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Teen Dating Issues/Should I just talk to him about my dating fears and inexperience?


I'm 22 with zero dating experience, and I also deal with social anxiety. So really, the fact that I've made it this far is astounding, haha
So I've been out with this guy (he's 25 and I'm pretty sure he's more experienced than me, though he also seems a bit shy? We didn't even huh until our second date, and that only happened because I initiated it) three times. All we've done so far is hug, though on our last date I'm pretty sure he tried to kiss me but I didn't expect him to or realize he was doing it, so I kind of messed that up.
He's gone away for a week, but we're gonna get together when he gets back. I want to kiss him this time, but I don't know when, or how. If he picks me up, then how does him dropping me off go? Do I get out of the car first? Do I expect him to follow? Do I just go for it while we're in the car? Do I sit there awkwardly until HE goes for it? I'd rather just stay in the car, but that seems too obvious, haha
The other thing is, I stress before every date. And after every date. Because this is so new, I over-analyze, and worry about showing him that I like him, but also not embarrassing myself. It actually causes me a lot of anxiety. I'm wondering if it's something that I should just bring up with him. Like explain that I'm new at all this, and I over think things, and I get nervous, so if I seem off, I'm just stressing.
Or something like that... I just feel like I should explain myself so that he doesn't get the (incorrect) impression that I don't like him. Communication is key, right? I just don't think I can go on this way much longer.

You are definitely over thinking it, and that causes stress.

First, if he likes you, he likes you. If he doesn't, he doesn't. You want him to like you when you are at your very worst and when you are at your best, so relax. Be yourself. Be quirky, and by all means DO NOT TRY TO BE PERFECT!! When girls or guys try too hard to be perfect early on in dating, later they find living up to THAT STANDARD is impossible.

Here's an example. I was divorced after a very long marriage, and when I returned to the dating scene, I made a pact with myself. I decided I was going to find a guy who I could consider a friend first and a love second. I wasn't going to focus on looks, money, career, none of that. AND I decided HE was going to have to like me for the same reasons. He was going to have like me because of my outstanding personality AND my quirkiness, NOT my long resume of accomplishments, my model-like body, or my multi-million dollar teaching job (I hope you can tell by now I don't have any of those things!!). I met this one guy online, and we'd been emailing for about three weeks. I got to where I was really looking forward to his emails even though I'd never met him in person. One night I wrote an email that was pretty silly, but it was 100% me. I wasn't faking it or showing off. I'm just a bit of a clown, and it was showing in this email. Just before I hit send, I thought, "I can't send this. He'll think I'm a weirdo." And then I remembered that pact to be 100% myself. I just left a long, bad marriage that soured because of trying to keep up appearances. I wasn't going to go through that again. So I said to myself, "Ok. If he ditches me because of me BEING me, I'm ok with that. I'd rather know now than to fall in love and find out later that he wasn't into the real me." So I hit send, went and hopped in the shower, and returned to check email once more. There was this: "You are the funniest person I've ever met. I've been looking for someone who could make me laugh. Goodnight."

My point is to be you. Do not try to be what you think he wants. BE YOU. And tell him, "I don't have a lot of dating experience. If I seem nervous, I am, but it's only because I'm a little anxious about how to do this right. You're a great guy. I don't want you to think I know what I'm doing. I'd actually feel a bit better if you told me you were a little nervous, too."

As for what to do...Don't worry about it. Just do what feels right, but always, ALWAYS proceed with caution when it comes to health and safety. Because you have some social anxiety, you might be tempted to just let him take charge. NOT good. Girls in that position often find themselves in abusive, controlling relationships later. If he says, "Where do you want to go for dinner," and then ask him the same. ALWAYS try to have an opinion, and if it matters to you, learn to stand up for it. Dinner is a little thing, but the ability to make a decision is not. It starts with little things and build or deteriorates from there. You always want to be building!

Please stay in touch. I'm going to be leaving All Experts soon. If you need additional advice, email me at

Best to you!


Teen Dating Issues

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Suzi Zimmerman


I am a teacher and I write books on teen dating, self-esteem, and values. I can answer questions on making healthy choices, self-improvement, liking yourself, relationships and friendships, goal-setting, values, and how to handle making difficult choices.


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