Part 2: When He Doesn’t Like You Back

“Look good, feel good, do good.”  That quote was my inspiration to gaining back confidence after my little “thing” with Calculus Boy.  I wanted to stop beating myself up over everything I’d done.  I wanted to stop being nervous every time I saw him.  I wanted to be the best version of myself.  I wanted to be confident.

So I tackled the basics, the exterior,  first.  Below are the three things I did that made me look (and eventually feel) my best.

1. I went out and bought lace underwear.  Wearing pretty things underneath your clothes gives you a secret, a confidence boost, a little pep in your step.  And if the underwear coordinates with your outfit, life gets even better.

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2. I got a hair cut.  I had wanted to get bangs and layers for a while, but kept putting it off.  However, a flattering, new hair cut is very conducive to feeling your best.  Not only will a cute style make you look good, the newness of it will help you mentally start over with whatever circumstance you’re facing.  In my case, starting a friendship instead of a relationship with Calculus Boy.

3. I bought myself some flattering shorts.  I’m not saying to buy shorts every time you have a crisis; they wouldn’t be very helpful in the cool seasons of fall or winter.  But do treat yourself to an attractive piece of clothing.  It could be a good pair of skinny jeans, some red high heels, or a hot leather jacket.  Whatever makes you look your best!

Keep in mind that I did all of these things away from college by leaving Baylor for a weekend and visiting my aunt in Alabama.  Having a new and uninvolved perspective from someone I trusted was incredibly helpful in starting fresh.

The next week I went back to college with a sassy hair cut, new shorts, and lace underwear.  Obviously, such materialistic things didn’t completely eliminate my nerves.  But I did feel slightly better, especially when my friends started to compliment my new look.

Life went on and things eventually got easier.  I became myself again; I started feeling better and doing things to get ahead in life, to chase my dreams.  Calculus Boy and I became close friends and helped each other pass the class by having study sessions.  A few months later, we both entered into relationships with other people.  After I started dating Patrick, I could see that while Calculus Boy was never meant for me, he taught me valuable lessons.  He taught me to be myself.  He taught me to persevere in a hard college course.  He taught me to not let life’s circumstances rule my confidence.

Thank you, Calculus Boy.  I know you’ll probably never read my blog, but I’m so grateful for our friendship and all the important things you taught me.

Readers, don’t give up!  If you’re going through a hard time, know that there is an end.  There will be a time where you figure out why things happen.  There will be a time when you can appreciate the heartbreak or the disappointment.

In the meantime, I’m always here if you need a little pep talk.  Don’t hesitate to shoot me an email!
~Shellie

Flirting 101: Breaking the Touch Barrier

One of my best friends from college, Maggie, called me up yesterday needing advice:

“Shells, I have a serious dilemma.  I really like this guy who I work with, and we’ve been friends for a long time, but I have no idea how to make it obvious that I’m interested in him.”

“Well, what’s your typical interaction like?  Do you make him laugh, hug him goodbye, what?”

“Oh no, our relationship is very professional.  We talk when we see each other, but I never hug him, just a wave.”

“Mags, are you kidding me?!  You’ve never broken the touch barrier?”

“The touch what?”

And so, dear readers, this blog post will be devoted to one of the most important tactics of flirting: breaking the touch barrier.

Every time you touch someone, a chemical called oxytocin is released in your brain.  Nicknamed “the love hormone,” oxytocin is responsible for helping people bond.  For instance, after giving birth, a large amount of oxytocin is released to help the mother bond with her baby.  A large amount of oxytocin is also released during sex.  On a side note, this is why it is so hard to break up with someone you’ve had sex with; the large amount of oxytocin has made you bond to that person much more than you would have without sex.

Although merely touching or hugging someone doesn’t release as much oxytocin as sex, it does release some:

In humans, oxytocin is released during hugging and pleasant physical touch, and plays a part in the human sexual response cycle. It appears to change the brain signals related to social recognition via facial expressions, perhaps by changing the firing of the amygdala, the part of the brain that plays a primary role in the processing of important emotional stimuli. In this way, oxytocin in the brain may be a potent mediator of human social behavior.[1]

As you can see, a little oxytocin is a great tool when flirting with someone.  However, you have to make sure that you don’t touch with too much forwardness or creepiness. Below are 5 ways to break the touch barrier in a subtle yet noticeable way.

1. Hugging 

This one is pretty obvious, but can only be used in certain circumstances.  If you’re like Maggie, hugging would be too forward in a work scenario.  It would look out of place and obvious for Maggie to hug Mr. Perfect goodbye when she gives waves to everyone else.  However, when in a more casual situation, hugging is key.

2. Admirable Touching

Let’s say Maggie notices Mr. Perfect has a new watch on his wrist. “Oh, I love that watch!  Is it a Tommy Hilfilger?”  Then, she can lightly touch his wrist as she ooohs and ahhhs in admiration.

3. Needing Protection

Let’s say you’re walking down the street and a car drives by really fast and close to the sidewalk.  If you’re frightened, or want to pretend to be frightened, you can grab the guy’s arm in fear.  This not only allows you to touch him, but also builds him up as a man by recognizing him as a protector.

4. Playful Punching

Again, this tactic should only be used in more casual situations.  Pretend you and your PBF (Potential Boyfriend) are joking around or playfully bantering.  If he starts to tease you, you can playfully (and gently) slap his arm in flirty, reprimanding way.  This is even more effective if he use his name while doing so.

5. Laughing

If you’re standing or sitting close to Prince Charming and happen to be laughing, try to move your head so it touches his arm or shoulder.  For instance, my friend Bridget was adorably flirty with her crush, Matt, at a dinner party this past weekend.  Someone started to tell a funny and embarrassing story about Bridget, making her throw back her head and laugh. While laughing, she touched her head against Matt’s shoulder, feigning embarrassment.

If you use these 5 tactics in the right situations, you will succeed in releasing oxytocin in both yourself and your love interest.  However, pay attention to how the guy responds; if he draws away or acts awkward, don’t push it.  He may not be interested and not meant for you.  However, if he responds enthusiastically by hugging you back, smiling, offering protection, or laughing, be encouraged and keep up the good work!

Have a wonderful rest of the week! ~Shellie

[1] http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/archive/newsrel/health/02-08LoveHormone.asp