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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » How to start dating again?

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Author Topic: How to start dating again?
Typical Young and Dumb Teenager?
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It's been a little over three and a half months since my first boyfriend and I broke up, after dating a year and a half. I really struggled the first two months with getting over everything, and so, I didn't want to just jump into another relationship and use someone as a rebound. But now I really feel like I'm ready to put myself back out there, and I'm just not sure how. My ex and I had known each other all our lives, and he just kind of popped up the summer before I started high school.

I'm 16, a pretty girl, and it's not that I don't have any confidence, although I don't have as much as I wish I did. I just don't feel comfortable going up to a guy and talking to him, much less flirt, and I'm always afraid that if I do, I'll do it to someone else's boyfriend. I go to parties and try to socialize with people as much as I can, I just, like a friend said, don't act like I want to talk to someone, but I DO.

Any suggestions?

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Young and Dumb.
"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go." - Keith Urban

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Do you deal with social anxieties in terms of making friendships, too, or just around dating?

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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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Typical Young and Dumb Teenager?
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When it comes to guys, both, but I can easily befriend another girl. I'm not really sure why, but I get nervous around guys. Not nervous as in I get butterflies or have a loss of words, I just don't know what to say or do because I feel like I won't be able to relate. Once I get to know them really well, though, I'm cool with them and I can be myself.

[ 05-25-2009, 06:04 PM: Message edited by: Typical Young and Dumb Teenager? ]

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Young and Dumb.
"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go." - Keith Urban

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Heather
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(Just FYI? Let's please not use retarded as a put-down, okay?)

What might help, then, is to think of establishing or initiating relationships with anyone, of any gender, as initiating friendships. Friends-first really does tend to be a good way to create healthy romantic relationships, and when you realize that people of EVERY gender can be your friends, it can help to not be so nervous.

Why would a guy's opinion of you matter any more or less than a girl's would, you know? What if you and another girl didn't relate? Probably you'd just walk away figuring you just didn't connect, the way we don't connect with anyone and everyone, right? Same goes with guys.

So, how about approaching guys no differently than you approach girls?

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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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Typical Young and Dumb Teenager?
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Sorry, Heather, I definitely did not mean it in any hurtful or upsetting way.

In all honesty, I'm not sure why talking to a guy is different than talking to a girl. I guess I just feel like I have nothing in common with guys, and even if I felt like I did, I'm not sure what to say or do when I approach them. I know it sounds stupid, but I find it a lot easier to talk to a guy who is in my class than someone who is the class ahead of me. I guess it's because I see them all the time and my class is close and we're all friends already. But the thing is, although I'm not "best" friends with any of my guy friends, I know I don't want to date any of them..

The problem with being friends-first, is the fact that I can't even become friends with them. I typically like older guys- only a year or two older- but I'm not sure how to initate a conversation that would give them the signal that I like them like "that." Does that make sense?

[ 05-25-2009, 06:22 PM: Message edited by: Typical Young and Dumb Teenager? ]

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Young and Dumb.
"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go." - Keith Urban

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Heather
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My point is that when you first initiate contact with people, other than knowing you might find them attractive, you really can't KNOW if you "like them like that." You have to get to know someone a bit more to really know that. What someone looks like, or if you have sexual chemistry isn't a good marker of if you're a good fit for a romantic relationship: that's just one piece of a much larger puzzle.

So, when you initiate friendships first, you get to find that out over time, and if you do develop those feelings, by then you'll have some kind of relationship already, even if it's not a very close friendship, which can make asking about dating a whole lot easier.

Guys really are not that different from girls: so much of the divides people think exist are both just perceptions, and also based around how some men and women treat the other gender as if they WERE radically different. And if you really have nothing in common with guys? Then dating them isn't going to be sound.

Seriously, having nothing in common with someone means you really can't have an intimate relationship in the first place. See what I'm saying?

It's also not stupid to find talking to immediate peers easier than talking to people outside your peer group. So, why not go ahead and start with guys your own age who you are more comfortable talking with? Since you've only had one other boyfriend, you can't really have a sense of who is or isn't a good match for you based on something as minor as an age difference of a year or two, eh?

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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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Typical Young and Dumb Teenager?
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I feel ridiculous for feeling like I have nothing in common with guys because it's not that I don't; I just feel that way. I actually have a fair amount of things in common with my guy friends, as well as my ex.

I guess my best bet is to let things fall where they are bound to fall anyway.

Thanks, Heather. You've been really insightful.

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Young and Dumb.
"Life is a balance of holding on and letting go." - Keith Urban

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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So, maybe it's just time to reevaluate those ideas and feelings, eh?

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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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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By the by, do you have a copy of my book? If so, there's a good section on dating (obviously there is nothing at all objective about my assessment of that section being good since I wrote it, but still).

In case you need a little more how-to, I'm personally a big fan of dating being something that's pretty organic.

For example, you're at a party, you meet someone you like and think might have interest in, so you suggest that a small group of you -- including that person -- leave the party and go to a diner, for a group walk, what have you. When you're doing that, you get some group time in a smaller group, as well as maybe a little time alone to get to know them better. maybe you get a phone number or email.

then the next time you go out with a few friends, you invite that person along again. Within a couple times of this, if you're both feeling a thing, you'll likely start having more of that group time be alone time and one of you can pretty easily suggest moving it to just hanging out alone at some point and seeing how that goes.

If the chemistry is there, if you both are leaning towards romantic feelings, once you're at a "date" alone after all that, no one will probably need to make any big to-do about asking to see each other again, or about voicing a desire to date in any kind of awkward, formal way.

Catch my drift?

[ 05-25-2009, 07:52 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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