Absolutely no confidence to approach girls

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omegaSQU4RED
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I'm 22, just about to finish my final year at uni and then I'll be off to Sussex to do a PhD. I have only ever had one relationship, which lasted only 2 and a half months, and this ended about 1 and a half years ago and I'm still having trouble getting over it (well, it fluctuates).

For the past few months I've been feeling quite depressed (so I've been on medication) and I also suffer from Asperger's Syndrome. As a result, I find it really difficult to understand relationship behaviour and dynamics and alongside other factors, I find it really hard to imagine myself ever being in another relationship. Even when I was in a relationship, my ex-girlfriend ended it because she didn't really feel she was 'in' the relationship and so I don't feel as though I was truly loved in the traditional sense but that I was used emotionally because she didn't have any friends apart from me. Also, she was quite turbulent psychologically, in non-typical ways, and what with one thing and another, this has given me a tainted view of what relationships are like, which has made me scared to try and go for another one.

There are physical attributes about me which I'm aware can be improved (e.g. stop wearing glasses, lose some weight) but still, I'm looking at it all from a psychological point of view and the fact is that I just don't have the confidence to approach any girls. I don't believe that changing my lifestyle will have a massive impact (and if at all, I'd want to change it for general health and wellbeing more than anything else) because they won't be a direct solution to my negative thinking patterns. My housemates at uni have all had recent relationships, two of them currently in relationships with girls, and they are all also a bit weird (not that there's anything wrong with that, mind). However, they still have the confidence to approach women and they feel that even if things end badly, it doesn't really mean anything in the long term and that they should just go for it. This means that despite their flaws, they still have the confidence to speak to girls and initiate relationships. I am the exact opposite. Once actually in a relationship I can do a really good job of treating my partner well and making her feel loved, but it's mainly the courtship and dating part that I deem incomprehensible.

This is because I am naturally an extremely sensitive person who struggles to deal with criticism and what people might think of me, so one of my biggest fears is that if I approach a girl in a specific situation and it doesn't end the way I anticipated, then I won't be able to deal with the bad things they might think about me in order to have wanted to reject or ignore me, whether they say anything about it or not. Then I end up dwelling on it and keep thinking about what it might say about me. Also, I generally am not in a great place to have a relationship, but at the same time I also really miss the positive aspects of a relationship, which includes having someone to talk to about your day, physical company to cuddle and intimate relations. It kind of makes me want to buy a very large stuffed animal so that I have something to cuddle (-100 LAD points I know!)

I've bought a book on how to deal with relationships as a male Asperger's Syndrome sufferer and I've started reading it. However, what advice can you all offer on making myself more confident psychologically and not being afraid of socialising with girls in casual situations?
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Emor
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I think you should try to see females more as other human beings and as prospective friends as opposed to someone you'd want to be with in a romantic setting. That'd make the interaction seem a lot less big of a deal. You'll also be less likely to perceive their responses as some sort of 'rejection'.

Though then again I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'approaching'. If you mean going up to somebody in a bar, then that's not really the best place to find a relationship(not that I'm saying it's a bad thing, it just probably won't lead to anything long term). If you mean asking somebody out, then I can kind of understand what you mean and I guess everybody finds that quite nerve-racking. If you mean just initiating a conversation with somebody, then I think you're over-analysing the whole situation too much. It would also probably give off a strange vibe if kind of casual social encounters you have with other females are initiated in the hopes of it developing into a relationship.

Expanding your social circle might help a bit as well. I used to be a lot more obsessive about people's opinions of me until I had a wider social circle; it kind of made me feel more validated about my self, and it also made other people's opinions about me less significant because there was also a lot of positive opinions about me that people held, etc.

Maybe I am making too many assumptions here, or I'm just not capable of fully understanding as a female. If so, sorry.
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omegaSQU4RED
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(Original post by Emor)
I think you should try to see females more as other human beings and as prospective friends as opposed to someone you'd want to be with in a romantic setting. That'd make the interaction seem a lot less big of a deal. You'll also be less likely to perceive their responses as some sort of 'rejection'.
I do see them as human beings, just not ones that I understand...

(Original post by Emor)
Though then again I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'approaching'. If you mean going up to somebody in a bar, then that's not really the best place to find a relationship(not that I'm saying it's a bad thing, it just probably won't lead to anything long term). If you mean asking somebody out, then I can kind of understand what you mean and I guess everybody finds that quite nerve-racking. If you mean just initiating a conversation with somebody, then I think you're over-analysing the whole situation too much. It would also probably give off a strange vibe if kind of casual social encounters you have with other females are initiated in the hopes of it developing into a relationship.
It's more approaching them generally in social situations. I can informally talk with girls at things like house parties and venues, but I generally stay away from them in the fear that I would be judged. Even when I am drunk, I still experience an amount of social anxiety that deters me from talking to girls and I end up either telling myself they've got a boyfriend so they probably wouldn't want me to bother them, or that I'd be too forward if I wanted to try. There have probably been instances in clubs and such (albeit very few) where I've noticed a couple of signs of interest, but I usually don't pursue these any further because I don't know what to do and get confused, and also because I can't quite believe that they are showing signs of interest of me in the first place (lack of confidence I guess). A couple of times before, I've been messaged on Facebook in a courteous manner by girls I've never spoken to before, only to find that either they didn't pursue the conversation further or it was meant as a joke.

(Original post by Emor)
Expanding your social circle might help a bit as well. I used to be a lot more obsessive about people's opinions of me until I had a wider social circle; it kind of made me feel more validated about my self, and it also made other people's opinions about me less significant because there was also a lot of positive opinions about me that people held, etc.
That could help - I would say my circle is fairly wide as I do quite a bit of band stuff at uni, but more recently I've been feeling like being more of a social recluse and not really bothering talking to people aside from my housemates. I'm at the stage where having quite a few friends is more of a stretch and I wouldn't mind just living on my own for a while, where I can be in complete control.
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omegaSQU4RED
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LonelyDemon
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Find yourself girls to be friends with then get them to approach other girls for you. works for me

girls do understand men get nervous, mention you shy I'm sure they wouldn't mind
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omegaSQU4RED
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(Original post by LonelyDemon)
Find yourself girls to be friends with then get them to approach other girls for you. works for me

girls do understand men get nervous, mention you shy I'm sure they wouldn't mind
Interesting, my housemate's girlfriend has suggested a couple of times to be a female wingman for me...
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