Dear Harlan,

When dating, why do guys suck at sharing their feelings? Before I started dating my significant other, he would blow up my cellphone with text messages. Now that we’re official, he shoots me a few texts a day. What’s the deal?

Textless

Dear Textless,

The deal is that he might not text you as much because you are actually talking and spending real time together. It happens. Also, he might think kissing, touching and that crazy thing you did last weekend is a way more meaningful expression of his feelings than text messages. Decreased texting is not decreased feelings or sharing. The closer people get, the less they need to text. There’s nothing wrong with telling him that you miss his sweet texts and wouldn’t mind if he blew up your phone every once in a while, but don’t confuse a lack of texting with a lack of sharing.

Dear Harlan,

Your “Getting Naked” approach to dating and relationships has inspired me to take new risks. In fact, I was recently so inspired that I told all my friends about a new and revitalized me. Then, they all became inspired. I know this really cute girl in my class, and I decided to go talk to her after the class was over. Within 15 centimeters of approaching her, I immediately became numb! It was like I became more frozen the closer I got to her. My mind went totally blank. The only thing I could tell her was “thank you,” while stuttering, as she politely kept the door open. I have no clue what happened to me, so I would like you to please let me know what you think might have happened. I’d like some advice for making the next time better. I’ve learned “never give up until you get what you want.” I intend to do things better the next time I see her. What’s next?

Lost for Words

Dear Lost For Words,

Hero. You are a hero, man. Know why? You did something. You said something. You moved. You took action. And movement and action is so much better than stagnation and inaction. “Hi” is a starting point. Now, build on it. But first, you need to do some training. You need to believe that this girl, and any other girl, would be lucky to date you. It’s looking in the mirror in your physical, emotional and spiritual thongs and acknowledging what makes you uncomfortable. It’s working to change what you don’t love and learning to love what you can’t change. It’s surrounding yourself with people who are going to encourage and support you. As you train, practice talking to women — just talking. Don’t try to get a date. Don’t try to get lucky. Just talk. Tell yourself the following before opening up your mouth and starting a conversation: “I give you permission to want me or not want me. I only want to know if you are as interesting as you are attractive.” Then say what you think. Listen. And talk through the nervousness. Just get through it. Some girls will think you’re cute for trying. If they don’t, remember — there are thousands of other women you can meet. Practice saying what you think and doing what you feel with this one. If she doesn’t work out, keep moving. Continue taking risks until you find someone who is interesting and attractive enough to date a man like you.

Harlan is author of “Getting Naked: Five Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life (While Fully Clothed and Totally Sober)” (St. Martin’s Press). Write Harlan at [email protected] or visit online: www.helpmeharlan.com. All letters submitted become property of the author.

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