Pgirl asks: I’m 14 years old. Next year I will go to high school. I hear that, in the school that I want to go to, girls have boyfriends. I know that’s common, but I’m afraid that that will inspire me to want to have a boyfriend. Also, when girls go home after school, boys often stand in front of the school to ask girls out, and I don’t want this happen to me. What do you suggest for me? Please help me, or a boy might ask me to be his girl friend 🙁
Hi Pgirl –
You know, one of the values I really push is that everyone should have the right to know what they want, and no one else has the right to tell them what to want. My Pack Members have the right to whatever religion they choose, whatever they like to eat, to be attracted to whomever they like – hey you even have the right to like CATS, which mystifies me completely! So I know that some of our readers will be absolutely dumbstruck by your question, Pgirl. They’ll think you must be kidding – “you don’t want to be asked out by a boy?! You don’t want a boyfriend?!” – since they want just that so badly! And this is a great opportunity for all of us to sit back and acknowledge that everyone wants different things, and that’s what makes this world beautiful.
Having said that… I think you’re worrying too much, Pgirl! It’s the easiest thing in the world to not have a boyfriend, to not go out on a date, to not hold hands or kiss anybody. Just don’t do it! If a boy at high school asks you out, just thank him for the compliment and explain that you don’t date. The only hard part will be convincing him that you’re telling the truth, and not rejecting him for something about him!
But you say one other thing in your letter that intrigues me more – you say you’re worried that you might be inspired to want a boyfriend. Now if that should happen, you are going to have a problem! Now I don’t know the actual reasons you want to not have a fella, but whatever they are, you’re going to need to confront them more strongly.
Let me compare this to something else. Let’s say you have a great desire to never smoke cigarettes, and you’re going to a school where lots of people smoke, and you’re afraid you might get inspired to try one. Well, I’d suggest that you write down all the reasons you don’t want to have one – because they make you stink, because they hurt you athletically, because they often make skin break out, because they’re so addictive, because you’d lose some self-respect since you find them stupid, etc. Then I’d tell you to keep that list in your school notebook, so any time you get inspired to try one, you can just look at that list and remember some reasons you’d forgotten. And you can also add to it (“My friend Marcy was smoking and dropped an ember onto her shirt and it burned a hole in it!”) whenever you like. But eventually, all those reasons might not be enough. You might just get so curious, you just have to try a cigarette! Yes, like Eve and the Apple! And if you do… well… then you will never be someone who’s never smoked again. You’ll know the taste of one (and probably hate it!). You’ll have changed a little part of yourself forever. And that’s a little sad, and a little okay.
I think the same stuff is true about high school dating. If you really don’t want to do it, write down all the reasons you have. And I’m sure that, watching your classmates, you’ll come up with some more! But eventually you might still want to experience going on a date.
So here’s my biggest suggestion: Give yourself an absolute time limit. Let’s say it’s like “No matter what, I won’t go out with a boy for the next year.” Then, even if you really like a boy, you can tell him “I can’t date you this year.” And then, after the first year, you can decide if you want to keep this up.
But if you don’t give yourself a shorter time limit, if you just say “I’m scared of dating in the next four years,” it just might be too difficult to hold to.
In any case, Pgirl, I really respect you for making a choice that’s so unique, and I’m honored that you asked me to help you keep it. Please stay in touch and let me know how it goes!