Ask a Dude: Is Asking for Clarification a Relationship Death Sentence?

Hey Dude,

I just turned 20 and am a sophomore in college. I have plenty of friends, but I have never had a boyfriend. Many of my close friends have the same problem, and we dwell on it all the time. We go out to parties, socialize, and have fun. I have guy friends that are my best friends so I do not think I am shy around them. I have hooked up with random guys, with only one being “considerable” for something more.

We were set up and hit it off right away, however it all changed when I asked where it was going (relationship or hook up) after a month of us going out. I know this was straight-forward, but I needed to know! Was this the wrong thing? Is there something that college guys look for in a girl to become a girlfriend? Being 20 and never having a boyfriend concerns me.

— Forever Single but not Forever Young

Dear Forever Single but not Forever Young,

To answer your first question. No. It wasn’t wrong. After a month, asking for clarification isn’t an act of treason but reason. You’ve just got to be prepared (as best as one can) to get the answer you didn’t want.

Onto the second and more general question: No. There’s no secret trick that’s 100% guaranteed to catch a predator boyfriend in college.

So, where does that leave you? SOL? WTF? FTW? LOL? It leaves you feeling like gum on the bottom of someone’s Sketcher being scraped off. It SUCKS! The question is, whose fault is it, yours or theirs?

With enough heartache via painful rejection, it’s tough not to the think that the problem could be you. You start trying to fix yourself. It has to be something you can solve. There has to be something you can control about the situation. Well, there’s always something you can do but there’s never a guarantee that by doing it you’ll become more appealing, attractive, or desirable. Hopefully though, you’ll be happier.

How many times have you been told to just be patient? When the time’s right it’ll just happen. You won’t even see it coming. Don’t get me wrong, practicing The Secret is all well and good. Belief in yourself is essential to a fulfilling existence. However, there comes a breaking point where good intentions and well wishes cease satisfying your loneliness.

Part of the problem is very likely that you’re stuck in an environment that cuts you off from a wide variety of gentleman callers.  You might also be suffering from a lack of confidence that can come off as desperation to some guys, which is relationship repellant. Could it be hygiene? Could it be attitude? Could it be location? Yes. It could one or a combination of all three. Based on the limited information you’ve provided me about yourself I can’t put my finger on which permutation is the most likely. Regardless, there are practical actions to take.

Talk to your inner circle. You sound like you have a fabulous support system of friends. These friends can best serve you through honesty. They can provide an objective perspective on how you come off to guys. If you trust them, then ask them to be straight with you. See if they provide some insight.

Go off campus. GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE! Take a weekend trip to another college that a friend from high school’s going to. Or Birthright. Just see how you feel when not surrounded by the same guys every day. Sometimes we’re not compatible with the people we’re attending classes with. Maybe you’ll loosen up or find guys who are more your speed.

Cultivate a passion. A boyfriend doesn’t bring fulfillment. Being someone who’s confident and loves what she’s doing does. Throw yourself into something that makes you happy when you do it. The more social the activity the better. Meeting people when you’re feeling like your best self is always better.

You can’t control somebody’s decision to be your boyfriend. You can only try to enrich your life so that when someone says “No” you realize it isn’t the end of your life.

Live long and prosper,
Dude, Chief Science Officer, U.S.S. Male Perspective

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