DEAR DANIELLE: I’ve Never Been Kissed.

Danielle is a life coach/relationship expert dedicated to answering your hard-hitting questions. If you’d like to submit a question of your own, you can do so at the bottom of this post. We will both be reading them and picking one or two to answer every month, and it all remains anonymous. You can see what else she talks about over on her blog.

This original question has been edited to protect the identity of the submitter.

Q: “Hi Danielle, my name is Emily and I’m an incredibly shy and awkward 22 year old that recently graduated college. I’ve never had a boyfriend, never been kissed or gone on a date and never even been flirted with. I know I don’t “need” a boyfriend but I feel like if I don’t have any dating experience nobody’s going to want to date me. I have an online dating profile but haven’t had any luck and when I told someone I’d never been on a date, I never heard from them again. Do you think I will ever find love or should I just give up looking?”

A: Dear Emily,
Thank you so much for you candor and vulnerability. I can imagine that feeling painfully awkward and never having had a boyfriend, let alone being kissed can bring up much insecurity and self-doubt. And for this, I am sorry.

However, you will never have my permission to give up and shut yourself off to love. Never.

Here and now you must decide to do everything you can to find and experience the love you most desire. It is, of course, out there for you. For all of us. And you must commit to decimating the doubt that has you think otherwise. We are all here—wallflowers, beauty queens, adventurous and quite souls alike to be and do the absolute best we can. And that makes loosing hope and giving up unacceptable for any of us.

We can do better.
You can do better.

No matter how shy, awkward and undesirable you may feel none of us are average on the inside. And because of this knowing the journey to love must be lived from the vantage point of that spectacular internal presence. The belief that no matter what my superficial presentation and behavior before, today, I turn the page and recognize my inner reality.

Maybe you aren’t traditionally attractive? Your “shy and awkward” nature might discourage possible suitors from relaxing in your company. You already know that a handful of people will immediately eliminate you as a romantic partner for this reason. Well, alright then! You don’t need them. By stepping aside and departing they are giving you a gift! Because what is left in their absence are the pure hearts and wise beings that are worthy of your spectacular nature and your love.

You will need to be brave.
Who are you interested in?
Have you ever asked anyone out on a date or to kiss you?
What if the single, largest barrier between you and the love that’s possible is not your shy, awkward nature or exterior but your apprehensive, vulnerable interior? Are you truly ready to give and receive love? Do you believe it is possible and is worth it?

I know the most sought after answers to such inquiries is a handful of dating techniques however, I believe once you fully embrace the beauty of what it is you have to offer, love will flow.

:: What could you do all day long and not notice time pass? Do this more often.

:: What activities do you hold childlike wonder around? Play in this space today and tomorrow + forever.

:: How do you show honor and respect for your body? Do you move? Do you feed it well? It needs you to.

:: Show up to occasions you are invited to.

:: Practice being fearless and invite others to join you in all of the above.

:: Say yes.

:: Buy the sexy, red lipstick.

:: Lean in like you have never leaned in before.

Strive to see what makes you gorgeous and desirable as well as the beauty in others. It’s miraculous how we can become keenly present to our own beauty while standing in the awareness of another’s. Sweet friend, put your best self out there with as much honesty and humor as you can muster. Both online and in person. And never, never stop believing in love.

xo Danielle

What advice would you give to “Emily”?

Want to submit your own question about life, love, or business? It will remain anonymous and may just be featured here! Click here to submit! Read more of our Dear Danielle features here.

Dr. Danielle Dowling is a life coach and psychologist. Her goal is to motivate women to live inspiring lives and to help them achieve their dreams, whatever they may be! Connect with Danielle on Twitter and Pinterest. Ready to step up your game? Hire her. You won’t regret it.

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By Dana Fox

Founder of the Wonder Forest blog and brand and bestselling author of the Watercolor With Me book series.