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Teen Health

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How to Get a Girlfriend

By Tony Rehagen
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD

So, there’s this girl. She’s special, and you’ve finally found the courage to ask her out. What if she says no? Scarier still: What if she says yes?

There is no secret or trick to successful dating. But there are things you can do to make it easier -- for both of you.

All in the Approach

This goes beyond the (hopefully) obvious steps of bathing and using deodorant, which are important. You should also be respectful in how you approach her.

When you ask her out, see what she's up for. Mention an activity, like going to a movie or a basketball game, and then ask her what she thinks about the idea. “That way you’re letting her know how you feel and also considering her,” says Geraldine K. Piorkowski, PhD.

If she doesn’t like your suggestion, throw out a different one. But if she gives you a hard no, take the hint. “Know when to back off,” Piorkowski says. “Most young women do not feel good about being pushed.”

It’s About Her

During the date, focus on her, not yourself. This starts at the front door. “I think we’re past the days when a strong female would be offended if you opened the door for her,” says California State University of Sacramento psychologist Nancy Kalish, PhD. “Use basic manners: If it’s cold out, give her your jacket.”

If you're feeling nervous, don't sweat it. “She’s as scared as you,” Kalish says. So do what you can to put her at ease. Look her in the eye. Smile.

Remember, dating is all about talking. Talk to her. And more importantly, talk about her. If you’re chatty by nature, be sure to give her a chance to speak. 

If you’re not a talker, think up a list of possible topics -- TV shows, music, school -- before the date, Piorkowski says. Pick an activity where you won’t have to talk the entire time, like a movie or a sporting event, Kalish says.

Keep the first date short. “The longer you go,” Kalish says, “the more problems you run into.”

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