Dear Mary, I’m scared of going to college because I’ve never kissed a girl. How do I start meeting people and fitting in?

I’m a very lonely guy in my late teens and I don’t know how to date girls. I don’t even know when or how to kiss a girl. I’m really amazed that I’m even writing to you because I’m so embarrassed to admit all this.

I just left school and got good points on the Leaving Cert and made my first choice, so I’m excited…and scared. At school all the other boys seemed to talk about girls all the time.

I never seemed to belong. I am not sporty. I am very insecure. I do not look good. Girls even laughed at me when I was in a crowd. I’m going to university (I won’t say where), but how do I start dating people without feeling like an idiot?

I’m not gay, but when I start looking at girls I like, they just look away and find a guy who’s more attractive/interesting/funny.

Any advice you can give would be great.

Maria answers: Well done with your great leaving cert scores and you must be thrilled to have made your first choice. But instead of looking forward to college life, you fear your current lack of success with girls, which is a real shame.

You should look at college as a brand new phase of life that will be exciting. You will also meet a lot of new people with different cultures, interests and academic abilities.

Some will be straight like you and others will be part of the LGBTQ+ community. But you’re all going to be human, and that’s what I want you to focus on when you start college. It doesn’t matter that you’ve never kissed a girl, but what matters is: are you a decent person and worth knowing?

By your own admission, you are not very confident, so you should start doing small things to build your confidence. First, try to find three things that you like about yourself. It can be your eyes, your voice, or something like your sense of humor.

Then, after a few days, you find a few more things that you like. You have to do this because your email was very negative and the only positive thing was your good exam results. Think about how you would sell yourself in a job interview and remember that the interviewer would not be interested in your kissing story!

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So armed with a more positive attitude, check out what societies are offered at your particular college and join some of them. You’ll find people there – and there will be women among them – who have interests similar to yours, and that’s always a good place to start.

When you join societies and chat with people, the most important thing is to take an interest in them rather than wondering what they think of you. When you’re talking to someone, ask open-ended rather than closed-ended questions – it makes the conversation flow much more easily. If they ask you something about themselves, don’t just say yes or no, but answer their question fully and then ask them something back. Also keep in mind that there are many freshmen who are just as insecure, especially when it comes to the opposite sex.

Don’t worry about the fact that you’ve never kissed a girl. When the time comes, it seems like a very natural progression to chat up someone you’re attracted to and they chat up you. You don’t have to be good looking to be attractive — a sense of humor, a smile, and open conversations will get you the attention you deserve.

I hope that in the years to come you will just see yourself as a bit of a late starter and ask yourself why it was all so difficult for you, knowing that you are now much more comfortable in female company. And when the time comes, I’m sure you’ll really enjoy kissing. Dear Mary, I’m scared of going to college because I’ve never kissed a girl. How do I start meeting people and fitting in?

Fry Electronics Team

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