After 25 Years, I Finally Figured Out How To Impress High-School GirlsCommentary • education • Opinion • high school • relationships • ISSUE 42•20 • May 15, 2006 By Sam Koskinen We all know how intimidating it can be to talk to high-school girls. I used to be too afraid and self-conscious to even make eye contact for more than a couple of seconds with the pretty ones. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't figure out how to impress them. But now, all that has changed. I can look at any high-school girl for as long as I want without getting nervous. I can have great conversations with them about all kinds of subjects. In fact, I feel totally comfortable around them—because after a quarter-century of racking my brain and studying them closely, I finally know exactly how high-school girls like to be treated. Take it from me, if you want a high-school girl to like you, the most important thing you can do is listen. When a sophomore is telling me about her favorite music, I don't go on about the time I partied backstage with the Little River Band, or what a great song "Rosanna" is. I've found that if I give the girl the lead in a conversation, I learn something from her—like what she and her girlfriends are planning to do that weekend. Then I've got an opportunity to offer them a ride there, because if there's one thing high-school girls love, it's a guy with a set of wheels. Especially a convertible. Most boys their age can't afford anything nice yet, but I've got a career, and I paid cash for my '87 LeBaron. And a car like that never fails to turn a few heads around a high-school campus. The mall is a really great place to meet a high-school girl if you don't have any classes with them. Girls really respond to confidence, so it's important that when you see one you like there, you approach her directly. Even if you're feeling shy on the inside, fake it. If you just lurk around the store where she likes to shop, it's going to make her uncomfortable. I learned that the hard way back in the '80s.Just walk up to them and introduce yourself. It sounds silly, but it works. So much is about body language, so if you stand up straight, look them in the eyes, and take control, even the most unapproachable ones will suddenly seem innocent and vulnerable. High-schoolers are dying for someone to compliment them on their hair, their makeup, their bodies. Remember, most girls at that age, no matter how cool they try to act, are still insecure. So a little attention goes a long way. I remember the very moment I figured that out, just before taking a redheaded 11th-grader to see Reality Bites, I knew I had really turned a corner. Talking to girls is a lot less daunting once you let go of the fear of rejection. Sometimes it doesn't matter how nice I act or how much alcohol I buy for them and all their friends, some girls aren't into me. And that's okay: Some people just never click. Everyone will get rejected at some point—I just move on to the next one, and if she doesn't like me, it's just as well, because I want to be with that special high-school girl who likes me for me. It's all just part of growing up.Also, I can't stress enough how important it is to be supportive and aware of her interests and extracurricular activities. These days, when there's a girl I like, I won't just hang around across from the school waiting to catch a glimpse of her. I'll go to her volleyball team practice, or arrange to take her to her track meets, just to let her know I'm interested. And when the time is right to ask her out, trust me: She remembers all those times I was there for her when other guys weren't. When you do finally score that date, you just have to stay cool and be yourself. If you get nervous, the girl gets nervous, and then the whole date's in trouble. Girls' interests are remarkably similar, so if you take them to the movies or ice-skating, you're fine. If I really want to impress a girl, I take her to the roof of this motel my buddy runs for a little stargazing. But sometimes it's just as romantic to sit in her parents' den. I try to get some alone time with her, but I never push it. You have to keep in mind that high-school girls are still learning to feel comfortable with their bodies. I just try to do what feels right and pick up on her cues. She always lets me know when she's ready to take things to another level.After the date ends, I tell her I want to see her again, and then, no matter what, I make sure I get her home by curfew. Getting a girl in trouble with her parents is no way to win her over. And you can't see her if she's grounded. Most important, always remember: If at first you don't succeed, try and try and try and try again. It will take some time, but one day, you'll learn how to relate to high-school girls. I did.