I've had ONE previous relationship, and it was with someone I really liked. I tried my hardest, but I just got rebuffed. So now, months later, I can't even work up the nerve to ask anyone out at all any more.
How can I work within a relationship to make it successful?
Your question: How can I work within a relationship to make it successful?
The bad news is, you can't always make relationships successful. But that's also good news, too, because when relationships don't work, it's not necessarily your problem. The girl in your one previous relationship might not have been very interested in you ever, in the same way that you're not interested in every girl you meet.
Your first question was: How can I ask someone out?
Why not start small. Ask a girl to do something small, something she was going to anyway, something in a group, maybe a game. Who are female friends around you that you just like and get along with without any particular heavy romance ideas? Maybe you'd like to ask one of them out just to get started with girls again.
What are you interested in? Drama? Playing a musical instrument? Hiking? Social action causes? What are you interested in that girls do? Or are there any girls at school you already like?
Do you have any idea what happened with the past relationship, why you "just got rebuffed?" Did she give you any information? Are you and the girl friendly now, so that you could ask her? Did you pick someone impossible to obtain? Did you treat her differently once you decided you liked her as a girl? Did she ever like you as a guy or not?
How do you work up nerve for other things you accomplish? What are you good at? How do you build yourself up to take a math exam?
If you ask a girl out and she says no, will you survive? What's the worst thing that could happen? Will you survive?
The girls are scared too. And women and men. Getting close to someone of the opposite sex is a big deal. You might as well tread slowly and lightly and take your time. The challenge won't be going away anywhere. Can you find the tiniest bit of humor in looking back on your predicament with the last relationship?
Think about and even write answers in a private journal to these questions to know yourself better and prepare for your next foray into the jungles of Man/Woman!
All the best,
Leya Aum, MA, MFCC