Too Nervous to Ask Girl Out

Q: I finally summoned the courage to approach this girl I've been noticing at the gym. By the time I approached her by the water fountain, my heart was beating so fast and loudly I couldn't hear myself think, hear my own voice, or hear her voice. I awkwardly told her I liked her t-shirt, which was of some celebrity I'd been reading about. I honestly can't remember the rest of the conversation. I am proud I approached her but disappointed I psyched myself out. Help! -- Gerry, 30

Dr. Susan: I have three tips for you, Gerry. Remember that it's your gonads that "think" this is such a big deal. You don't even know the girl, so how could it matter that much what happens? Try to keep a realistic perspective. And second, consider this great quote by IBM pioneer Thomas Watson: "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate." And it will get easier over time. Third bit of advice is to consider asking a doc for a prescription if your heartbeat is really sky high and getting in the way of your love life. Above all, keep in mind that nothing bad can happen, you can only not get something you would like. She may already have a boyfriend. Also, her attitude so far hasn't sounded welcoming. It shouldn't be that difficult to make an initial contact if someone is warm, sweet, and ready to be interested.

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