No Luck Asking Women Out

Q: I'm having trouble meeting women. I'm super shy, and so I don't go out a lot. I'm not bad looking, kind of average. I can tell ladies are interested sometimes, like at a coffee shop. But if I try to talk to them, I don't know what to say. Even if they say something to me, I get awkward and end up just walking away. I'm so mad at myself because I really want to date. I feel like I'm old enough to know how to ask a woman out, but I just can't seem to do it right. Can you give me some tips?—George, 31

Dr. Susan: There is no "right way" to meet or ask a woman out, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. I fear that places like coffee shops, bars, and supermarkets have a fairly low record of success. You know nothing about the woman at all, except how she looks. Your shyness sounds extreme, so maybe you could schedule a couple sessions with a therapist who can help you rehearse scary social situations. I suggest getting involved in some groups in which all the members share an interest. Even if nothing romantic comes of it, you'll get practice talking to women. Check out the many meet-ups and local political groups. Join a local book group at a bookstore. Even if the women are older, they may have someone they can introduce you to. And don't close the door on online dating.

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