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Dear Todd Parker - 10/22/14

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Dear Todd Parker,

How do I get a girl to like me?

I'm in my first year at the university and there's this girl that I'm really into. We live in the same dorm. We have the same major and have a couple of classes together, so we see each other all the time. She's really pretty and she seems really interesting. I don't know a whole lot about her yet, but I want to. I haven't talked to her very much. We say hello to each other when we pass and she smiles at me when she sees me, but that's about it.

I have no idea what to do. I went to a small high school and never really had a girlfriend, so I'm not sure how it's supposed to work. My roommate says I should just go up to her and talk to her, maybe ask her if she wants to hang out or something, but I wouldn't even know what to say. I'm kind of shy, so I'm worried that if I try to initiate a conversation, I'll just come off as weird and awkward and it'll all be ruined before it even starts.

What's the best way to approach this girl? What should I talk about? What do I do if she says yes to hanging out? Every time I see her, I get this little twinge in my stomach. It's driving me crazy.

What do I do?

Nervous in Orono

Dear Nervous,

All right there, Romeo. Let's take a couple of deep breaths and pump the brakes for a minute.

This will probably be hard to process, but you need to relax. It sounds like you've already started putting crazy pressure on yourself to make this happen. If you go into things wound this tightly, she's going to be able to see it. And you definitely don't want that.

You're still new to the whole boy-girl thing (which is fine by the way plenty of exceptional people don't find their romantic footing until they reach college), so you're going to want to take baby steps.

You guys share a major and some classes; that's a great place to start. You're both new to this world, so you're probably dealing with some similar hassles. You're in the same dorm and it's October someone must have done something crazy and/or stupid by now. You have stuff to talk about.

Just don't put yourself in a headspace where you need to make this girl fall madly in love with you in the space of one conversation. It doesn't work that way. You have to remember that she's bound to have her own stuff that she's dealing with; the last thing she needs is to have some dude from down the hall coming on too strong too quickly. Remember that you're still on training wheels with regards to this whole relationship thing take it nice and easy.

If you have a couple of chats with her that go fairly well, then maybe you take that next step. Here's the thing, though: you have to accept the possibility that it isn't going to work out the way you want it to. You can't take it personally; every person has different wants and needs especially at this particularly volatile time. She's no different. It isn't necessarily about you. In fact, it probably isn't.

Maybe this girl is waiting for you to talk to her, maybe not. There's no way of knowing without stepping up to the plate and taking a swing. The only promise I can make is this: whether you hit a home run or strike out, you'll ultimately be glad you got in the game.

Good luck, kid. Todd Parker is rooting for you.

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