There are several of us hiding in the shadows of our best alpha male friends.
Not to toot my own horn here, but I’m good at a lot of things. I can play guitar, write, play video games, excel at my job with a brilliant sense of business and, I’m extremely tech savvy. I would even go so far to say that I’m a fairly kind-hearted individual. On paper, I feel like I’m not a bad catch.
In person, though, well, you might never know about those aspects of me. I’m one of the least shy people I know – my employer demands it —, and in the past, when I performed live at acoustic shows, being shy really wasn’t an option.
So, why is it that when I’m interested in a woman or I see a group of them herding together at the club, I suddenly turn into this timid shell of a person?
This awkward version of a man is not uncommon. There’s war waging inside of us that we just can’t win. There are several of us hiding in the shadows of our best alpha male friends.
While they’re meeting the dream girls, we’re watching from a distance saying, “Hey, that could be me,” and then coming to that sudden realization, “But, not back from here.” Yet, we continue to sit there, sipping our drink of choice alone.
How does that self-pity taste? Salty, my friends. Salty.
Here are 12 very transparent reasons why we are afraid to take that next step with women:
The non-existent sixth sense
We can sense the outcome of what will happen, and we run away from that happening. Our friends will call it a wide array of things – lack of self-esteem, being too shy, no initiative, etc.
But, the number one thing I have noticed is that we believe we have a better idea of the social nature between man and woman. Therefore, we understand the girl in front of us will not be interested.
Many of us spend the majority of our young adult lives crushing on the same one or two girls, and therefore, we never get to experience asking out other girls that often.
This led to a lack of experience when it came to those social environments, which also explained why we excel in other social environments, but not in ones where meeting and talking to new women is a thing.
Previous trauma of rejection
We’ve been turned down by the ones who count and subconsciously, we feel like it may happen again. Let’s face it: It probably will. And, the idea of being shot down by someone like that again isn’t appealing.
Overly self-conscious about our appearances
I’m a whopping 5’7”, which, for a guy, isn’t super tall. I’d like to think I compensate for it in other areas. But, women don’t know that side of me and sometimes, it’s hard to present that facet of our characters in 30-second introductions.
So, we are entirely too self-conscious of our appearances. Whether it be height, weight, skin or anything else, these materialistic elements play huge roles in the first impressions we give to women.
The reason why we excel at work but not in talking to women is because our jobs empower us. I work in customer service, for instance. If you come to me, then you need something; therefore, you give me the power to control the situation.
In social environments, such as bars and clubs, or even in a more casual environment, we fear the unpredictability of not being able to control a situation.
There’s no setup and your wingman sucks
I can’t exactly walk into a bar with a sticker that says, “Hey, I’m single!” Sure, you can have a wingman, but in several instances, they end up going home with the girl, instead, or just giving up on you completely.
Fear of “what’s next” after the introduction
So, we’ve made that first step. We introduced ourselves or we initiated text messaging. But, we have no idea how to take it to that next level. “Ask her on a date,” you say? Psh, good one.
Too much risk
We would rather take the safe bet than risk embarrassing ourselves, or if we are already friends with them, risk an otherwise acceptable relationship.
We find reasons not to approach that aren’t relevant
“She’s busy with her friends right now,” or “I would ask her out, but she probably has a busy schedule with finals and her work schedule.” Silly things like that.
We can’t read the signals
She wants to “hang out”? Is it a date or not? Could it transpire into being one? Does this winky face in the text message mean she’s flirting with me?
Or, is it sarcastic? Or, is it just a stupid winky face? Do these Facebook likes add up to anything? We ambush ourselves with questions by trying to analyze situations that may or may not exist.
Overthink the situation
In the midst of trying to analyze the situation and get a read on the girl, we tend to delve too much into the infinite possibilities. Dating isn’tthat complicated, but, by golly, we sure make it seem that way.
All of our friends constantly preach the “just go for it” method. They believe that if she’s not into you, the hell with her. Well, on paper it might be that simple, but all of these different variables have created a huge hole of self-confidence.
Now, if you’re in this situation, then I would love to offer advice. Unfortunately, due to my predicament, it’s one of those “take my advice, but I don’t use it” type of scenarios.
Most girls who I’ve dated are the product of either my friends set me up or an overwhelming amount of effort or the girl made the first move. So, to that end, here are some quick tips for potential success:
Recruit your friends to help you find the princess
As juvenile as it may be, you have to start somewhere. If you have been deprived of dating for the majority of your life, then there’s no shame in trying to get your friends to set you up.
Don’t worry about it that much; be who you want to be
Ultimately, if you try to be someone you’re not, one day, someone will fall in love with the wrong person. That’s never smart and most certainly unfair to all involved.
Your friends and family will continue to badger you until you finally settle down. My sister continues to ask me when she’s will be an aunt and I always tell her whenever one of her friends is crazy enough to date me.
None of her friends have ever hit me up. She’s a terrible sister.
Don’t go searching, out of vulnerability
People often become infatuated with other people for the wrong reasons, such as fear of being alone.
Make sure you’re as objective as possible when picking out your soul mate and you’re not rushing into a relationship to call “the one” because you’re tired of being alone.
Get with the modern-day technology
Websites like OkCupid, Match.com and Zoosk have made it easier than ever to meet new people in your area with very little risk involved. You have the ability to show who you are without risking rejection, if you don’t want.
But, I wouldn’t recommend relying on sites like these long-term. Success rate varies for different individuals and it’s always been a golden rule that you should be careful when meeting people on the Internet.
Take the philosophical approach
As Rumi (a poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian) said, “Your task is not to seek for love but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
The number of girls I’ve dated is fewer than what I can count on one hand. Ultimately, this has led to a lot of missed experiences in my life. One day, I’ll find someone or someone will find me, or better yet, we’ll find each other.
Maybe, we’ve found each other already and we just haven’t taken that step yet — I don’t know.
What I do know is that being the “shy guy” is a rough lifestyle, but one day, if we continue to be who we are with the utmost transparency and patience, we will eventually have soul mates to call our own.
by Shawn Mitchell
This post originally appeared at Elite Daily. Reprinted with permission.
Shawn is a contributing writer based in Orlando, Florida after relocating from Robinson, Illinois for his full-time job in retail and Magic the Gathering ambition. When it comes to writing, he does both fiction and non-fiction.
Photo: Israel Orlandi/Flickr