There’s a guy in my extended friend circle who I really fancy. We chatted loads at a barbecue last month and although we added each other on social media and I drafted many messages, I haven’t sent one.
We were due to see each other through friends again and it’s all I could think about but the meet-up has been cancelled following the new government guidelines.
I’m so deflated and can’t think of an excuse to get in touch.
I know people have real problems to contend with but autumn is on the horizon and I’ve met no one again. Am I overthinking this?
As all good crushes go, you’re finding comfort in the daydream and are feeling perplexed by reality.
‘This instant connection would have felt even more exciting following such limited contact with others,’ says Dr Angharad Rudkin.
‘You’ve shown impressive restraint in not messaging him, which demonstrates emotional control, but what’s so frightening about sending him a message? Do you suspect your feelings aren’t returned or fearing an anti-climax?’
Yes, many are struggling with life-changing pandemic fallouts, but your life and feelings are also valid and important. You will have to be bolder, though.
‘During these difficult times, we can’t just rely on chance to do its magic,’ says James McConnachie. ‘We’re being pushed to make and take our own chances – to go after what we want and take the risk of rejection.’
Asking for what we want can feel incredibly uncomfortable but the direct approach tends to be more effective.
‘It saves so much time and energy,’ says Rupert Smith. ‘Usually, people are quite pleased to think that someone’s getting in touch because they like them, not because they want to borrow a book.’
We wonder whether this might be a good time for you to reflect on why you lack confidence and to consider how you can build it up.
‘If you can feel good about yourself, regardless of whether people like you or not, you will emit an irresistible signal of strength and satisfaction,’ says Rudkin. ‘Even if you initially have to act as if you feel this way, it will help you feel more attractive.’
When we’re less reliant on other people to acknowledge us, we tell the world that we are someone to be valued.
‘So draft a message simply saying “I liked talking to you. I’d like to see you again”,’ says McConnachie. ‘Personally, I don’t think there’s anything lovelier, more worthy of respect or sexier.’
If this is still too far out of your comfort zone, then just establish contact, simply by enquiring as to how he is. If he’s at all interested, he’ll reply.
‘If he’s negative or evasive, you’ve got your answer,’ says Smith. ‘If, on the other hand, he’s as keen as you are, you could be looking at a cosy autumn after all.’
James McConnachie is the author of Sex (Rough Guides)
Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist
Rupert Smith is the author of Interlude (Turnaround)
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