Arjai101 asks: I’m moving schools this year. I’m not super excited but hey its got to be what its got to be. There’s just one problem – since I live in a Muslim country, the girls and the boys are separated. I’m not boy-crazy, but the school I last went to was one of the few schools where boys and girls weren’t separated. I was sort of hoping to have my first boyfriend this year but my school situation makes really hard. Do you know any ways I can still have a boyfriend this year? If so please state how – and also give steps too.
Hi Arjai –
You make a really interesting point here. On one hand, you’re asking me how students in single-sex schools can meet members of the opposite sex, which is a perfectly good and normal question. But then you add something else to it, that’s really fascinating – which is that this issue wouldn’t mean the same thing to you if you hadn’t spent last year at a coeducational school.
It’s like me with food. If I smell something that Handsome’s cooking, and it smells really good, I’m definitely interested in it. But if I get a taste of it, and it tastes as good as it smelled (or better!), I am in love with it! My tongue is drooling like crazy, and I just can’t control myself! I would have wanted it anyway, but now that desire means something much more to me, and I feel like I just can’t live without it!
So back to you. It sounds like you’re at an age where it’s totally normal to want to start dating, and your school isn’t going to do much to help that along. So how do you meet boys?
Well, of course, I don’t know your exact world or life, but some suggestions might be:
1) Other Social Places: Do you go to a mosque, or some other religious community? Does your family belong to a club where you play sports or swim? Any of these are great places to meet lots of people, including boys around your age. These also give the advantage that your family will have the ability to find out about those boys, and maybe not be so scared about you going out with total strangers!
2) Siblings and Friends: Do you have brothers or sisters? Can you meet other kids around your age through them? And what about your friends from your previous school? They’ll be meeting more people at their new schools, just as you will, and if you can bring some of those new friends together, you (and your old friends) will be making lots of new acquaintances, and friends, and maybe more!
3) Interests: Do you have hobbies, interests, or passions? Can you get involved in a group about those issues when you’re not in school? Maybe there’s a group that volunteers on a cause you care about, or a group that gets together to talk about something that fascinates you. You’ll meet a lot of people in these sorts of setups, and of course you’ll know that you have at least that one thing in common with any boy you meet there!
4) Online: I hesitate to include this, because so many bad things can happen (and have happened) through nice young people like you getting connected with creepy folks. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to meet nice kids online too. The best trick is to have your parents help you out as you’re setting up anywhere to connect to anyone online. And then, no matter what anyone else says, never agree to meet anyone you’ve met online in person without your parents knowing EVERYTHING about it, and being okay with it.
The best – the very best – way to find a good boyfriend is to meet him in an environment where you can find out what he’s like from the people who know him. So schools are great, as are religious communities, clubs, interest groups, etc.
But I’ll throw in one other thought: My best friend Handsome went to an all-boy school for many years, and still he met lots of girls, dated some, and is friends with lots of those girls all these years later. Why? Because there was an all-girl school that had lots of events (and even some classes) shared with his school. It seems like this is normal for schools like that. So while I understand your concerns (and Handsome would rather have been at a co-ed school instead), I’m guessing that it won’t be quite as barren a desert as you imagine! One thing Muslims have in common with all other religions and communities in the world – they want to keep going on. And they know that if boys and girls don’t meet, it’s really hard to keep the population going! So give them a chance – they might not be quite as eager to keep you away from all boys as you’re thinking.
If only Handsome had that same view about me not having to be kept from that pizza in the oven!!
Best of luck,