Arts & CultureSex & Relationships

Kwiecien: Steps to starting a relationship

“I want to be in a relationship so much, but I never have been. I just don’t know what to do or how anything works, and being shy doesn’t help. What do I do?” – April Showers

Dear April Showers,

As this is my first response with the Emerald, I thought it would be fitting to start at the beginning: starting a relationship is exciting.

It’s completely normal to have not been in a relationship yet. Some people have dated 20 people by college and others won’t date until they’re 30. When you think about talking to that special someone, you feel your heart begin to race and your stomach rolls itself into the shape of a heart, right? Especially if you’re shy, this feeling must frighten the bejeebers out of you and pull you away from your crush at the speed of light.

I’m here to say that you should use that nervous energy as fuel. Confidence is suave, but honest, giddy, gooey feelings are flattering, and this sincerity is refreshing to hear. Talking doesn’t take courage; it takes hope, desire and a little push, so maybe tell a friend that you want to talk to a special someone and they can give you a nudge at the right time.

Powered by nervous energy, ask this person one of the following: “Wanna get some coffee after class?”; “Are you hungry? Because I’m starving right now”; “Do you want to study later? I feel like this teacher doesn’t explain everything clearly.”

Just talking or spending time together is the first step to having a relationship. This will let you know if you want to be in a relationship with this person.

When approaching someone you like, you might get sweaty, so layer up, wear deodorant and try not to think about it too much. You might stumble over your words, so think about what you want to say beforehand and make them easy, casual and sincere. For example, do not say, “Would indulging in a scalding, caffeinated drink be preferable to you?” Try instead: “Hi. Want to get coffee later?”

If they say yes, don’t pass out. Say you’re excited and then go do it (not “it,” but go hang out). If they say they can’t right now, but at another time, say you would like to and ask when they are free. This is probably the hardest part, so read closely: ask for their phone number! Ask! Be bold! You can do it, April Showers! I believe in you! Ask for their number so you can plan when you two will meet up. For conversation topics, be curious but not prying, ask questions about them that genuinely interest you; respond honestly when they ask you a question and the rest will be history.

As for how everything after that works, all relationships are different and I promise that if you are honest about what you want out of a relationship, they will be too. I wish you the best of luck, April Showers!

May your flowers come soon,


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Braedon Kwiecien

Braedon Kwiecien