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How Do I Get a Girlfriend?

What teen guys need to know about dating.
WebMD Feature

You like a girl and you want her to like you back. You think you might even want her to be your girlfriend. How do you make that happen?

There's no one-size-fits-all formula -- every girl's unique, after all -- but you can improve your chances if you follow some simple suggestions.

Clean Up Your Act

Let's start with the obvious: Before you ask a girl out, take a shower so that you don't smell as if you’ve never heard of soap.

"It's a little bit of a stereotype that boys smell," says Wake Forest University psychologist Andrew Smiler, PhD. "By 14 and 15, most are showering daily and don't need to be told."

If you're always squeaky clean, cool. But a reminder never hurts -- better safe than sorry.

Dress to Impress

How you present yourself matters. Long before you get close enough for her to get a whiff of you, she'll notice that your hair's a mess and that you're wearing clothes that you yanked out of the laundry hamper. So put your comb to good use and pull on a pair of clean jeans.

Why? She wants you to make an effort. If you do, that will impress her.

"If you want to date someone who looks nice, you better look nice, too, because it’s clearly important to her," Smiler says.

Out on the Town

Girls like to be asked out on dates, says Maureen E. Lyon, PhD. (Of course, it's fine for her to ask you out, too.)

If you’re doing the asking, you need to decide what you’re going to do -- and you should also expect to pay for it.

"Dutch treat is just for friends," says Lyon, an adolescent psychologist at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Don't know a girl well? Get together with some friends -- group activities are good ice-breakers, Lyon says. Invite her to a free concert with a bunch of friends or see if she likes to play sports and ask her along to a pickup game. Just don’t invite her over to your house to hang out in your room, Lyon says. That’s creepy.

And no matter what the two of you do, the date’s not over until you’ve seen her to her door.

"Don't take her out for coffee then leave her to find her own way home," Lyon says. "Give her a ride home or ride the bus or train with her. It's a nice thing to do, she'll appreciate it -- plus, it gives you more time to hang out."

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