Q: I am a very intriguing young man. I know that I am not being modest here, but I am. You see, I have a certain taste for the luscious ladies. I want to be a perfect gentleman towards them, treat them the way they should be as if we were in the 17th century ( I know this is extremely lame, but hey, a guy's gotta try). I am 22 and haven't dated at all. Never ever. With girls who do find me somewhat interesting, I brush them off, and yet at the same time I try to garner all information from another female that I might have espied a day or two before. It takes me awhile to actually approach the other sex, and when I do I never actually get to the point of asking them for their phone numbers. The only unique experience that I gain is, I learn about their nature, through a rigorous questionnaire (again lame).
Anyways, I have this true vision in my mind, that when I fully reach adulthood, and attain a considerable amount of knowledge that would elevate my maturity level, then I would be able to gracefully approach a lady and become her suitor. Yet I believe I am quite archaic in my philosophy. I know I am a warped case. I could treat a lady better then most of the guys out there. I know it's all in the confidence, yet how do I go about attaining a level of confidence that would show a certain charisma in the presentation of myself?
Dr. Susan: Whoa! You're trying way too hard, Mr. Seventeenth Century. And yet maybe not hard enough. With all the studying of the fair sex you think you're doing, you're still way off base when it comes to what women want. What makes you think they want to be treated the way women were treated barely out of the Dark Ages? Chivalry's great, but feminism rules.
The way you talk about women is anything BUT chivalrous, actually. What women want -- if I may be so bold as to speak for an entire gender, which is ridiculous, of course -- is to be treated like individuals. How's that for a paradox?!
But you're right about one thing: your confidence level is lower than low. That would explain why you avoid the few females who DO show an interest in you. Stop fretting about how you come across to others, how your presentation measures up. Spend your time being REAL. Just talk to women as though they were potential friends. Sooner or later one of them will respond to your friendliness, and you'll gather your courage (like a knight preparing for the charge, if you will) and simply say, "Would you like to go for coffee one of these days?" That's all it takes, not an encyclopedic knowledge or set of questionnaires. You were right about that: it's lame. So do something different than you've been doing all along. And join the twenty-first century where most of the women worth knowing reside.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.