Can't Get a Break
Q: I'm 22 now and I've never been successful with a woman. Over the past five years, I would estimate I've approached 700-850 women. I've tried online dating, other online meeting places, clubs/bars, through all stages of school up to now at college, my workplace, and I even tried to chat up a girl when riding a bus. I've been intimate with four women so far, but each of them approached me and I took them up on it for lack of better choices. They approached me because of my body, and while I'm flattered about that detail, it kind of sucks that I seemingly don't have anything else to offer that anyone wants. What should I do? -- Eric, 22
Dr. Susan: You have got to ask this question of someone who actually knows you, or spend a few more bucks and see a counselor who will tell you the truth to your face. Something is wrong, but it might not be something about your personality. Could it be that you're being too picky in some way, so that you're approaching women who are unapproachable for one reason or another? I would normally say you're still quite young to begin despairing, but you've certainly made at least some effort with a large number of women. You say you're not unattractive. Are you unusually short, poverty-stricken, dress cluelessly, or have bad breath? Is it possible you come across overconfident or overly needy or self-absorbed and boring? Something is going on, possibly something with your approach, that is shutting women down. You might try meeting interesting and interested women by getting involved in some project where such women are: amateur theater, political campaigns, local issues, photography class, a college extension class, etc. Above all, find someone who knows you and see if you can get a straightforward appraisal of possible flaws.
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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.