Hey Doc:

I've been attending Massage Therapy class with this girl, and I really like her, but she won't give me anything except one word answers to anything I ask her!

We've worked on each other here and there, but not actively. I usually ask her how she's doing, after long periods of separation like I do for everyone I see. For instance I'll say "How's it going?" in the morning when class begins, and I'll say "How are you?" after lunch or something like that. She'll only give me a one word answer, stuff like "Fine." or "Okay." and she'll just keep moving by. She won't stop to talk to me, or even look at me, like most people do.

I can be outgoing, but sometimes I'm shy and secluded myself. Is there something wrong with me, my approach or tactics? I consider myself a real person, in the sense I don't pretend to be something I'm not. I actually care what this girl has to say, but I can't get her to talk to me. She seems sort of shy, herself, but I'm still not sure how to go about even striking up a conversation with her. Any help with this problem would definitely be most appreciated, even if it gets me a slap in the face.

"What we have here, is a failure to communicate!” (From the movie, "Cool-Hand Luke")

Let's start by getting the first question on your mind out of the way: "Is she interested, or not?" My answer: maybe.

Maybe this girl is terribly shy and just doesn't know how to act around you.
Maybe this girl is brain-dead and has difficulty putting two words together.
Maybe this girl has no interest and all and you disgust her, so she avoids contact with you by limiting her vocabulary.

Obviously, there's no way to really know what's going on in her head. In fact, women are notoriously good at keeping their real intentions and beliefs hidden.

Knowing this fact however is a real benefit for anyone that has ever been interested in a girl! Since you usually won't know up front what a woman's interest in you is, you have only one way to play it - as though she *IS* interested and you simply have to bring that out in her. If you misinterpret her interest, so what? You both can simply move on, (my term: "NEXT!"); no harm, no foul.

So, let's move on to your second question: is there something wrong? My answer: maybe, but not likely.

I don't know you and can't say if there's something wrong with you. I sincerely doubt that there is however. What I can say is that there's definitely something wrong with your approach. What you're doing is asking her "close-ended" questions. These are questions that can be answered in one- or two-word statements. When she says things like "fine" and "okay", she's avoiding anything that's very deep and meaningful. Why would she do this? Simple: because it fits the types of questions you're asking her.

What you want to do instead is learn to ask "open-ended questions." These are simply questions that can't be answered with a one- or two-word answer. Let me give you some examples of open-ended questions:

"Why did you decide to study massage?"
"What's your favorite technique?"
"What kind of practice do you intend to do after school?"


These are questions that both require half-a-brain's worth of thought to answer, and that will get you something more. If she comes back with another short answer, or says "I don't know...", then you don't have much to work with and would probably be best to move on.

If she dives right in and starts to answer your question with even a little enthusiasm, she's telling you (indirectly) that she's got some level of interest. Again, you won't know how much and that's why you still need to play this right, but at least you'll know that something's there, and you can tell her that you'd like to hear more about it over a drink one evening.

Best regards...

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. Having written 3 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World" series), hundreds of articles, been on hundreds of radio and TV shows, he is funny, direct and intuitive. Do you have a burning question that needs an answer? To learn more, go to http://beingaman.com.