Dear Ask The Men,
“I am a 45 year old, soon to be divorced woman, and mother of three. My daughters are currently attending college and my son is eleven years old. I was in a marital relationship for 21 years. Prior to that I had very little experience with men. In fact, my soon to be ex was my first boyfriend. I would describe myself as a late bloomer and I am proud to say I’m sexier today than I was 20 years ago. Any hoo, I’m no where near ready to date, but I must admit I do think about my future and if it would ever include having another relationship someday.
The problem is, I’ve been in a ‘coma’ for over 20 years and I don’t know how to talk to men. I haven’t even danced with a man before and I feel so lost when it comes to making that connection. Men approach me, they stare, and I get all kinds of attention but I fear as soon as I open my mouth I won’t be able to hold a very mature or meaningful conversation. I’m afraid of humiliating myself.
I’ve been so closed up in my life. The marriage I was in literally sucked the life out of me. I’ve been a passive woman who enabled a narcissist husband for many years and I don’t know where to go from here. Do you have any suggestions on how I can come out of my shell?
I like who I am now. I’m finding new joy in my life. I actually wake up smiling. I’m a better mother; a better sister; I am a better friend. I’m even considering going back to school at my age. Ha! I just don’t know how to talk to men. Are there other women like me? If so, I need a support group asap! Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.”
– Inexperienced and Shy
Dear Inexperienced and Shy,
You’re in quite the conundrum but it can be fixed. Also, you’re not the only late bloomer and inexperienced woman out there, so need not worry. I’m going to give you the same advice I have given others with similar dilemmas.
First off, I understand your perspective because it can be extremely difficult getting back into the dating game after so many years married or in a committed relationship. The fear of meeting someone new, getting used to ones quirks, likes, dislikes, habits, etc., can be quite an intimidating prospect to handle. But you need not worry as your situation may not be as dire as you believe. From what you’re stating, you are an attractive woman. This coupled with the fact that men generally approach women gives you two solid checks in your favor. Based on that alone, you are off to a good start.
Find yourself first. Because for years you’ve catered to someone else’s needs and wants, now is the perfect time for you to tend to your own. You can do this by figuring out what it is that you enjoy doing in life including your spare time. Find a hobby of some sort, join a book club, or participate in a social activity that falls within your comfort zone. Seeing that you desire to be more sociable with the opposite sex, it makes sense that you choose activities that place you in the company of men. By doing so, it should make it easier for you to socialize on a casual and friendly level early on, until you strengthen your comfort and confidence in going beyond that.
Another suggestion is for you to plan a ladies night out with your friends. Remember, the majority of men by and large will approach and initiate conversations with you. All you have to do is listen and find something in their dialogue that strikes your interest, and go from there. If you approach these encounters with a casual and platonic mindset (which could potentially lead to more at some point), the pressure is off of you to make a great impression. As these interactions progress, just try your best to remain relaxed and most importantly, be yourself.
Peace and blessings.
So readers, what advice would you offer ‘Inexperienced and Shy’ to help her overcome her fear of speaking to guys? Comment below!
If you have questions/dilemmas of your own that you would like us to address on Ask The Men, send them here.
Updated on 01/15/19, Post originally entitled, “Help, I’m Recently Single and Afraid to Talk to Guys!”