Get Past "Just Friends"

Q: I'm a 20-year-old virgin. Heck, I've never even cuddled, kissed, or even so much as held hands with a girl. My friends say, "Just kiss her," but I'm afraid I'll come off as a jerk. I can't help but think that she wouldn't want me to. I was fat my whole life, so I'm still really insecure about myself, even though I've been told I'm attractive. (I lost the weight, by the way.) Every time I get close to a girl, we always have that "just friends" conversation. Apparently they like me so much they're afraid of messing things up by being anything more than friends. Yeah, right. What should I do to make a woman want me as more than a friend? I'm not too concerned with having sex, I just want someone to love me. -- Eric

Dr. Susan: Twenty-year-old virgins aren't that rare. The key to your problem is your phrase "she wouldn't want me to." Girls like to be shown affection too, you know. If you're feeling close to someone and the mood makes you think of kissing, start slowly by touching her hand, complimenting her lipstick color, moving her hair off her face. Sometimes, believe it or not, all it takes to get a female to think of you as other than "just a friend" is to get a little physical. It's an unpredictable chemical thing. It won't always work, but it won't be because there's anything wrong with you. Shy guys don't have it easy. You have to take risks so you can get used to not taking rejection as a major setback. As for getting someone to love you, there aren't three easy rules, or even six hard ones. Many of us have to go through a miserably lengthy period of meeting and getting to know a variety of people, from shy girls to self-confident extroverts, before something clicks between two of you at the same time.

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