Dating advice: 'Be bold, and be yourself'

Monday , September 30, 2013 - 2:20 PM

Illustration by JOSElY VElASQUEZ/Syracuse High School/joselyvelasquez@aol.com...

Sierra Bruggink

As school starts, homework isn’t the only thing on everyone’s mind. Meeting new people is one of the best things about going back to school.

However, no matter who you are, you probably have found it hard to talk to the opposite gender at one time or another. When you are trying to get to know someone or impress them, we’ve all had those moments where our shy side took over and we clamped up like turtles in our awkward shells.

Why can’t a regular conversation be held with the opposite sex, instead of relapsing into “ums” and “uhs”?

Andrew Ord, a junior at Weber High School, explains that it can be hard because you don’t know what the other person is thinking or feeling.

“I think the hardest is to understand what the other person wants you to do and say,” says Peyton Davis, a junior at Ogden High. “You don’t want to seem too eager but you also don’t want to make them think that you don’t care.”

So if you don’t know what the other person is thinking or feeling, how do you pull off a cool, confident conversation?

“I usually introduce myself, and then ask them their name, and then I usually just ask what hobbies and things they like to do. Naturally, it leads to a conversation,” says Alex Cunningham, a junior at Fremont High School. “It’s as easy as that.”

Cunningham also mentions that he can’t understand why girls don’t just go up and talk to boys.

But Chelsey Packer, a junior at Fremont High School, says the opposite.

“Why are boys so scared of girls?” she says. “It seems that everyone is a little scared talking to someone they don’t know, but be brave.”

Common interests

When it comes to talking to girls, James O’Driscoll, a junior at Weber High, says, “it’s different than talking to guys, you have to come up with an intelligent conversation.”

But, he adds, “don’t worry about it and just start talking.”

So just strike up a conversation first; the other person probably wanted to talk to you but was too nervous to do so. It might be nerve-racking at first, but it will pay off. Stop thinking of the “what ifs” and just do it.

After you’ve mustered up the courage to talk to that guy or gal, do what Brooke Hansen, a sophomore at Weber High, does: “I look for something in common and talk about it.”

Kieran Caywood, a junior at Weber High, explains, “I like to get to know who she is, what she does, and what she’s like.”

Try to find something in common, anything from having the same classes, favorite bands or weird eating habits. Once you find something in common, it’s an instantaneous conversation and you can enjoy getting to know each other.

Take a leap

Above all, be yourself.

“Sometimes people try to make themselves seem too cool or act like they don’t care, but really they should just be themselves,” Davis, at Ogden High, says. “Just be comfortable with the situation and hopefully they will too.”

Don’t worry about what you’re going to say, but concentrate rather on being yourself and you can never be wrong. You’ll find people will love you for being you, whether you’re a good conversationalist or not.

As Packer sums it up, “Be bold, and be yourself.”

“Everyone has a different personality with others, not just the opposite gender,” says Devin Bouwhuis, a sophomore at Weber High. “Some people are harder to understand than others.”

The next time you want to talk to someone of the opposite gender or anyone that you haven’t meet before, don’t think twice. Be brave, find something you have in common and be yourself. You’ll find making friends is as easy as talking.

Sierra Bruggink is a junior at Weber High School.Email her at brugginksi@wsdstudent.net.

A FEW DO'S AND DON'T'S FOR TALKING TO THE OPPOSITE SEX

• “Just be yourself and don’t try too hard to impress them, because being yourself is real and people like that.”— Alexandrea Gardner, senior, Northridge High

• “Try to understand their sense of humor.”— Cami Mecham,junior, Weber High

• “Man up, and talk to her.”— Merrick Flinger,junior, Weber High

• “Don’t be weird ... unless you’re a weird person; then just be yourself I guess.”— Courtland Prince,senior, Northridge High

• “Don’t be shy, look him/her in the eyes!”— Andrew Ord,junior, Weber High

• “Be happy!”— Maddie Compas, sophomore, Weber High

• “Don’t overthink it.”— Megan Maw,junior, Fremont High

• “Don’t do it unless you feel confident.”— Josh Hawes,senior, Northridge High

• “(Be) nice, don’t say anything offensive.”— Devin Bouwhuis, sophomore, Weber High

• “Ask them questions; don’t be self-centered.”— Kieran Caywood, junior, Weber High

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