Real Live College Guy Joel: You've Never Been Kissed

Desperately trying to understand the inscrutable mind of the college male? Real Live College Guy Joel (replete with a name way cooler than those of RLCGs Joe and Joey) is here to help you out, call you out, write you a poem to show you’re great and to stop worrying, etc. From major emotional drama to the minutiae of social interaction, use him as your one-stop shop for guy advice.

There has been one thing that has been bugging me about entering college and that is my lack of relationship experience. People always tell me I look so innocent, and they are right, I have never even kissed a boy. (Shocked faces everywhere :O) Will guys even care or notice that I have no idea what I’m doing? I hope I am not the only one going through this problem! –Soon-To-Be Never Been Kissed at Northwestern

“Relationship experience?” What kind of people did you hang out with in high school? In my high school, everybody was either in worshipful puppy love relationships or would just use each other to lose their virginity - barely anyone had actual, real-world relationship experience. What rattles you is that it’s not fashionable to be innocent in high school. Everybody’s in such a hurry to grow up, even though I didn’t know anyone in high school who was really ready. No one knew enough about themselves to navigate the complexities of the real relationships between two autonomous, developed individuals. College is the place where you actually begin to morph into the person you will always be, and it’s the perfect environment to both personally grow and test the romantic and sexual waters.

What I’m trying to articulate is that college really is a blank slate. Nothing from high school matters. In college there’s much more diversity and maturity in terms of what is considered attractive. I have no idea what “so innocent” looks like (unless you wear pigtails), but I’m sure there are guys who will find you attractive. The key is just to be friendly and fight off any shy impulses. Put yourself out there and you will be fine.

None of the “relationship experience” of others will count. So never having been kissed really doesn’t matter, and I’m sure lots of girls and guys go off to school without having played tonsil hockey. Still, it’s best to not advertise something that personal. A couple of weeks ago an acquaintance posted something on Facebook about never having been kissed. I thought, “Well, that’s why.” Being open about that sort of thing makes guys uncomfortable because it makes them feel like if they’re the one who kisses you first, they’ll be tied to serious importance when they just want to have fun. It takes the light attitude out of making out. Whoever your first kiss ends up being, don’t tell him before and don’t even tell him after, unless you end up in a serious relationship. Same goes for your first date. Sex is a stickier issue that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

In terms of dating and associated things like making out, I would ask more experienced, trusted female friends for advice about how to behave, techniques, etc. However, I wouldn’t stress about it. Here’s the secret about guys and dating: we’re also so terrified about doing something wrong that we won’t notice or care if you don’t follow the usual college relationship rules. The important thing is to be yourself. Don’t obsess over what you have or haven’t checked off some imaginary list.

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