Dear Harlan: I'm a smart, witty, friendly and not an unattractive guy. Yet I still haven't shared a real kiss with a girl. I can be a little shy sometimes. If a girl catches my eye, I have a difficult time introducing myself or approaching her. I'm studying abroad next semester and hope that will help. What can I do to speed the process along? I know you only have to get it right once, but it scares me that I am six years behind my friends in their quest for true love. I've essentially been trying to become a better version of me. To do better academically, to get into shape, basically hoping a more confident me is a more attractive me. I'm not sure if this is a smart strategy or if it is simply a veiled form of fear and procrastination. But whatever it is, it hasn't worked. Am I crazy? Is there something wrong with me? Will I ever kiss a girl? – Kissless
Dear Kissless: Happy New Year! Plan on getting kissed at midnight, and you will. But you won't do that. And that's why you can't get kissed. You think everyone's lips are better than yours. And you never stop comparing yourself to others. New Year's won't fix it. And traveling abroad won't stop it. It might even get worse – you might think European women will judge your entire country's kissing based on your kiss.
Let me help you get over this kissing problem – give yourself permission to be an awful kisser. Allow yourself to be one of the worst possible kissers in the world. Everyone is bad at something at first. Be really bad. Then work to get better.
Start with the millions of women who have barely been kissed and haven't dated. Try kissing their lips. They won't know the difference between a good and bad kisser. And if they do, it won't matter. Women can teach bad kissers to get better. It's all about practice, trust and lips. Once you can give yourself permission to be awful, you stop worrying about a bad kiss
You can focus on the woman, not the lips. You can even advertise on dating sites that you are new to dating and looking for someone with less experience. Use your lack of experience as the thing that separates you from the people around you. As for the six years of experience your friends have, all you need is one kiss to catch up. And that can happen this week. Happy New Year! Bottom line: Kissing isn't the problem; it's thinking you're not good enough to be kissed. That's what you need to fix.
Dear Harlan: What do you do if your girlfriend will not do ANYTHING sexual with you, but you are unbelievably horny? – Man With Needs
Dear Man With Needs: Take things into your own hands and leave her alone. Horny doesn't get a woman turned on. The most attractive thing you can do is encourage her not to have sex with you until she's completely comfortable.
Tell her you'll wait. Show her that you respect her. When you do bring up sex, ask her what would make her comfortable. Try explaining what being physical means to you in a relationship. If you don't know what it means or can't explain it, figure it out.
If you want a sexual relationship and she can't give it to you, get out of it. Otherwise, you'll be horny and resentful, and that's just ugly. (c) Harlan Cohen 2012. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.
Harlan is author of "Getting Naked: Five Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life (While Fully Clothed and Totally Sober)" (St. Martin's Press). Write Harlan at harlan(at)helpmeharlan.com or visit online: www.helpmeharlan.com. All letters submitted become property of the author. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan!, 3501 N. Southport Ave., Suite 226, Chicago, IL 60657.