Ask Jono: Guys Find Me Unobtainable!
Hi. This is the correct email for Ask Jono right? Hopefully it is....
(You're great btw)
I'm a senior in high school and I've never dated, been kissed or anything. Which I'm fine with and with me graduating soon and going out of state, I'm not looking for a relationship. But when I go to college in a few months I want to date and get a boyfriend etc. But here's the issue, apparently guys find me to be "unobtainable" or "intimidating." I don't know how to say this without sounding really arrogant, but I know that guys find me attractive. There's a lot of random guys that compliment me and try to hit me up and a couple of guys that I know have crushes on me (other people have told me so and I've finally managed to actually notice when someone likes me). But even though they find me attractive, they're all scared of me? I've had a few guy friends tell me that I seem too independent and perfect. That I'm perceived as "out of their league." That I'm the epitome of strong, independent, doesn't-need-a-man type. But what if I want a man?!? How can I convey that yes I'm available and I want to go out with you when I like someone?
My girl friends just tell me I'm ridiculous because there's currently 4 guys harboring silent crushes on me that don't plan on ever doing anything about it, and I still can't manage to date anyone. But the thing is that I barely even know these guys! I don't even understand how they like me because I don't ever talk to them or see them. And it's not like they ever make an effort to approach me? Am I supposed to find them once I learn they like me to determine if I like them back??
I don't think I'm intentionally intimidating, I think I am sort of flirtatious naturally and I do have a lot of guy friends. I don't know if I'm unintentionally putting guys I actually do like into the friendzone because I have too many other friends who are guys. Do you think I need to start making the first move? Or would that be even more intimidating? I'm really outspoken and independent and I don't know how to not be that so basically, for future references, i.e. college, how can I seem more approachable to guys and not have it be like high school. I just need help because I have no clue what I'm doing.
I'm really sorry that this is all jumbled and disorganized. I'm all over the place.
First of all, Sparkler, it's not arrogant to be aware that people find you attractive. In fact, in this case it's pretty necessary for your e-mail to make sense (as opposed to "Dear Jono, I look like a melting snowman. Help me stop intimidating boys with my beauty."). I'm not going to immediately suggest that you start making the first move, because constantly suggesting that around here probably gets me mentally pelted with vegetables, but if it does come to that, being confident in your appearance will make it that much easier to just walk up to a guy and talk to him.
Second, it's important to know exactly how you're being intimidating. I know you're not just like some giant ominous Easter Island head, because you said you're naturally flirtatious, which means you're at least talking to people, but sometimes girls who think of themselves as flirtatious aren't really taking the flirting far enough to communicate interest. The flirting dance is just a series of gestures and smiles and eye contact that establish two people are interested in each other; here is basically what all of the body language translates to when a guy is talking to an attractive girl.
- Girl: (smiling, making eye contact) "Talk to me!"
- Guy: (stumbling, stammering) "Okay, uh, h-hello"
- Girl: (holding eye contact, standing close) "Did you notice that I am a girl, and talking to you, a boy?"
- Guy: (spills drink despite not carrying a drink)
- Girl: (touching arm) "Now I'm continuing to be friendly and flirty and maybe you should ask me out!"
- Guy: "Yes. I will have one of those, please."
You might be doing the first part just fine, but then not escalating your flirtiness to make it clear to the dude that you're actually interested and not just a flirty/friendly person. But if you feel like it never even gets to this point, here are some other suggestions.
Body language can be even more important than facial expressions in communicating emotion. Strength and independence are inarguably good things, but if you have that kind of personality, and your arms are always crossed, and your jaw is always clenched, and your fists are always punching boys in the head, then you need to tone down that stuff and try to look more relaxed and accommodating. Basically just picture running to hug some wonderful friend you haven't seen in years (arms thrown wide, wide eyes, big grin) and then put down your arms so you don't look like a crazy person.
Conversation is a two-way street, and neither extreme is good. You don't want to sit there thinking, "Yes. Tell me more about video games. Awesome. I wish I were dead," but you also don't want to be like "I don't like video games, I like birds! Here are ten things about birds that are so boring you wouldn't even care about if them if you were, yourself, a bird." Finding that balance between listening and sharing is important, though, because people will less intimidated by you if they feel like they know you a bit, and they won't think you're out of their league if you're deigning to talk with them.
Approach a dude.
If all else fails, you can just talk to a guy, because no guy is ever going to think, "Well, she came up to me, but she is so hot that I give up." The approach already signifies interest, and as long as you follow it up with a vaguely flirty conversation and not asking for directions to the bathroom, he'll understand your designs are flirty, not utilitarian.
Whatever it is that's making you appear unobtainable, it might be related to being confident and independent, but you should never compromise those things because they are awesome (and attractive; even just applying body spray to a guy and thereby making him confident he doesn't stink makes his picture more attractive to women). Strength of character is always a positive thing, as long as you're not like "DRIVE ME TO DINNER, MAN SLAVE," and even then you could probably find someone who is down with that. Going to college changes a lot, in that the guys you're dealing with are no longer high school guys, and therefore less-easily intimidated. But I warn you not to be too naive in thinking "I will go to college and get a boyfriend!" when a lot of them are thinking "I will go to college, where girls grow on trees! Give them to me. Give me the girls." If anything, your independence will only help you in college, and later in real adult dating, where it will hopefully only scare off the kinds of guys you wouldn't want to date anyway ("Why is she not sheepishly submitting to my manfulness?? UGH."). For now, retain all the good stuff about your character, and just focus a bit more on showing guys you actually want to talk to them.