My dear P –
You are just making your first forays into the land of boys. Tuck it in, sister, you’re in for a ride. You have (hopefully) a long way between now and when you find HIM (capitals intended). You’ll likely have many crushes, many attractions, break some hearts, and have yours busted/cracked/shattered at least once. Here’s what you might go through before you find HIM:
- The Unrequited Crush – This is that one boy you crush hard for, for a long time. He may be a bestie or good friend, or you may just have some classes together and nothing more than that. He sets up some ideals for the rest of your life. It’ll be so completely bittersweet…exciting and heartbreaking at the same time…exciting because every day brings the chance he’ll notice you, heartbreaking because that’s what unrequited crushes are. He may or may not know how you feel.
- The Reverse Unrequited Crush – Some boy is going to crush hard for you, but you won’t like him, or won’t like him that way at least. Be kind. Be gentle. Be respectful, but don’t give encouragement that anything more is possible. That’ll just make it worse for both of you. Never play with someone’s feelings. That just sucks.
- The One That Got Away – Ohhhh…..sometimes, timing is everything. Right boy, right girl, wrong time. You’re not ready, or he’s not ready. You both know you like each other, but for some reason, it just doesn’t happen all the way. He moves away, you leave for college, one of you graduates, life pulls you in different directions. For a long time, you’ll wonder, “What if?”. Eventually, that fades, but he will likely always be in the corner of your heart as the one that got away.
- The Boy Who Wants You….Someday…But For Now, He Just Wants to Make Sure No One Else Has You – Oh yeah, that. One guy told me, and I kid you not, that I was the girl he would marry, but he wasn’t ready for that, and he wanted to put me on a shelf until he was ready so no one else could have me in the meantime. Seriously. It was flattering in one way, and completely pissed me off in every other way.
- The One Who Makes You Question Everything About Yourself – Ugh. I hope you miss out on this one. This is the boy who makes you feel less, who treats you horribly, who maybe cheats on you or abuses you in any way. Be strong, dear girl. Knowing who you are, your worth, your value, will help keep this boy away, will keep you from falling for his charming words.
- The One You Break – This is almost as bad as being the one getting broken. Realize when you are the one treating the other person in the relationship badly. Walk away before you do much damage. Recognize when you’re in a bad place, and stay away from dating anyone until you’ve reached a better place. It’s difficult to treat anyone well when you don’t like yourself much.
- The One Who Breaks You – This is one that you really care for, but he walks away. You will feel like you can literally feel your heart breaking in your chest. This is the one you will cry for months over, the one you will never forget, and will take a long time to forgive. This is the one you will write so many letters, sing so many sad songs over. It sounds awful, and this one has every chance of breaking your courage, self-esteem, confidence, trust. It’s so humbling (and somewhat humiliating) for someone to love you, take your heart, and then tell you he doesn’t want you anymore.
Don’t let fear of what the future may or may not hold, your fear of getting hurt, your fear of hurting someone else stop you from experiencing life. We aren’t promised tomorrow, much less next month, next year. So jump in….crush, like, love, hurt. It’s all part of life, of learning.
I’ve told you before, kiss a lot of boys (that doesn’t have to be literal). Learn from each friendship, relationship, love. Take those lessons into your heart. Learn who you are, and learn to love yourself, learn to be okay with being alone and on your own. You can’t Love anyone fully, nor be fully loved until you love and accept yourself. HE will not complete you, he will just complement who you are.Don’t rely upon any guy for happiness. Be happy yourself.
I will tell you something my mom told me (I think she got it from some advice column or something, but I did it, and it really did work) – from every boy you like/date/love/are friends with, write down the one trait/characteristic you like the most about him. When you find HIM, if it’s the right him, he will have all of those traits/characteristics, or at least most of them. You’ll have a good idea he’s HIM if he measures up to those standards.