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Never Been Kissed
Dear Dating Coach,
I am a 38 year old guy who needs your help with an embarrassing problem. For whatever reason, I have never kissed a woman. I know it is hard to believe, even laughable, but I've just never had the best of luck with the ladies. I'm not socially awkward, I know how to carry on a conversation, and I'm fairly attractive, but I have never experienced that first kiss moment.
I don't know if it's something that I am doing or not doing, but I'm starting to feel this emptiness inside, like I'm missing out on something. I've avoided talking about my problem with friends, for fear of being looked down upon. I can't help but feel like I'm past my prime. What can I do to get in the game?
--Never Been Kissed
Past your prime at 38? I think your first hurdle will be to stop THINKING so much about this issue and begin DOING something to address it. What can happen, and seems to be happening here--is that you get so far in your head on an issue, that the rest of you falls far behind. Compounding this is a sense of shame that has driven you "into the closet" regarding your lack of experience.
Have you ever seen that wonderful (relationship) movie called Annie Hall? It centers around two people who meet, date and struggle to find a meaningful relationship. It brilliantly takes the viewer through the stages of this new relationship, SHOWING us what they are thinking, and how it differs from what they are saying and doing. An early scene describes how he feels about making that first move to kiss her, and his fear of what she might think, say or feel if/when he does. It is humorous because this is what that first intimate moment is like for many people. He comes to the conclusion that he should just "get it over with" so they can both relax and enjoy the rest of the date.
Everybody has their first time, some later than others. If it is something you know you want and you meet a woman you want to experience it with, go for it. The key is to follow your instincts. If she is telling you with her words and body language that she is interested, show her you are too. You can save it for the end of a nice evening out, or as a way to say hello when you see her. When the moment seems right, quiet that little doubting voice inside you and gently reach out to her.
If you suspect that there are deeper issues than just a lack of experience, work on figuring out what these are and addressing them. And, by the way- your "real friends" won't look down on you- they will cheer you on.
(from July 2007)
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
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