Can you give me some advice about dating?

I’m wondering whether you can provide some advice about dating – I’m in the last year of my degree and I’ve realised that I’ve been neglecting the relationship side of my life for a long time! The last person I ‘dated’ was in high school and since then I’ve had pretty much no experience with guys, which I’m really embarrassed about. I would love to put myself out there, but at the same time I’m worried my lack of experience would show. I’m not sure how I should go about tackling this issue.

First of all, well done on reaching the final year of your degree! Your question raises an important issue faced by many students, that is, now that your study career is drawing to an end, how to begin focusing on other important life areas, such as intimate relationships.

Clearly you are worried about lack of experience in dating. However, successfully dating and then building a relationship usually has more to do with how two people relate to one another than the amount of previous experience they have had. Even someone who regularly dates may find the experience awkward or difficult with someone they have nothing in common with, while someone who has never dated may have an enjoyable and relaxed time with someone they naturally connect with.

Try not to think of dating as something completely new that you have little experience with. Remember it’s just another way of getting to know someone and seeing if you enjoy each others company, which is something you will have done many times in your life. Take the pressure off yourself and enjoy the process.

Finally, what are your interests, hobbies, passions in life? If you are not so sure, it might be time to broaden your horizons. Taking up an interest is also a great way to meet new people. Enthusiasm is infectious and people are often attracted to someone who is really passionate about a hobby or interest. By focusing less on your ‘lack’ of experience, and more on the positive attributes you can bring into a new relationship, you will be more likely to relax, be yourself and approach dating with an open mind and a sense of fun, which is really what it should all be about! Good luck and all the best with your studies this year.

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