It can be stressful if you never had a girlfriend at 20. While it's still normal at that age, the social pressure to start dating begins to really build up. There's a lot to figure out and it's easy to stress about the entire process- especially when trying to lose your virginity.
Fortunately, it shouldn't provide too much of a challenge once you begin to take action.
By following the 8 steps below, you'll be able to meet someone new in the most quick and efficient way. More importantly, you can start to build better dating habits for the future.
When looking for a girlfriend, it's essential to focus on gaining the experience itself rather than solely seeking the "perfect" partner:
The end goal should be to develop the belief that if a breakup happens, you have the ability to meet someone new at any time.
The truth is, you're at an age so many people wish they could go back to.
Why they want to go back is not from it being some amazing point in their life, either. Sure, being 20 can be fun, but it can also be incredibly hard and taxing on your mental health.
The primary reason they want to go back is because they know how differently they would do things the second time.
Experience, even through failure, is invaluable.
This refers to more than just dating; the point is to not let fear or anxieties get in the way.
Per a David Pink podcast on Harvard Business Review, he speaks about 'Boldness Regrets.' This is one of four types, but arguably the most powerful. One of the most popular boldness regrets people have is not asking someone out that they wanted to.
Be bold and take action before the regret happens.
To attract a potential girlfriend, you'll need to invest in your appearance. Dress well and prioritize clothes that fit properly over flashy outfits. Additionally, prioritize starting the right habits towards building a great physique.
If there's one thing people don't regret is eating and exercising right.
Also flossing, probably.
Lifting is an important part of your appearance, and you have full control over it. It does take time to start making changes. So, the sooner you begin, the better.
Remember that looking great helps build your confidence as well. You should always be looking for ways to improve you appearance (like women do).
"If she's a catch, then you need to be one too."
You should push forward with as many options as possible that are available to you.
Here are some examples of avenues to meet someone:
You should cast as wide of a net as possible and talk to as many women as you can.
This is especially true with online dating. Make sure to download several apps and send lots of messages (or swipes).
You don't want to talk to every girl in your immediate group of friends (keep it to one for now). You should however look into your expanded social circle. This may mean sending out some DMs to friends of friends through social media.
Keep the messaging light and casual. Get to know them, be fun, and eventually flirty too.
Talk about relevant connections you may have (e.g., if you know her through your expanded social circle, bring up the friend you both know). After you talk for a while, drop them your number.
You don't need to text her like a player, but you should at least seem like you have some experience dating.
The only exception is limiting the time you talk to women through dating apps. A lot of women aren't that serious about actually meeting someone on them. However, since this is your first girlfriend, spending a bit more time talking is okay.
Just make sure to not waste too much time if she has no desire to ever meet.
Once you have their number, continue talking as you were before.
When the time feels right (anytime between several days or weeks), suggest hanging out.
For most cases, a one-on-one date is ideal. However, hanging out as a group does have its advantages. She'll be much more comfortable meeting someone in a group setting if she hasn't met you yet (or barely knows you). You can even set up a double date.
I don't usually recommend for most guys once they're older and more experienced. But, it can be helpful when you're both as young as you are. Remember there's a strong chance she has little to no experience dating herself (since nearly 30% of women 15 - 24 haven't had sex).
The gist of it is to keep it simple and direct:
If there's something relevant to both of you, bring it up as something you can do. This could be related to a hobby you both like or a place you know she likes to visit.
Now that you're spending time with her, you should let things naturally develop.
It's normal to experience negative emotions and insecurities when starting to date (especially at 20). You may sometimes feel jealous or worry there's some other guy she's met that's better than you.
That however, is unlikely. What is much more likely is you letting those emotions control how you act. This ends up pushing her away (ironically).
Acknowledge these feelings, but refrain from acting on them.
Trust that if the connection is genuine, it will continue to grow over time.
Try not to obsess and text her everyday. Realize it's statistically improbable that you would be unable to meet someone better. So, try not to worry about whether or not it will work out.
Play it cool. Gradually talk and spend more time with her.
Try not to make it "official" as quickly as possible.
She's not likely going anywhere. If she seems to like you right away, she won't suddenly lose interest because you didn't try to make it official. It's essentially a label that's meaningless when done too late, but possibly detrimental if done too early.
Build on the connection between you both to the point where you're practically in a relationship (regardless of the label). If she likes you and you're spending a lot of time together, that's all that matters.
Then, if you're really eager to make it official, you can do it after that point.
While I had my first girlfriend at 19, I still struggled with dating for a couple years or so after.
I knew some legitimately attractive women that were into me, but I had no confidence to do anything about it.
This wasn't the typical behavior of a guy being oblivious to clear signs a girl is giving.
I knew they liked me, but didn't want to screw it up.
So...I just didn't do anything about it.
Seems crazy right?
I feared their opinion of me changing once they got to know me.
I felt as if I would be exposed. I preferred them to hold whatever previous image they had of me instead. This was only exacerbated when it resulted in performance anxiety in the bedroom.
What's the moral of this story?
If this young, insecure, and anxiety-ridden mess can do it, so can you. Getting experience solved literally everything.
Starting with online dating was fantastic as I met women I had no ties to. I didn't have to worry about things awkwardly falling apart with a girl from my social circle or with the server at the restaurant I was working at.
I could low-key be dating and slaying in the background...
My nerves were pushed down, and my confidence was pulled up.
Meanwhile, all my friends were trying to expand their social circle through people they met at clubs and bars. That was their only option for meeting new women. It was less successful and required much more effort.
As you're taking action, make sure to appreciate any progress you made and any lessons you've learned.
The harsh truth is it's virtually inevitable that you'll experience a breakup. You may really like or love her, but statistically, the odds aren't on your side.
It's a surprisingly rough experience- even if you're the one who ends things.
Every breakup I've had, regardless of which side I was on, resulted in a massive urge to start working out. I just had to spend time working on myself.
It's something I've always referred to as "negative energy." It's not a good feeling, but it's an incredibly powerful one that kicks your butt into gear.
Sometimes, it can be a lifeline. Whether we realize it or not, we're all continually trying to build a life that's comfortable. Often, we succeed and it pushes us into a bit of a rut.
The thing is, you can build these habits now.
You can prepare yourself for when these life occurances happen and negative energy creeps up. This results in you experiencing less discomfort, yet still all of the motivation.
These habits can mean a variety of things. However, the most important one is to work out.
Getting a pair of dumbbells and doing 2-3 exercises of 3 sets (12 reps) daily is huge. It's manageable since it only needs ~20min/day. It's about at par with the typical option of going to the gym 2-3x/week.
Other than working out, the next habit (which is more of a skill) is continually building off your experience.
This means optimizing your progress with online dating, getting confidence going on dates, having a plan for hookups, etc.
Most men reading this won't take it seriously enough to do anything. However, you'll certainly understand negative energy when the time comes.
The best way to get a girlfriend at 20 is to work on yourself, value experience, and play the numbers game.
This sets you up to meet someone new and helps guide you in a better position for future relationships. You'll want to become someone that anyone would want to be with.
Whether you're getting your first girlfriend at 40 or at 20, it will take time. Recognize that failures, rejections, or failed relationships are something to learn from. Taking any action will be a leap forward from where you were yesterday.