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Author Topic: Meeting Girls
Sharingan
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Hello. So i'm 16 years old and i'm out on summer break at the moment. (I live in New Zealand) I've been having this problem.
It all started back when I was moving from Year 8 to Year 9 in school, the transition from intermediate to college. Basically your first year of high school for those out there familiar with that system. (I've just finished Year 11 by the way.)

The intermediate school I attended was a co-ed, and although I didn't have many, I did have a few female friends that I hung out with. (Movies with friends etc..) However, the school I go to now and that I have been at since year 9 is a Boys' only school. During year 9 my 'relationships' with girls slowly died out except for one girl really. We texted often and I began to really like her. So, I asked her out. But things didn't go my way. That pretty much killed our relationship and we didn't talk anymore after that. This was my only lasting friendship with a girl and after it died out, I really had no girls that I talked to, hung out with etc..

Throughout the rest of year 9, all of year 10 and half of year 11 it remained the same. I never really interacted with girls on a regular basis, and it didn't bother me that much. Don't get me wrong, i'm not gay. It just wasn't something I was totally worried about at the ages of 13-15. However this past 6 months or so, ever since i've turned 16 basically, it's been bugging me a lot. I see a couple of my guy friends with their girlfriends when time to time and I really envy them. Not because of that particular girl he's dating, but because he's dating a girl in the first place. I want a girlfriend to hang out with, to have romance with, just someone who I can have that kind of close relationship with. I guess you can call me desperate but not to the point where I will just date anyone just because it means a girlfriend.

My question is: How/Where can I meet girls around my age and exactly how do I go about approaching them and keeping the relationship alive?

I've never been in a serious dating situation before and could really use some help on this. If your wondering about my looks don't worry. I'm not ugly or overweight. However, I do have small insecurity issues about being involved in sexual activities if it ever gets that serious because I am a virgin, with no sexual experience whatsoever with girls and I feel like if I do find someone to have that kind of relationship with that they will have more experience than me and telling them I have none will be super embarrassing.

Thanks for reading my super long message, and any advice is hugely appreciated!
Thanks again!

-I don't go to parties if your planning on saying that's how I can meet girls. Mainly because the majority of my best friends attend a different school and I wouldn't really know anyone there. Plus some of my friends aren't exactly the "party-type".

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Heather
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I don't know why we'd be concerned or ask about how you looked. People of all different shapes, sizes and ways of looking do and can have romantic or sexual relationships. It's not like those are only available to people who look a certain way. [Smile]

By all means, gender-segregated schools present some challenges for people who want to date people of another gender. have you talked with your friends who have girlfriends to find out where they have been meeting girls? That's one of the first steps I'd take.

Too, what activities are you involved with outside of school? Any volunteering or involvement in anything like community activities outside school?

Why not try a party or hangout with your friends from a different school? You'd know them at first, for starters, and then you could start meeting some other people. In other words, you wouldn't know no one, period, and as time went on, you'd get to know more people.

Let's maybe not try and cross a bridge before you're anything close to there. I don't see that now is a sound time to talk about how you might disclose your sexual history (or lack thereof) to someone you're dating before you even know who that someone is, you know?

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Sharingan
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Well, The school that my other friends attend is a co-ed so that's where they have met their girlfriends.

At the moment I'm not involved in any community activities or volunteering outside of school. And now that I see that on my computer screen I can already see a good opportunity, but I wouldn't even know what to join.

I see where you're coming from about disclosing sexual history. And I know that's far, far down the line but I felt I had to put out the whole story so that anyone responding had an idea of the whole picture.

[ 12-24-2012, 08:26 PM: Message edited by: Sharingan ]

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Onionpie
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Well, since they go to a co-ed school, it sounds like going to parties that these friends of yours host may be a great place to meet new people, including potential dating partners!

And since you are currently not involved in any community activities, if you're not into parties/want multiple options for meeting people, that would indeed be a great place to start. In terms of what kinds of groups to join -- what activities do you enjoy? Is there a sport you love, or used to love but haven't taken part in for a while? Is there a card game or roleplaying game you really like to play? A musical instrument you can play, or can you sing? Do you like to do art -- many universities and schools offer after-hours art classes that are open to the public. There are even clubs and events at schools/community centres for things like viewing TV episodes of a certain genre or series, and movie viewings.

You can find these by asking friends who you know are interested in similar things to you, and even facebook is also good for this because sometimes you can find local groups or events that might be of interest to you.

What do you think? Does that sound like a route you want to try out? Does it help you start to think about the kinds of places you could go or activities you can take part in to start meeting new people?

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Sharingan
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Well, I guess this sounds like a good place to start. It surely has a pretty good variety compared to other routes. The parties wouldn't be bad either, my friends would probably look out for me if I'm a little shy or anything haha.

I'd probably look for an activity that revolves around some sort of film, or TV show as you suggested. I really enjoy a good movie.

But let's say I join a club/or start attending larger group activities. How do I approach someone who I'm attracted to? I know there is no written in stone guide out there, but there have got to be some pointers or conversation starters I could use? I'm not the best at initiating the convo. Especially when I'm a little, if not a lot, nervous around that person.

[ 12-24-2012, 10:54 PM: Message edited by: Sharingan ]

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Onionpie
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Well, when I'm initiating a conversation with someone I find attractive/hope to have a future date with, I approach them the same way I would approach any other new person I'm meeting. I treat them as a potential friend first and foremost.

You probably want to get to know them a little bit to see if they're interesting people, right? So, ask them things about themselves -- meeting at a club or group is a great way to do it because you have something right off the bat to talk about. So you can talk about the movie you just watched/are about to see, or you can ask them what their favourite tv show is/what their favourite scene in the movie was/who their favourite character is/etc etc. You just want to be yourself (yes, even if that means being quirky or a little shy -- if you want them to like you, you want them to like YOU, after all), be genuinely interested in them as a person, so ask questions about them. Exactly the way you'd talk to someone you're getting to know in a not-potential-dating-partner context.

And if you try to keep that mindset -- that you're just meeting people who might be awesome friend-people and maybe they could turn out to be awesome date-people a little later on but maybe not and that's A-okay because awesome friend-people are still AWESOME -- it can help you take the pressure off yourself and stop being quite so nervous. How does that sound? Not too intimidating? [Big Grin]

[ 12-24-2012, 11:50 PM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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MusicNerd
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Hey Sharingan!

I definitely agree with Onionpie, in that being yourself first and foremost is the best thing to be. And viewing them as a friend has definitely helped me in the past. [Smile]

I too used to be super-super-super duper shy around the people I was attracted to. I've never been that smooth-talker type. lol [Big Grin] This might sound a little counter-intuitive, but what's helped me is to embrace the awkward. I accepted that my encounters with crushes would inevitably be awkward, but also as opportunities to make light of them.

One thing that I found was my strong suit in these kinds of situations was dry humor. I would poke fun at myself if I screwed up on saying a word in a sentence like "maysage" instead of "message" by saying, "Oh yeah, I'll send you a maysage" *rolls eyes*. Normally that would lead the person to laugh with me. Also, I tend to be really clumsy around people I like. Actually, I've run into a desk before around someone a had a crush on. Yup, I kid you not. In clumsy situations like that (and trust me, I've had a lot of them), I would point it out by saying something like, "Well, I always know how to make a graceful exit" or "Well, that was smooth... like chunky peanut butter".

Eventually I realized that using humor in situations that made me uncomfortable (like talking to someone I'm attracted to) made me seem less awkward and in fact more comfortable in my own skin (even if on the inside I was nervous out of my mind). Just in taking yourself less seriously in talking with someone (ex. poking fun at your own trivial mistakes like word slip-ups or running into desks) that makes the whole situation seem less worrisome, in my opinion.

Now, if the humor thing doesn't really sound like your cup of tea, you could always try compliments or positive comments. Compliments are always nice, but it should be genuine and not anything too out there like, "Wow, when you scratch your nose you look sooo hot. Dayum, girl!" I personally like to use the t-shirt example. For instance, if a girl you find attractive is wearing a t-shirt with a band that you like on it, you could say, "Nice shirt. I love [insert band name here]!" Then, maybe that could follow with her saying thanks and leading on to you asking, "So, have you ever seen them in concert?" or "What's your favorite song by them?" or "Have you heard their new album?" and BAM! you have a conversation rolling.

This could also work if she's reading a book. You could go up to her and either: 1. If you've read it before, comment on how you enjoyed it (without any spoilers of course!!), and ask her which part she's on. 2. If you haven't read it, you could say something like, "You know, I've never actually heard of that book. What's it about?" or "I've never read that book before, but I've been meaning to. How is it?" And those could be possible ways to start a conversation.

Do any of these approaches sound like something you could try? If not, I'd be happy to talk with you and come up with some other ideas. [Smile] Also, why do you think you feel nervous around these girls you find attractive?

[ 12-24-2012, 11:51 PM: Message edited by: MusicNerd ]

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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Sharingan
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I agree with both of you, being myself is definitely something I will keep in mind. And Onionpie you're totally right, even if it doesn't work out and we remain friends that's still great!

The humor thing is something that will more than likely come out on it's own. I make my friends laugh all the time. However in awkward situations where I muck something up or say the wrong thing or whatever, I find it a lot harder purely knowing who ever i'm with just saw that and I look ridiculous.

Compliments sound like a good way to go as well. That'll be a little harder for me though, not because I can't find anything genuine to compliment her about. But because I'll probably wind up saying it weird or something, I don't know. But it's worth a try! And I guess a compliment is a compliment, said awkwardly or not. Hopefully she'll understand what I'm trying to say if I muck it up. As I said before, not the best from recovering from those awkward situations.

To answer the last part of your reply MusicNerd, any ideas you come up with I'm open to read. And Why do I think I feel nervous around girls I find attractive?
Well I guess it's that if a girl is attractive to me I just feel I need to avoid all screw-ups/mistakes as possible around her. Knowing I'm human, and knowing I'll make mistakes just makes me more nervous.
I guess that's it, the idea of screwing up or saying the wrong thing and looking ridiculous in front of her makes me nervous. If I'm attracted to her then sure, I'll be looking to try and take things to a new level with her. I just feel like looking ridiculous like I said above lessens the chances of that, if that makes sense.

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Heather
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If you really like someone, there will certainly be things about them that you like, so a compliment probably won't be something tough to think of. And saying that you like something about them will probably be a lot more easy when, in fact, you do, than is sounds now in the abstract.

We get to make mistakes with/around people we are attracted to. If they share the same feelings back, it's not like they'll lose them unless we're not magically perfect. In fact, when we're into someone, it's often their imperfections, their awkward fumbles, what have you, we will tend to find the most endearing things about them.

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About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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MusicNerd
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I was just going to mention that! I definitely agree with Heather on the little slip-ups and clumsy mistakes being cute. I know I find them to be absolutely adorable when I like someone. [Smile] So really, if someone's into you it won't really matter if you goof up on what you say. You'll have nothing to lose!

I guess another idea would be if you joined a music club for instance. You could ask what kind of music she's into or, if she plays an instrument, how long she's been playing and what got her interested in playing it, etc. Pretty much looking for common interests and finding out what they're into, as Onionpie noted earlier, is a good way to get to know someone and see if you like their personality first.
And on the plus-side: when you're in a club or group activity with people, you know that you already have a common interest, so that's one less thing you have to worry about! [Smile]

[ 12-25-2012, 12:37 PM: Message edited by: MusicNerd ]

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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Heather
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The thing I'd also add to that is that if and when all or most of our behaviour with someone is an act or performance and they wind up liking us, it may not turn out to be us they even like, if you get me.

Eventually, we're going to want to be ourselves, and if that wasn't the person they got to know and grew to like or love then we're all going to be in for a very rude awakening.

So, for sure, "just be yourself" can be a little cliche, and it may well be that doing that means that fewer people wind up being drawn to you than might if you developed some kind of elaborate game. But when it all comes down to it, we're all some kind of acquired taste, and who any of us are really going to connect with is going to tend to be limited. But if we just are some of the best of who we are, with plenty of room also made for just being human, then whoever does grow to like us will actually be growing to like *us.*

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sharingan
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Ok, I see exactly where you're coming from. And that actually gives me a lot more confidence. I guess I didn't really understand what being yourself was. Realizing I don't have to seem like 'Mr. Perfect' seems like it's getting rid of a lot of the nerves already [Smile]

I guess now it's time to get out there and give your suggestions a try! Thanks so much for the help, everyone's answers were really well written and supportive, and quick in response as well. I'll be sure to post back if anything happens.
Feel free to still post ideas and such, I'll still be checking this.

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Heather
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I don't know about you, but I think Mr. Perfect or Ms. Perfect sure sound awfully boring. They also don't sound like real people. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Cricket
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MusicNerd's common interest advice is excellent, and I wanted to expand on it a little with one of my favorite pieces of advice that I picked up on a relationship advice blog:
If you like someone and are interested in getting to know them better, especially if you share a common interest, ask them for recommendations about cool things related to that interest. What books do they read? What comics are their favorite? What movies do they enjoy most? Getting recommendations from someone about cool media you could check out has the doubly great effect of a) showing them that you respect and are interested in their opinions on your shared interest and want to talk WITH them about it rather than AT them, and b) even if you don't end up dating them or forming a deep friendship, your knowledge of a subject you enjoy has been expanded a bit - it's a total win-win! Plus, if you go check out their recommendations, the next time you see them you know you have something set up to talk about.

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Sharingan
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That's a really good addition Cricket. Thanks [Smile]
So true about your knowledge being expanded that little bit, anything helps right?

I'm going to a huge New Year's Eve party here in a couple days so hopefully I can try out everyone's suggestions.

Can't wait, it's gonna be super fun!

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Onionpie
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Good luck! I hope you have a lot of fun! And feel free to let us know how it goes or come back and ask some more questions if you want [Smile]
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MusicNerd
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Yes! Ditto what Onionpie said! [Smile]

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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Jill2000Plus
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I'm not surprised that people called Mr. and Ms. Perfect don't sound like real people since they're characters created by Roger Hargreaves (or at least, Mr. Perfect is, not sure if there's a Little Miss Perfect) [Razz]

Personally I'd prefer to be called Ms. Adamantium-Cuddleton-Cumming*-Charity-Smythe [Big Grin]

I'd like to thank everyone here for their good advice, I'm not in the habit of pretending to be someone I'm not but this thread has helped reinforce and clarify some important principles of mine in relation to how I treat myself and others.

*After the famous Alan

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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MusicNerd
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Hey Jill!

That's great to hear! Yup. Pretending to be someone you're not = nope, not gonna work out well. By the way, I'm liking the name you came up with. lol [Big Grin]

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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Sharingan
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Well, It's the first of January and the party has well and gone.

Happy to report back that things went pretty well. I actually really enjoyed talking to a couple of girls I was introduced to.
Basically as we were walking around town while the huge party was going on, one of my friends and I ran into a group of girls that he knew.

I introduced myself and one of them immediately picked up on my american accent. (I was born in the states, moved to New Zealand around 6 years ago.)
We didn't get to stay for long because they were actually going to meet up with another group of friends and bumped into us along the way, but they were able to stick around for a few minutes and chat.

I tried out a lot of what you guys suggested and it was really fun. We talked about where in America I was from, how your night has gone so far, whereabouts around the Mount we lived (Where the party was held), basically anything to do with the common interest of the party we were at.)
It may have only been a couple minutes of talk but I felt super comfortable talking to them, especially with my bro right next to me who was good friends with them all.

The friend who I was with at the time actually wound up spending the majority of his time that night with the girl who noticed my accent (The girl from the group who I had talked to the most), and he told me that she was asking about me a lot throughout the night. They wound up kissing last night so I don't think there is there, but it's still nice to know that I had interested her. It just made me feel like I did everything right [Smile]

So yeah that's how it went down on New Years night. Hopefully things go as well as they did last night in the future.

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MusicNerd
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Hey, Sharingan! That's great to hear (or read, technically [Razz] )!

I'm glad that you felt comfortable in talking to those girls at the party! It sounds like you had a fun time! If you have any more questions/updates/whatever, feel free to come back and talk to us. [Smile]

--------------------
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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