Why *I* can't talk to girls.

I’m told that the reason that I should be capable of going up and talking to any cute strange girl is that there is actually very little risk in putting myself out there. But there is something subtle that I have never heard anyone say before. I only just realized this because I’ve been brainwashed into thinking that I would be risking little. But the risk COULD be HUGE. Sure, I could be embarrassed. So what? I’ll get over it. Sure, she could slap my face. Would hurt for a mere second. She could belt me in the stomach. I’ve seen that before. Might knock the wind out of me for a moment. It’s happened to me before and I’m still alive so I could probably live if she did it to me. But what I couldn’t live with is the idea that I screwed up my one and only chance of getting to know the woman I was meant to marry because I choked and did something to piss her off. That’s what I’m scared of. If I don’t screw it up tonight, then there is still a chance that I can see her some other time and I might get some great idea before then. I might get some great pickup line. Or I could just chance meet her at the gym. We could end up going to the same French class. She might move in next door. I know it’s not rational. The chances of me even catching a glimpse of her in the same supermarket again are much much worse than the chances of me getting her phone number right then and there. But I think that this is the reason why we shy people have such a hard time doing this impossible task.

Yeah, increasing the number of girls I talk to will increase the chances of me meeting someone who is compatible with me. And I might end up marrying one of them, after I learn to ask one out properly. But is she “the one?” Maybe that first girl I asked out all stupid like was “the one” and she got so turned off by my stammering she brushed me off. Her loss indeed. Well, yeah it’s her loss but it’s also my loss. And shoot, if we were meant to be together then we would probably have kids and, well, now that’s not gonna happen so it’s the kids’ loss too. My kids’ lives are hanging in the balance here so don’t tell me there is little at stake.

Sure you could say that if someone is meant to be with me then it’s going to happen no matter what. But how do you KNOW for sure. You don’t. You have a belief, but you can’t prove it. Anyway you can’t prove that there is only one person for each of us anyway. That’s just a romantic pipe dream really now, isn’t it? But we human beings are romantic dreamers. I can’t help it, and neither can you.

I know I’m wrong about this next statement so don’t take it the… well the right way, especially if you are one of these brave souls. I think the guys that are capable of running up to any girl he finds even remotely attractive because he doesn’t fear embarrasment really don’t believe in true love. He doesn’t believe in fate. He doesn’t believe that there is one person for each of us. He doesn’t feel that the girl he is chatting up is worth the worry of thinking that she could be “the one” because “look there’s another girl over there!” He doesn’t care if he screws up because all he risks in asking her out is his pride. Well when I ask a girl out I am risking a lot more than pride. I am risking my future. And her future. And our kids’ futures. I know I’m being sanctimonious and stupid. But this is how I rationalize not being able to talk to these girls.

Now if I was just looking for someone to screw then I could see the truth of what people say. But I’m not looking for sex. I’m looking for Mrs. Right. It’s not that I am at the age where most are looking to settle down. I’ve always been looking for Her. I was when I was 10. I was when I was 20. And I am now that I’m 30. Am I just wierd that I’m not looking for a bed mate but a life mate? Am I the only person who gets all hung up on the fears that this stranger might not like me? That I actually care about what she thinks of me? That I might be screwing up the one and only chance at happiness? Am I the only guy who doesn’t pay attention to the missed opportunity but the screwed up possibility instead? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

So when I finally get the courage to talk to one of you cute doper chicks please punch me in the stomach. Insult me. Call me ugly. Call me stupid. Do anything but please please PLEASE don’t be the girl I was meant to marry and simply say, “not interested.”

And this is why your particular version of life reduces you to paralysis. If you’re being fatalistic about this, then “the one” wouldn’t reject you, now would she? And if you’re wrong about being fatalistic, then you’re just lonely for no reason but because fear held you back. If and when you do get together with someone who you suspect to be “the one” material, you’re expectations are so high that anything could and would disappoint. What a dangerous valentine…

You are giving too much power to the vaginas.

They are girls. They have feelings too… hate to be rejected, get nervous… the whole works.

You know what? I’ve even heard a few girls fart and pick their noses. Yep, they are gross too.

Cheer up friend, you’re on the right path. Now, consider how much it would cost to go out with enough women that you find someone you can actually live with. Then figure the cost of living with her (it’s a fact that women buy a lot of expensive stuff). You tell ME if it’s even worth the trouble. I think you’ll see it isn’t. Not as long as masturbation is an cheap and effective substitute.

Stay the course.

You’re right in a lot of ways.

I DON’T think that fate is the one picking a wife for me. I don’t even think that God has ONE picked out, and I’m pretty darn “religious” for this board.

There are many women who would be suitable, and without practice, you will screw up meeting all of them.

Seriously… I HOPE to hell that I am NOT HER.

sheeesh. Look at how much responsibilty and pressure you are putting on some stranger… WHO COULD BE THE ONE.
you’ve been looking for her your entire life?
your only chance at happiness?

I don’t know too many women that find this romantic, irrational thinking attractive.

Have you been in a relationship? Do you know they are not magical? They are like friendships, partnerships… they take work, ya know?

MissBungle: Word.

prisoner6655321: Drop this whole “the one” nonsense and get to know women as people. If you meet someone and think she might be “the one,” you are going to screw it up. Period. Because you’ll be putting far too much pressure and emphasis on the relationship, and you’ll be freaking out every time you and she disagree on Japanese vs. Chinese food, and you’ll keep altering your behavior in hopes of seeming like Her Perfect Man (even though you have no idea what that is), and you’ll keep wondering, “When should I ask her about the next step in the relationship?” and all of this will effectively prevent you from interacting with her as a person.

If you feel you have to change your behavior to get a girl to like you, don’t. The LAST thing you want is to be in a relationship with a gal who doesn’t know you.

Take it from the voice of experience: Before you go on a date, or even go out to a place where you think you might meet women, look in the mirror and say, “I drink too much and I tell dirty jokes and I care WAY too much about college football. And that’s who I am and I’m not going to lie about it. On the other hand, I also (secretly) like chick flicks and I think the moon is made of marigolds and the sight of a puppy playing makes me cry.” Or whatever; be honest with yourself and get used to who you are. And then go Be That Guy.

The point here is that if you approach a woman with the idea in the back of your head that she won’t like you if she sees the Real You, then you’re right: she won’t like you. But it’s because she’s not seeing the real you, not because she is.

Isn’t Neo supposed to be “The One”?

Snooooopy there is no “One”, there is only the Matrix.

Prisoner. Dude, take a valium. What I said to Snoop applies to you too. There is no “One” out there. There’s tons of women whom you could forge a realtionship, have kids, and grow to old age with. Relationships, marriage, child rearing. . . all of these things are learning processes. I learn something new about my wife all the time, as she does about me. You’ll find that this is the case for you too, if you ever stop thinking about every potential date as the “One” who will make your life complete. A mate doesn’t complete you, a mate compliments who and what you are and want to be.

The most relevant word you used in this entire paragraph is the word rationalize. Your attitude is a rationalization based on your fear of being rejected, which is what’s really at the heart of your problem here. It’s easy to say that being rejected won’t really bother someone, but much harder to actually experience it. You let your fear control your life, and to explain away your difficulties, you “concern” yourself with the loss of future children, which you’ll never have unless you make the move.

And as for the “children” whose lives are so carelessly thrown away by the “One” rejecting you, think of it in another way. What if the “One” is incapable of having kids? What if you are? Does that mean that the “One” really isn’t? If so, then who is the “One?” The “Two”?

Take a deep breath, do some dating, and know that every single relationship but one will fail. That relationship is the “One” that you’re looking for, and it’s not tied to any of your other thoughts.

Argument number One: The concept of “The One” is a blatant lie. For years my brother asked me if the woman I was with was “The One,” and I told him there was no such thing. Anyone can love anyone they choose to love, and make it work.

Argument number Two: After a week of wonderful dates, and a week of ignoring a woman in public situations because I didn’t want to be teased by our friends, the woman who eventually became MrsB was a sobbing wreck who called me the biggest asshole who ever lived. She was right, but it took her saying that for me to recognize my behaviour and get over it. It’s been 11 years since then, and we’re a very happy couple, we’re each other’s best friends, and she really is the one for me, and I for her. But we made each other the one for us; it was not pre-ordained. And if we hadn’t made things work out, we would each have found someone else.

This bears repeating. Talking to women is practice. Asking them to go somewhere is practice. You aren’t going to know if you even want to see one of them a week from now, much less spend the rest of your life with her, unless you try.

Mr. Herder and I have been through a lot together, nearly broken up before, and I had the “geez, do I really want to spend the rest of my life with this guy” second thoughts a year or two into our relationship. We’ve been together for about a dozen years now, and married for the last five. I don’t believe you’re “meant” to marry anyone in particular, but I do believe that I married a great, very compatible man who I am very happy to be with.

It is impossible to give too much power to vaginas. They can even help you escape police sting operations!


Arguably, that whole “The One” thing is the most widely believed, harmful, and stoopid superstition around.

prisoner, i have to agree with the majority here. even if your theory of “The One” were correct…just how the bloody blazes do you expect to ever MEET this mythical creature? she just going to fall into your lap while you’re sitting on your couch?

if you were female, i’d accuse you of a terminal case of White Knight Syndrome…waiting for the magical prince to ride up to you on his charger and carry you off to HappilyEverAfter Land. i’ll admit, as a young-and-stoopid version of myself i indulged in some of that fairytale fantasizing. never saw so much as a ghost of a hoofprint for all my waiting though, ya know? i had to start interacting with people, meeting interesting guys, total losers, and in-betweeners before i found my future mate. and the road to the altar wasn’t all rosepetals and sunshine either. we broke up for a year before things finally got on the right track. but i doubt if i’d find a better husband than the man i’m married to. many things all fell into place…but an equal number of them took talking, working it out, patience and acceptance.

time to put away the storybooks and start checking out real life. you’re likely to have a looooong, lonely wait, otherwise.

Wow! That’ll teach you to share your innermost thoughts and feelings, Prisoner. It’s odd how the “Ow! I have a hangnail” type posts seem to reliably generate an outpouring of sympathy and concern, but yours seemed to draw more hostility than anything else. It has to make you wonder if some of it isn’t due to those people’s anger at feeling like they “settled”.

Anyway, no, you are not the only one who feels the way you do. I totally understand it. I can’t say how common it is. It seems to be rare, around here. But, I totally understand the “If I do it now, I’ll screw it up. If I don’t, maybe I’ll get another chance when I’m better prepared” attitude. I’m not even going to get into the right/wrong argument. There’s no way to prove or disprove it. I just wanted to try to counter some of the undeserved hostility. It sounds to me like you’re a good, thoughtful person who deserves better than to be slammed for sharing something personal.

[Scotty]“But, Captain, I canna give more power to the vaginas! Yer gettin’ all I can give!”[/Scotty]

I thouoght it was because you were incarcerated.


actually, Davebear, i don’t think anyone’s expressing hostility so much as alarm. if you yell at your buddy because he’s standing in the middle of a street, totally oblivious to the oncoming Mack truck drawing a bead on him, are you being hostile or trying to warn him of impending doom?


I know you said not to tell you that if she’s The One it will work out whether you “screw up” your first meeting or not, but I really and truly don’t understand why not.

I’ll admit that I’m actually another of the people who don’t necessarily think that there is only One, so maybe that’s why I have trouble understanding why, if there was just One, one brief meeting could ever be enough to ruin any chance with her forever.

If you have any kind of connection whatsoever (and I would assume if she’s The One, there’d be some connection), I don’t see it as terribly plausible that a woman would completely lose interest just because you say something that wasn’t scripted by the gods of romance and kneeweakening. Unless she wasn’t attracted to you in the first place (which wouldn’t be the case if she was The One), or unless you said something mean or hurtful, I don’t know many women who would write a guy off forever based on something so petty as a less-than-brilliant opening line. If a woman were completely turned off by your lack of smooth-talking abilities, how could she be The One, since that is part of who you are?

Actually, lachesis, it wasn’t your post that prompted mine. I didn’t even see yours until after submission. We must have simulposted.

However, your analogy is poorly chosen. There is no comparable urgency to Prisoner’s situation, nor is his physical well-being at risk. “Your buddy” is not in danger of being run over by a truck; he has been run over by life, and is hurting. Yelling is unnecessary and probably counterproductive. I suppose you could claim this is Tough Love, but I don’t see the love, and TL is supposed to be a last resort, so it would hardly be appropriate, here. He’s just a “hopeless romantic”, looking for a little support; not a lecture.

And, if you don’t believe that attacking another person’s beliefs is being hostile, well, I won’t attack your beliefs, here. But, calling his beliefs nonsense, “stoopid”, fantasy, and immature is not helpful.