She's Hot but He's Scared
Q: I'm seeing someone who I knew in high school, and she's just incredible. My problem with her is that I'm so scared to even try anything. I'm still afraid to kiss her for fear of screwing up. At one point she wanted to have sex with me pretty bad but I didn't take advantage of it. I was so incredibly intimidated. She's just so beautiful and great and she ACTUALLY likes me. I'm so scared to lose her that I can't even pick up half the signals she's sending me. She called me on it the other night and it got me worried. We're crazy about each other so she said she'd work with me, but I don't know how much time she'll put up with it. Any advice? -- Josh, 20
Dr. Susan: How much time she'll put up with what, exactly? Your incredibly low self-esteem? Your fear of making a move lest you lose her, because you think you can't do anything right? Relax! If the two of you are so crazy about each other, let go of your fears and let the relationship develop. You've imagined yourself into a bind where if you do something, you may lose her, and if you do nothing, you may lose her. The truth is, you may lose her no matter what because most relationships formed at this stage of life don't last anyway.
One problem, though. Maybe the two of you shouldn't be rushing into sex at this point. You can be affectionate without taking that leap. What's her hurry?! I suspect she's a lot more experienced than you are. Go places, do things, see if you have what it takes to get along. Take a chance and kiss her. See what hugging feels like. Rushing into more probably won't make her stay with you any longer. Hey, she's just a person like you. She's not a goddess with all the answers. Many people go through a period of being utterly certain that no one cool will ever like us again. That's so wrong.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.