get down to telling him how you feel and what you want without beating around the bush, so to speak.

But no matter what, if you like him go get him.  Best wishes!  R~


BTW, A Note on the use of the term GIRL:

For the record, ladies, when you are referred to by us men as ‘girls’ it is NOT derogatory.  When guys talk to other guys, we rarely refer to a female that we are interested in, we use the term ‘girl’ for the most part, or other term like chick (corny, sure), and so on.  You will rarely ever hear us say ‘woman’.  For the most part, we use that term to discuss females that we have no romantic interest in.  For us, it denotes older or socio-politically superior females.  Or it is a female a guy is having trouble with.  So please understand that we know and understand that you are a woman and not a ‘girl’.  Yet we start using it for girls we boys are interested in when we ARE boys and you ARE girls, and we never stopped using it.  If this still bothers you, remember that you have the term ‘guy’ to mean either a boy or a man.  We have ‘gal’ but that sounds pathetically absurd when used more than once or twice in a conversation.  In short, ladies, it is a term of endearment and interest, and never meant to degrade you.

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