Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

This is my first semester in college, and I’ve actually never had a serious relationship before. I’ve liked guys before, and been on a few dates, but among my group of friends I’ve always been the “single one”, or the girl who guys consider a “friend”. I’ve spent most of my life pretty inhibitied, i.e., pretty much a total introvert. Consequently, I’ve had lots of time to cultivate my mind, and I’m very interested in things like art, theatre, literature, etc. However, I want to learn how to come out of myself more to relate to people of the opposite sex, in order to have a more healthy balance between social and intellectual life. I figure it can’t be that hard, since I relate wonderfully to those of the same sex!
However, now that I’m already a college student, I think I have a serious disadvantage, being that everyone I know has already had numerous partners and already experienced things I have yet to delve into. I am definitely a dork, but I say that happily, because I do love to read and write, and I’m hoping that might be my in? What would you suggest I do to broaden my social horizon?

– Socially Challenged

Dear Challenged,

Being known as the “friend” isn’t always such a bad thing. That, along with your intelligence, could be your ticket to a successful, healthy relationship with a guy.
Ok, so first of all, welcome to St. John’s! Secondly, simply to get accustomed to how things work around here and possibly find your niche, I suggest you inquire about student clubs and organizations. Being the nerd that you are, no offense intended, you could really thrive and excel in an atmosphere you enjoy. Thirdly, your interest to pursue dating is absolutely justified, being that it is something you haven’t explored yet. These student-run activites could possibly set you up with a dude that has the same interests as you and could appreciate your intelligence, unlike some of the males that roam around campus.
And in reference to your “disadvantage”, I disagree. I believe the time you spent on coming into your own personality was time perfectly spent. Whether or not you realize it, you have a broadly developed sense of self. Sometimes bringing guys into the equation can confuse things, as most experienced women would tell you, and you have been fortunate enough to have the most fundamental years to yourself. Use this understanding of who you are to attract men! They love confident women, so you just have to show it.

Dear Devil’s Advocate,

I sit alone when I eat every once in a while during the week because my friends are all in class. When I’m at Montgoris I see other people sitting by themselves, but I feel like I’m the only one and everyone’s watching. Is it weird that I sit by myself sometimes?

– Solo and Feeling Strange

Dear Feeling Strange,

Unless you’re toting around a .50 cal, you have nothing to worry about. Lots of people sit alone, you’re not the only one and you just said so yourself! You don’t seem “strange” or “awkward” if you fly solo sometimes – friends have schedule conflicts, no time for lunch, it happens.
As for everyone watching you, don’t flatter yourself. Who wants to stare at someone chowing down Montgoris “food” anyway? And if you do catch someone staring, they probably have more issues than you do. To lessen the anxious feeling, I suggest bringing a book to read while you eat, which would make you appear more like the way-too-busy-to-stop-and-eat type. When you seem engaged in whatever you’re doing, you seem focused and determined.