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"I'm so nervous around her I can barely speak!"

After one year of trying to go out with this girl, she has finally said yes. The problem is I get so nervous that I can hardly speak to her or even look her in the eyes!

I have dated before and I’m usually the talkative, outgoing type. However, when I’m with her I just shut down and can't even talk.

I have never felt this way about someone before and now I’m afraid that I might lose her because of my nervousness. Please I desperately need some advice!

16 Sept 2006
Name: Travis
Age: 20

Dear Travis,

Oh yeah. I know that feeling well. I think we all do -- when we're not really into someone, we're not nervous around them and so we're totally at ease and can be 100% ourselves. But when we DO like someone, not only do our cheeks seem to turn a permanent shade of red and our tongue starts tripping all over itself, but acting calm, cool and relaxed suddenly becomes a next to impossible task!

Why do you think people always complain (myself included) that they have no trouble attracting everyone they’re NOT interested in, but when it comes to the people they are romantically into, they can never seem to win them over?

When we really like someone, we feel intimidated. We have this way of placing our crushes on pedestals and viewing them as high and mighty beings – almost like Gods and Goddesses.  And we convince ourselves we’re not worthy of them.

It’s no wonder we have so much trouble attracting the people we really like (or, in your case, building sold, equal relationships with them). When we deem someone as better than we are, there’s no way we’re going to lay down our guards and show them our true colors. And if we don’t do that – if we don’t allow the other person to see us for who we really are – than they’ll never get to know our authentic self, personality and character.

Stop worrying so much about impressing this girl, and start focusing your attention on getting to know her, and allowing her to see the real, true you. I know it’s scary, but the first thing to realize is she wouldn’t have said ‘yes’ to going out with you if she didn’t want to. So relax because clearly she’s interested in you too.

The second key thing to remember is that confidence is an extremely attractive trait – in fact, it’s the most eye-catching quality any of us can posses. As humans, we’re inherently attracted to confident, self-assured people. So, rather than let your insecurities show (“She’s amazing! What could she possibly see in me?”), act in a manner that says, “I’m a great, well-rounded guy and just as I’m lucky to spend time with her, she’s also lucky to get to hang with me.”  And you know what? That’s true! She IS lucky to hang with you because you’re an awesome guy who has a lot to offer (and I’m sure you have a whole band of admirers and ex-girlfriends who would back me up on this!).

Really, this is all just a case of mind over matter. I know you really like her, and you’re nervous about saying the wrong thing, doing something she doesn’t like, and overall you just want to impress her, but what’s most important is that you act like yourself and be who you are.

Here’s the thing – if she doesn’t like you for you, then you don’t need her. I always say, “This is me. Take it or leave it.”  While I can compromise on many things to make a relationship work, changing my core self is not one of them. I refuse to ever be someone I’m not, simply to impress a guy.And you don’t need to do it either. If she’s not into you for you, as much as you like her, there are a million and one other equally as wonderful girls out there who will want you exactly as you are.

So gather, and exude, all your confidence. Adjust your attitude – sure, she may be wonderful and a total catch, but so are you! Realize she’s just a person, same as you, and just as you have flaws and quirks, she does too.  And make the pact with yourself to uphold your integrity, always be who you are and never, ever act in a manner inconsistent with your true self just to get a girl.

Good luck!

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