For me, respecting boundaries a bit too much has been a problem and girls tend to lose attraction to me after the first several dates when nothing happens. One of my exes actually told me this, more or less. Now I’m going on a second date with a girl I am very interested in, and she seems very interested in me too. Problem is, she’s a lot like me – very reserved and a bit nerdy. So reserved, in fact, that during the first date I thought she wasn’t attracted to me until I got her text when I got home, hinting at a second date. On top of that, she works as a waitress and is often busy in the evenings.
So if I were to predict the future now, I’d say most likely we’ll go on a several daytime (to fit her schedule) dates, nothing sexual will happen (because we’re both reserved and timing will be very awkward) and she will lose interest after a period of time. It seems almost inevitable.
Is there a way I can stop this from happening?
It seems like we have a lot to overcome here so let’s just lay them out upfront, if you don’t mind.
- You are reserved, which makes signaling attraction and interest difficult for you
- You have a history of problems with escalating to displays of attraction
- You have a self-fulfilling prophecy mentality around your inability to escalate to physical attraction
So, how can you overcome all of these issues? You need to stop believing in a version of yourself that doesn’t have to exist. The version of yourself that you describe, the version that’s bad at escalation and thinks its inevitable that you’ll fail at dating, doesn’t have to exist. We’re all born as blank slates. Sure, there are things we might be predisposed to because of our environment, or the behaviors of our parents and peers, but the version of you that was born was a blank slate. You weren’t a shy baby on the day of your birth, you were a baby with a blank slate. Since then, you’ve grown into an adult who can’t escalate to physical displays of attraction. That sucks, but that doesn’t have to be YOU. You can decide to change if you want to, and I don’t mean just this issue, I mean any issue, barring serious medical or mental health issues of course. I was once a shy guy and who couldn’t approach any woman in public and now I’ve got the skill set to be able to confidently approach a stranger and talk to them, even if my base instinct is to cower and flee from polite conversation. My point is, don’t get caught up in thinking that your present state has to be the future state of YOU. If you dislike the fact that you’re very reserved, you need to take steps to move away from that version of yourself.
You should get into the mindset that the people who go on dates with you are attracted to you, and operate as such. The next time you’re having doubts about whether or not a first date went well, just assume it did and ask for a second date if you’re interested in the girl. It’s not your job to think of reasons why she’s not interested, so don’t do it. Let her reject you if she’s going to, don’t imagine your rejection and do her work for her. Just assume that the people who are on dates with you are interested in you until they tell you otherwise.
You already know that I’m not a mental health professional, but the steps to escalate your dating from platonic to physical are pretty simple, they just require a lot of repitition. Surprisingly, there are only 4 steps to escalating to getting things physical:
- First Kiss
- Kissing and getting physical (i.e. getting handsy…with consent of course!)
- Ask her on another date and repeat Step 2
I’m simplifying and leaving out a lot (like building a connection, foreplay, boundary discussions, expectations, etc) but once you start dating someone, you’re going to be repeating Step 2 and Step 3 until you get to Step 4. Keep in mind, these steps are contingent upon her consent, attraction, and chemistry with you. Now remember, this is a general guide, not a “guaranteed to get you laid” list of steps. It’s possible that you’ll be spending a lot of time repeating steps 2 and 3, a whole lot before you get to the point where she wants to have Sex. Your escalation will be dependent on her willingness, her consent, and your chemistry. It’s possible that you can skip from Step 1 to Step 4 in one night, and it’s also possible that you’ll be dating her for months before she sleeps with you, or she could lose interest and never sleep with you. No amount of skill with escalation is going to turn a “Not interested” into a “Yes” so the best thing you can do is repeat steps 2 and 3 until you find someone who is down for step 4. If you’re finding that you’ve been on more than three dates and haven’t moved beyond the first kiss, you should give some thought into whether or not she’s interested, or if she’s moving at a speed you’re comfortable with.
The whole being reserved thing is something you’re going to have to acknowledge, then fight against. If your nature is to do one thing like avoiding being direct in asking if someone to kiss you, and you know it’s holding you back, acknowledge it and push you forward. If being assertive or aggressive feels unnatural, fake it until you make it, as the kids say. You get to decide what you do, not some version of you that’s in your head, holding you back.
Okay, I know I got into some weird Jaden Smith vibes with the self-actualization stuff but seriously, it’s all in your head. So, get out of your head, put some effort into changing the things that bother you about yourself that you feel are holding you back, and don’t let date # 2 pass without making out with her (if she’s into it of course).
Good Luck Out There.