This is a simple answer: You want to because you are an absolutely normal 18 year old guy. Now that we’ve settled that, let’s get down to the more important problem. You’d like to find a woman to be close to but you’ve been too shy or anxious. Shyness isn’t likely to wear off by itself. You need to find a way to up your self-confidence and start putting yourself in situations where you can meet young women and let them get to know you. Get off line and join an organization, take some classes, or do some volunteer work so you can be face-to-face with people and practice your social skills. Sharing an interest with women can lead to friendships, which can ultimately lead to finding someone special.
Some useful tips on WebMD’s website: “There is no secret or trick to successful dating. But there are things you can do to make it easier — for both of you. This goes beyond the (hopefully) obvious steps of bathing and using deodorant, which are important. You should also be respectful in how you approach her. When you ask her out, see what she’s up for. Mention an activity, like going to a movie or a basketball game, and then ask her what she thinks about the idea. ‘That way you’re letting her know how you feel and also considering her,’ says Geraldine K. Piorkowski, PhD. If she doesn’t like your suggestion, throw out a different one. But if she gives you a hard no, take the hint. ‘Know when to back off,’ Piorkowski says. ‘Most young women do not feel good about being pushed.'” Lastly, “If you’re feeling nervous, don’t sweat it. “She’s as scared as you. So do what you can to put her at ease. Look her in the eye. Smile. Remember, dating is all about talking. Talk to her. And more importantly, talk about her. If you’re chatty by nature, be sure to give her a chance to speak.”
Please don’t feel inferior to friends who got into the social scene at a younger age. Every person is different: some people do and some do not. The fact is, I get letters every day from shy young women your age who are wishing they could find a young man who would be sensitive to their shyness and take it slow.
I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on June 29, 2008.