I’m Nervous to Talk to Him. What Do We Talk About?

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

I just started dating one of my friend’s boyfriends. I haven’t really talked to him in person before we started dating, but I have been going to school. I am too nervous to talk to him, so I try to avoid him as much as I can. But I want to start talking to him more and actually spend time with him.
But I don’t know what to talk about? And I don’t know how to be affectionate with him in front of people?
-Miranda (Missouri)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Miranda, you sound like you are part of the text generation who begin “dating” via text and then find it hard to stumble into the world of real communication. You may have even said sensitive things in texts that you feel a bit embarrassed to say out loud.
I’m going to ask you to back things up a bit and pretend you’ve just met. Start with a simple word. Say “Hi” when you pass him in the hallways and always smile.
Eventually you’ll progress to short conversations about his day by asking him what class he has next, commenting about a teacher you both may like (or dislike) and mentioning something about his attire that advertises something about him, as in, “Which Hard Rock restaurant is that shirt from?” or “I see you are a Lakers fan.”
As for being affectionate with him in front of people, don’t worry about that part yet. You shouldn’t be touching a person you can’t even talk to! And if he tries to touch you prematurely because of social pressure from the boys club, be sweet and friendly but remove his hand.
Remember, these early relationships are practice relationships. This is your big opportunity to practice communication skills.

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