How do I stop intimidating guys?

I'm 19 years old and, yes, I'll go ahead and say it, a virgin (in every possible since of the word...I haven't even kissed a guy). I haven't dated anyone seriously, and several people have told me that apparently I'm intimidating to guys (including a former roommate, a current roommate, another close female friend, and a gay friend who says he'd be afraid to ask me out if he was straight).

I don't really understand why, to be honest. I'm a total sci-fi geek, and while I'm pretty in a girl-next-door sort of way, I'm no Adriana Lima or Jessica Simpson or whoever it is that guys like this week. And, okay, I'm smart...I'm very dedicated to my schoolwork and plan on getting a PhD in my field (primate studies).

But since this intimidation thing seems to be the problem, how do I solve it? When I'm at parties or whatever, I don't act like the "smart girl," I just hang out and have fun. I'm already very laid back and relaxed in social situations (especially after I've had a bit to drink). I'm not sure how to show guys that I'm not someone they should be afraid to approach.

And, since this might be relevant to how you answer, I plan on holding off on sex until marriage. Not really for religious reasons, but because I feel like that's the best gift I could give my husband, to be able to tell him that before I even met him, I was saving this for him. But I certainly wouldn't mind a few kisses and some affection in between!


Most Helpful Guy

  • You'll be a catch for whomever you find. I think it's wonderful that you have strong beliefs and reasons to back them up.

    You sound mature and intelligent for your age. Unfortunately, this can be a problem when it comes to dating. Many young men don't know how to handle a smart woman, in part because there still exists the notion that men should be in the superior position at all times. Even when you try to dumb down your conversation (i.e. not acting like the smart girl), people can still sense that you're smart. It's one of those things that can't be turned off. Plus, I'll bet that most people don't know how to respond when you mention your field of study!

    Given enough time, you'll be sure to meet someone just as brainy and geeky as you (if you'll pardon the pejorative terms). He'll appreciate your academic and moral strengths, and hopefully he'll have some qualities that you enjoy as well. Just remember to keep looking, and to hold onto your beliefs.

    • Haha, I never mind being called brainy and geeky.. I take them as compliments! Thanks for your encouraging words!


Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 10

  • Be kind, be sweet. I'm not really sure how you can show guys that your approachable other than that. Maybe you should be approaching them, at least for now. I'll tell you what though, to be honest, I wouldn't tell people that you meet that your working on a PH.D (unless you know the other person is working on theirs) save that for the date. If a girl that I may hook up with told me that, I think that would be intimidating because I don't want the chick to be that much smarter than me or at least perceived.

    When I met my girlfriend now, she was graduating and I found that slightly intimidating especially since I only have a G.E.D. That went away though when I realised I had way more street smarts so to speak, and a lot more life experience. but back on topic. Also, I wouldn't tell your date your deal on not having sex either, because that would be a turn off to any guy that I MYSELF know, maybe not all guys, but the ones I know wouldn't even give it a chance if they knew they couldn't have sex for the entire courtship that could theoreticly be years, and I'm not sure how many guys would want to jump into marriage quickly just to have sex (good thing) and I would be careful of the ones that would.

    This being said, I think you will drastically drop your chances of finding a guy by doing this to be honest, but I'm not gonna tell you to give up your ethics. Now for my own opinion. Not to many guys I know actually like having sex with virgins. It's a pain in the ass, and it's usually not very good, and more than likely, even if you find the guy that will wait however long for the marriage to have sex, he probably won't be able to return the "gift". Anyhow, hope this helps.

    Now I've given you some advice and my opinions because I have asked a question and would like the same back, and to get, you must give. My Topic (s) have gotten little responses and I would really like to get a decent amount of opinions and thoughts from both sexes, so if you would be so kind as to now give me your words of wisdom I would be greatly appreciative. The topic (s) are tittled "Should I contact my X lover" which is what I wrote first, then Since I couldn't bump it, I wrote a shortened version titled "Should I contact her" either would be fine. They are in the relationships section. Thanks.

    • Yeah, I know I drop my chances, but I also, I think, weed out guys who would care more about the sex than about me. And also, I don't care if he can't return the "gift;" it will be gift enough that he was willing to wait for me through our relationship.

    • I agree with you annwyl, I too am a waiting-for-marriage-virgin,and honestly I think guys have a misconception that we are asking the same "gift" from them. The waiting is gift enough. As to the intimidation, I can't help, I think I have the same problem.

  • Well everyone fears rejection. If you seem to have everything to offer, they probably assume you're taken already. So if they assume with some certainty that you are taken, they don't want to get rejected.

    Some little things that might help, if you are surrounded by a few guys and having a good time, and you see a guy you're interested in that is looking your way, smile and wave so he knows you're not taken. Wearing rings on or around your wedding finger is a sure-fire way to scare off the good guys too... so don't do that either :)

    • Haha, I never wear rings on my left hand...but I can see where that would throw people if I did! Thanks for the tips!

  • I'll tell you from experience with approaching, first of all, a physically attractive female, and next, one who looks like she has a lot to offer is this: women get just as nervous/anxious when they are approached for the first time by a mature young man who knows how to approach a girl and knows how to start a conversation. I bet you if a cute looking guy approached you and started talking to you in a friendly yet sexy manner that you would be very nervous and not be in control of your actions. It's ok because everyone who is approached is nervous. Its instinct. Most of the time, I feel as though if I admire from afar and not say anything to look foolish is the way to go. I pick and choose my moments to when to be flirty since talking to a woman anywhere sets the wrong contexts for communication sometimes. I find parties to be a good place to find people to fool around with. Alcohol is one of the best social relaxers.

    What's the point here? Be receptive to any advancements, don't be picky, and go to parties of all kinds.

    P. S. Good luck with the whole virginity thing, sucks not feeling such a wonderful experience until your married.

    • I agree about alcohol and parties! As for the "wonderful experience" well, I look at it as delay of gratification. I won't lie, I'd like to have sex. But waiting will just make it more special. My married friends who waited tell me it was worth it!

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    • That's not fair. I agree with the question asker. Waiting is the way to go. I believe women willing to wait for marriage are like diamonds- rare and beautiful. Those who give it away are the rocks- common and easy to get. I'm an 18 year old girl who modeled and was an all conference volleyball/basketball player in high school, and plan t go pre-vet. I have a great personality and a lot to ffer to a man. I'm worth the wait, and when I meet the one, he'll know that. :)

      You go girl!!!

    • Lol, I love your analogy with the diamonds and the rocks. Yeah, I agree that waiting is better. I never decided if I'd wait until I am married or I'd find the right person. But def wait. There are sooo many sleazy girls out there, who wants to be like them? And a guy will soooo admire you for that =)

  • "And, okay, I'm smart..."

    Well, you may have just answered you own question right there. And

    "When I'm at parties or whatever, I don't act like the "smart girl," I just hang out and have fun."

    What you think to be laid back and hanging out can still be very nerve wracking because you are smart. You are probably more aware of your surroundings than others may be and seem to always be on "top of your game". That can be an interesting situation.

    You ever thought about using that power to your advantage? Just a thought..

  • First, I want to say I applaud you on your decision regarding the sexual involvement, and while I wouldn't disclose that information to anyone who wasn't a serious prospect, there is nothing with being a virgin.

    Popular messages often lead people to think that the only way to enjoy sex is right here and right now with as many people as you get a tingle from; but very seldom is they whole story portrayed, like about all the heartache involved (for us males too) when we live life like that. I'm only saying this because I have experience in what we call the persuasion industry (advertising, marketing, sales, etc.) and just by principles in psychology we know most people don't really think about what they do or think for themselves. This trend is changing because we can no longer hold people captive to a select quantity and quality of prime time TV programs, now programs come anytime, anyplace via the Internet and digital, so people can choose; but the problem is that they have to choose, so the business of choosing for them while making them think they've chosen is alive and well. I said all that to illustrate that it is kind of a rarity to find someone who knows what they want at it sends a vibe to a greater or lesser degree--this tends to intimidate the average person, it's not just a guy thing. So, the success of your whole situation is going to depend on your continuing to know who you are and what you want and being comfortable being you.

    I'll just keep it real: guys play a lot of games and I don't have to tell you we've gotten a little lazy these days about approaching a female that could actually be promising. Some of this is plain cowardice, some of it's messages in popular culture OR (and this is a BIG factor) there are too many girls out there who don't have standards and epitomize success as having a boyfriend. There are a lot of girls who go to any length to have a man to claim (even if he's only a male). Many guys don't know what they want and take longer to mature; they believe the definition of "we're dating" is "we're officially having sex" but that's because of no training from men to wait, and what we've been allowed to think from our experiences with lesser quality females who don't know what they want out of life besides a man and experiences with straight up hobags. Then there's the countless girl magazines, books, movies and websites telling y'all "HOW TO CATCH HIM AND KEEP HIM!"; when we see that, it's like an advantage, we don't have to change, but later we grow out of it--slutface isn't fun anymore. We sleep with available but we commit to quality, a woman who's good for us.

    So as far as advice:

    Know who you are, what you want and don't compromise

    Guys too cowardly and immature to investigate ar not worth it anyway

    Go where more mature guys go, those intimidated by a "smart girl" have located themselves

    Know that popular culture tells a partial story and even lies (men CAN and DO wait for sex when its importan

  • I'm seriously dying to date you...

    • It's really cool to know there are guys out there who feel that way. It's such an encouragement...thank you! :)

  • Heres a good primate study for you...

    Why don't you research why women who have more education have statistically less children, and are less likely to marry ...

  • is your father a boxer?

  • A lot of men won't stick around once they realize you're wanting to wait until marriage, but the respectable ones will. More than likely though you'll end up like most other women that age with that attitude. That is having sex before marriage, regretting it and then marrying some random dude.

    As for myself, I'm 26 and a virgin in the way you describe. I'd rather live and die alone than date or marry a woman that isn't also a virgin

  • Not knowing you, I can't really say why you seem intimidating. I doubt it's your appearance. Maybe you're not picking up on the signals? Egos are a fragile thing, very few guys are going to just lay it out there and say "hey stranger, wanna get some coffee? ", rather, they'll flirt. If you're not picking up on it (and don't flirt back), they might assume you did notice and think you're not interested. If you've got a lot of common interests with guys (sci-fi or whatever else), the line between friendly chat and flirting might be further blurred. So I don't know, I just have a hard time believing that guys aren't hitting on you, since that's pretty much all guys our age do around women, especially parties.

    It's none of my business how you conduct your life, but I recommend against saving yourself for marriage. Your intentions are good, but I'm going to lay it out bluntly: what you're basically going to be giving your guy is a someone who knows nothing about sex, or who could end up being really bad/prudish about it (not saying you are but he wouldn't know, and if you've never tried I don't know how you'd know what you're comfortable with either). Or worse for you, he could end up being really bad in bed. If you wait until marriage you could be setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment. Ok, here's the blunt part: telling him you want to wait until marriage is going to scare away a good 75% of guys, in my estimation, maybe more. It has nothing to do with them wanting to use you for sex and everything to do with the idea that they'd have to wait YEARS to have sex again w/o cheating. The whole "lets wait" thing might work if he's a virgin too, but if he's not, you're basically asking him to throw away his sex life for years on the chance that you'll end up getting hitched, and even after that it's a total gamble as to whether you're sexually compatible.

    • I've done enough, ah, investigation that I think I know what I would and wouldn't enjoy. And, if my guy was really bad in bed, how would I know any different? :P We could learn from each other. So, while I appreciate all your advice, my decision stands.

    • And you're actually happy about knowing whether your guy would be bad in bed or not?

    • It's not that I'm happy knowing this, it's just that I don't care if he is. It's not like if someone is bad in bed, they are condemned to be so forever. And sex just plain isn't that important to me. I don't think it's worth all the problems that come along with it.

What Girls Said 6

  • Well, why don't you ask your friends who say that you are intimidating, why they say that? I mean I don't know how is your behavior around people so maybe is the way you come across or behave around them. Maybe, you need to evaluate yourself the way you act around people, this could be a huge thing because you have probably not notice how approachable you are.

    The fact that you are smart might be intimidating but not a factor; people would like to date someone who is smart and focus, it's not just about beauty. I applaud you for being a school focus kinda of person; I am too. Even though it could seem intimidating for a guy, as long as you don't act like smart all the time (like showing off), you won't look intimidating.

    When people are smart, most of the time it shows without you telling... so just be fun, flirty, smiley, talkative etc... if you think guys are afraid to approach you, maybe you should consider the way you talk or be more at ease... smile more..... joke a little bit, people like that, because it breaks the ice. I used to be intimidating to guys, but I did not do anything to change, it just happened that I changed without me noticing.

    Everything, I am telling you here, its what I have noticed in my change.... but please do not try to fake it... it just does not work that way....

    As for the waiting until marriage, good if that is your decision...... I am as well a virgin, but just waiting until the right person... I am older than you, so you could do it....

    Hope I helped...

  • Now I really had to give response to your question. It seems I have exactly the same problem. I know that I am a smart and pretty girl with a good sense of humor and yet I haven't ever had a *real* boyfriend. Just like you I'm totally confused about the reasons of why guys don't seem to be too eager to approach me (or try to make me their girlfriend).

    I've been told different things: some of my girlfriends told me it's my lack of confidence (which is probably not true, and not even relevant any more), some people told me it's my attitude: I appear arrogant and stuck-up (which may be partially true, but I try hard to avoid being so, and at parties I'm not at all like that, like you said, I'm also relaxed and having fun), another thing is that I may seem too smart (without intending to) or it may appear that I have a better sense of humor.

    Of course there are often some creeps that do try approaching me, but that's another story.

    What comforts me a bit is the thought that a guy that is a match for me is not going to be intimidated. We're looking for boys that are more like us, that are smart and confident as well, aren't we? So my answer is you (and I) don't need to stop intimidating guys, because those that are intimidated are not even right for you anyway! I guess this is how girls like us naturally weed out guys that are not worth our attention.

    • Definitely a good point. That's one of my few hard-and-fast requirements for a guy, is that he not be insecure with the fact that in another 10 years or so people will hopefully be calling me "Doctor (last name). " It won't make me better than any guy, just choosing a different life path. :) Thanks!

    • Very good point! I'm loving this! It's so awesome hearing from girls that have the same problems as I do! :)

  • It sounds to me like you're an all-around cool girl who is just yourself, and true to yourself. It also sounds like your problem (which I share) is that you're very mature for you're age. You have goals and no intentions of veering from them. I think guys are very intimidated by successful women, for some reason. Just keep being yourself and having a good time. An older guy would be more suitable for you though, that way their not in the 'i wanna party every night and get laid everyday' least not as much, anymore. Plus, it sounds like f15x28 has the right idea ; ) If I were a lesbian I'd take you out haha.

  • You sound so much like me! I have been told patience is the key. You need someone who is VERY confident in themselves and has just as much going for him as you do for yourself.

    • Lol, I know how you feel! But I hate it when all my friends say "you'll find a guy". Especially when they ALL have boyfriends..........

  • I kinda of have the same problem as you because I am 20 and I haven't really had a real boyfriend. I mean, yes, I have had guys I dated, but it's not the same. Especially since, I wasn't really with them. However, I am not sure if I am intimidating to guys.

    But anyways, to answer your question, I think you def sound like you have a strong personality. I love that you are sticking to your morals (I'm like that too). You might be intimidating to guys because of your "smartness". I think most guys our age, will feel like you are too smart for them. But def don't lack in your school work because of it. I agree that your guy will def come and I hate when people say this to me (but I know they are right), is that you need to be patient. And if these guys are intimated by you, then you didn't lose anything. They weren't the right one. And your a catch, so don't forget that =)

  • Virginity is a very outdated social construct. Virginity because important centuries ago when women were treated as property. When the prospective husband had to ask the girl's father for her hand, they were in effect negotiating property rights and trading. Back then, it was easier to "wait until marriage" because girls married at 14-16 years old often to men much older then they were. They were supposed to remain virgins so that whoever married them was sure of the offspring's paternity (again, this had to do with property rights: they had to make sure the heir to their property was actually their own offspring).

    Today, men still expect women to be virgins because they are afraid that if they are not they will have comparison. If a girl is virgin, she does not know if she could have a better lover or not because the current lover is the only lover she had. It flatters the men's egos and cheats you out of enjoying sex in its own right. Being a virgin until marriage gives you a raw deal, because very few (if any at all) MEN will be virgins when you marry them.

    It's not exactly the "best gift" if it's rusty, is it? It sounds like they are only saying that you "intimidate" guys to make you feel better about not being popular with them. It's sad that you are 19 and haven't kissed anyone. Maybe what you consider being a "smart girl" is actually being a boring girl. Learn how to flirt. Wear some make up. Start taking better care of yourself. And the whole holier-than-thou self-righteous persona doesn't really help you any. You need to lighten up and have some fun instead of taking yourself so seriously all the time.

    • If you would look at my answers to questions, you'd see that just because I have made this decision doesn't mean I expect anyone else do to the same. You're not changing my mind on this so don't even try. I've heard all those arguments before. I think it's hard for some people to comprehend that my sex drive is just really low. It's not nonexistent, but it's low enough that I don't really want to have sex enough to deal with the problems that it can come with.

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    • Yeah. You should say exactly that.

    • Nice work, girl! And whoever replied to the question asker needs to either wake up or grow up- or maybe both. I think it's awesome not to live by our society's standards set today. Keep it up and don't let any of these ignorant people get you down!