Senior in High School

Friday, August 24, 2012

Question

How can you tell when a girl wants you to kiss her? How can you tell if a girl wants to go out with you?

 

Answer

Being a teenager is pretty tough because nobody really knows the answers to these questions. I know guys who are 50 who couldn't answer either one. But when you first start noticing girls and wanting to spend more time with them, it's especially difficult to decode their signals. Nobody wants to make a move and then find out she was not actually interested in you that way. Rejection is pretty painful one-on-one, and you also don't want to be the object of gossip.

Resign yourself to the fact that growing up just sucks, and there are going to be some painful and embarrassing experiences along the way. Don't expect yourself to be knowledgeable about sex or romance before you have enough experience to tell you what your odds are with any given girl. Let yourself make mistakes because that is the only way to learn and get practice with every social opportunity. The alternative is to become an isolated person who would rather stay home than make the wrong move. That's a good way to have a terrible life. It's better to learn how to laugh at yourself and chalk the horrible errors up to One More Effing Growth Opportunity.

One possible compensation is to remember that girls don't know any more about this than you do. They also wonder whether a certain boy likes them, how can they tell, how can they get him to ask them out, is it a good idea to kiss or make out, will he tell everybody else, what should they do? Try to declare your intentions without crowding her into a corner. Nobody likes to feel put on the spot. Using a little humor is one way to make the whole thing seem less of a big deal, so she feels she can say yes or no without destroying your ego or ending a friendship. (Of course, this may not be true. She may be destroying your ego or ending a friendship. This is where you have to fake it.) A girl who says no today might say yes tomorrow if you don't throw a big fit and embarrass her or scare her.

Girls sometimes don't like it if boys are too bossy. A guy who assumes that he knows what is going on inside her head can be seen as pompous or domineering. It can actually be really sexy to whisper to a girl, “I wonder if you want me to kiss you.” If she hesitates, you can get bold and declare your own position. “Because if you do, I would like that a lot.” Or, “I would be happy to oblige.” Another way to approach it is to say, “I'm wondering what it would be like to kiss you. Would you mind if we found out?” If you are alone with someone cute and feeling some sexual tension, you can also say, “I think you should come over here and kiss me.” You are expressing your interest, but giving her some space to decide whether she wants to get closer or not.

If you feel more comfortable making the first move, that's okay. It's socially expected, and many women prefer it. Just don't be too hard on yourself if it takes some practice to feel confident and lose your awkwardness. I recommend leaning in slowly to get in position for the kiss. This gives her a chance to turn her lips toward yours, or move out of your way so the kiss lands on her cheek. You can also start by kissing her neck, then work your way toward her lips. The neck and throat area is very sensitive, almost as sexy to her as a mouth-to-mouth kiss. So it can help get her in the mood for physical intimacy. The warm feeling of your hands on her back or upper arms can also be sexy for her.

Many younger guys worry that they won't be masculine enough. So they want to look smooth and in control. Girls do enjoy these qualities, but they like the idea that you are making an exception and trusting them, being vulnerable with one of them because you trust her enough to let your feelings show.

Girls love to ask for advice and give it. They often discuss the same questions with each other over and over again. So asking a girl for advice is familiar to her, and gives her a chance to feel empowered. “I don't know what to do because there is a girl I would like to ask out. But I don't know how to tell if she is interested in me. I don't want to ask her unless I'm sure she will say yes.” Let her tell you what she thinks, then reply, “Well, that's all very interesting, because the girl I want to ask out is you.” She's just had a close, personal conversation with you, so she is likely to feel that you are a safe person for a one-on-one experience.

If you don't feel ready to be alone with a girl, it is okay to enjoy social opportunities where there are groups of boys and girls together. “A bunch of us are going to the bargain matinee, do you want to come?” may be easier to say than, “Would you go to the movies with me?” Even in group settings, you can usually find a way to spend a few minutes alone with a girl who has caught your eye. She might signal interest in you by looking into your eyes, moving her body so the two of you are standing really close together, touching your arm or chest, or by letting her hand bump into your hand. Some girls steal one of your personal possessions or find another way to tease you so that you will chase them, tickle them, and otherwise physically flirt with them.

But she might also stand away from you, look down, twist her hair, giggle, get sarcastic, or refuse to talk! These are signs that she likes you so much, you make her nervous, and she gets too confused to know how to behave. Any normal person would be completely puzzled by this mixed message. But it can be worth it to let your interest show so you can find out if she is telling you, “I really like you” or “Piss off, I can't stand you.” Tell her, “You know, it's really cute when you do that,” then see how she reacts. If she gives you a dirty look and stomps off, you will know that she was not interested. If she looks startled and seems pleased, you have a green light.

Dealing with rejection is one of the most important lessons that guys have to learn if they want any kind of social life. You can't let rejection permanently crush you. It might hurt for a while, and you might feel like you are getting cut in half. But you have to get over it and try again with somebody else. During your teens, emotions are very intense. You may never again have the same level of keen need for female companionship or appreciation of their whims and good looks. A crush feels like getting picked up by angels and flying with them, and rejection feels like getting dropped on your head from the top of a mountain. Even though you feel like you are going to die, you don't die, and your stupid heart will attach itself to somebody else. Go with it. This is a time to experiment and learn.

That sounds great in theory, but in practice it means you will often feel that you cannot face the world, yet you somehow have to get out of bed and go to school, where they keep all the people you hate and detest. You are expected to fall in love and date even though adults will also tell you that you are too young and stupid to know anything important about real life. And all of this is happening while your body and emotions are going through so many changes, you are at least twelve different people between breakfast and lunch.

Surviving adolescence is the last major ordeal on the route to adulthood. Just keep eating, moving, sleeping, and talking, and you will be okay, except for the permanent emotional scars. Good luck and feel free to write again.