First year — No boyfriend?

Originally Published: December 1, 1993 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: November 7, 2014
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Dear Alice,

After reading several letters on your site I decided I just HAD to write you. I am so lonely. I'm not ugly or a loser or anything; in fact, I'm an attractive, upbeat, and outgoing first-year college student. But no matter what I do, I can't get a guy to be interested in me as anything more than a friend. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong. There are a lot of guys I'm interested in, but none of them will give me the time of day. There is one guy I really like. He is a senior and he is president of a fraternity. I see him every now and then and I've been dying to approach him, but I'm not up for rejection. I guess I should just do it, right? I mean what do I have to lose besides my pride... I'm just kidding!! But, seriously, what should I do? I bet you think this is a pretty lame problem compared to some of the serious questions you get, but for me this is as serious as it gets. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely, Infatuated to the nth degree

Dear Infatuated to the nth degree,

Though you might think that your question is lame, you can rest assured that it is far from it. Most people feel lonely from time to time, but there’s a difference between being alone (without a partner) and feeling lonely. Even those who have a partner can feel lonely, too. Creating meaningful social connections can chip away at loneliness, but having a significant other is not the one and only way (read Can loneliness kill?). That being said, when it comes to talking to Mr. President, "just doing it" doesn't sound like a bad idea. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

What happens if you do approach him? Who knows, your boldness might bowl him over and perhaps you'll be an attractive and upbeat First Lady. However, if he says, "I'm not interested," don’t let it bring you down — be proud of yourself because you tried. Though you say you’re not up for rejection, it’s good to remember that if your interest is rebuffed, it certainly doesn’t translate to a personal judgment (i.e. that you’re not good enough) nor should it result in pride lost. Check out Sick and tired of rejection for more insights on potential presidential approaches and how to handle rejection. Feeling prepared in this way may make you feel more confident!

Whether you go for it or not, remember to take care of yourself first — work on boosting your self-esteem and confidence, being a good friend, and adjusting to college life. Also, learning to be with yourself, discovering your likes and dislikes, and understanding your feelings and beliefs will not only improve your relationship with yourself, but it will likely make you more attractive to a potential partner. And as you become busy with being alone — but not lonely — maybe Mr. Right will be waiting in the wings to ask you out when you least expect it.

Alice