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Dear Dish-It: Why Are My Friends Suddenly Into Girls?

Dear Dish-It,

My friends and I are in 7th grade and we constantly talk about girlfriends and boyfriends. Why did things change when we turned 12 and 13 and is there a reason to go try to get a girlfriend? If I do, will she even really be a girlfriend or just a girl I hang out with a lot?

12vey


Dear 12vey,


This is a great, great question – thanks for sending it in! I’m sure a lot of kids your age are wondering the exact same thing. I’m going to try and answer you as best I can.


The first part of your question is asking why, when you and your friends hit a certain age, did you all suddenly start talking about and becoming interested in relationships (girlfriends and boyfriends). Well, the reason for this has a lot to do with something called puberty – a stage in life that every single person in the world goes through, boys and girls alike. You may have heard about puberty in school or from your parents. Basically, once you turn a certain age (12 or 13 is the average), biological and physiological changes start happening in your body. For boys, you may notice your voice starting to change and your body starting to change, as well.


Part of the changes that are happening to you include lots of changes to your feelings. As a boy, you may start to become more interested in girls. If there’s one particular girl you notice more than others, you may get hot or find your palms sweating when she says “hi” to you. You may find that she is on your mind a lot. Well, during puberty, thinking about girls and wanting to find out more about them – or wanting to ask one of them out to a movie or to kiss one – is a totally normal process.


There’s actually a scientific explanation for why you and your friends feel this way. You see, the hormones in your body are becoming more active. As a result, you’re starting to have more feelings. These feelings are perfectly natural and signify that you’re starting to go through a new phase in your life. If the feelings you’re having are making you feel confused or scare, that’s perfectly normal, too. Talking to a friend or an adult you trust can help you sort out your feelings and feel better about the changes you’re going through.


Now, on to the next part of your question – is there a reason that you should go out and try to find a girlfriend right now, when your friends are all talking about it. The answer is no. You don’t have to do anything you don’t feel like doing – there is never a good reason to do something you don’t want to do, feel uncomfortable doing or feel nervous about. Not even if all the rest of your friends are doing it. If there is a particular girl you really like and you have really strong feelings toward her (and if you’ve talked to your parents about dating and they agree that you are old enough to ask a girl out), then you can go ahead and ask her if she’d like to do something with you some day. But if you have no strong feelings about asking a girl out, then don’t do it.


Finally, I think you’re asking if you ask a girl out, will she automatically be your girlfriend or just a friend? What is the difference between a friend that’s a girl and a girlfriend? Well, that is something that you and any girl you ask out or want to spend more time with will have to decide for yourselves. Relationships have all sorts of different definitions and meanings. For some people, being in a “boyfriend-girlfriend” relationship means one thing, while to others it means something totally different. Some people may say the difference is physical (that is, boyfriends and girlfriends do things that regular friends don’t do, like kissing and holding hands), but other people will disagree with that definition. Whatever defines a true “girlfriend” to you, I guarantee that once you feel that someone is really your girlfriend, you will be able to tell that she’s more than just a friend!


So, ya gotta burnin' question? Need some love directions? Thinkin' 'bout stuff like depression, sex,how ya feel 'bout YOURSELF (that's called "self-esteem"), boyfriends, girlfriends, losin' old friends, bullyin' or peer pressure, but too scared to ask the parents? Don't be scared to Dish-It here. Send all of your questions to deardish@kidzworld.com But 'member, if ya hang out in Chat with other Kidzworld members who know ya by your 'username', ya might wanna use a secret nickname when ya write in. That way no one'll ever know it's you. And, just in case ya don't know, Dish-It gets a lotta letters everyday, and she can't answer 'em all. So keep checkin' the column cuz she's prob'ly answerin' somethin' very similar to your question while you're out doin' somethin' else. K? And Thanks! Ya keep her outta trouble. Oh! And if ya've got words of wisdom you wanna share,We'll dish 'em up, too.


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    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Fun_125
    Fun_125 posted in Friends:
    I've had friends like this. The relationship made me unhappy so I took a step back. From what I think is that she isnt your real friend. This happens to the best of us. Does it suck? Yes. It does very much. When she grows up and realizes that you aren't there then she can be annoyed. But until then maybe stop spending a lot of time with her...
    reply about 2 hours
    Autonomy
    "Lulu335" wrote: I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!! Oh sweetheart, your situation is so, so very far from being complicated. In fact, it's actually, entirely simple. But I'm here to help you see that, because you can't see it yourself quite yet. Brace yourself, you may never hear such advice in your life ever again. Or you might, I can't predict the future. You're in sixth grade, you said. Assuming you live in the United states and weren't held back, you're probably 12, maybe 11. The problem is, the human brain isn't fully developed until a person hits the age of about 25. This means, without debate, that your brain unable to fully grasp what being in a relationship actually entails, what it means, what the consequences are, and so forth. You can't even fathom it, my dear. I couldn't at your age; no one can. You've just begun to hit puberty at this point in your very young, completely normal life. Certain hormones are now being developed by your body that, up until puberty began, your body did not produce. Let me explain, in simple terms, what this means: these new hormones are giving you fuzzy feelings for boys, but these feelings are not what people with fully developed brains call "love." Love means being self sacrificing, compromising, giving and taking, communicating clearly and honestly, and so much more. What you're feeling is a part of love-romance-but it's not all there is to love. It's actually just a few simple chemicals being released in your brain: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and few others. Your brain releases those chemicals when, say, you see a boy you like, and those chemicals make you feel all fuzzy inside. In fact, (brace yourself,) there's nothing inherently special about the boys you like, or the boys that like you; in fact, they're also, entirely normal, and aside from a few minor differences in character, completely like most other boys their age. Had you been born in another town, gone to another school, you would have gotten the same fuzzy feeling about whatever boy you thought you liked at that school. You see? I'm not saying this to make you feel insignificant, but perhaps the insight will make moving easier for you. The next place your militant parents settle down in will also have a middle school, with a bunch of normal 11-14 year old boys and girls, all doing the exact same things the kids at your school do right now. Does that put things in perspective for you? The world is a very, very big place, and it's home to billions upon billions of people. Your situation is far from being a needle in a hay stack; it's more like a blade of grass, in a vast field of foliage. The feelings you're feeling aren't uncommon or complicated, they just feel that way to you. (Now, really brace yourself, because this is going to get uncomfortable.) We, as people, tend to think that we're special. Each one of us a unique snowflake, drifting about in big blue sky, that exists solely to show the world how special we are. The problem is, the other seven billions snowflakes (people) think exactly like we do, and in this way, we are all the same. We think our problems are new problems that no one has ever dealt with before, and no one else could possibly understand the pain and suffering we're going through. We all think this way, by nature; but it's simply naive. Heartache and suffering have existed since people existed, and possibly before then. Your situation may not be ideal to you, but once you come to terms with the fact that life isn't ideal for anyone, you might actually feel comfort. The easiest way to cope with our many problems, is to accept them for what they are: a part of the human experience. Natural, normal, repeating generation after generation without end. Again, these are concepts that require some deep thought, and you might not fully grasp them quite yet. But remember them. With time, as you grow, think about them more, and you will find peace with your life. And remember this: although you're stuck (for now) on a giant rock hurling around the sun at an incredible speed, you're not alone. With billions of other people stuck here with you, you'll never be without friends.
    reply about 12 hours
    Fun_125
    I personally think that when you ARE ready then go for it! As long as the person you like isn't a jerk to anyone or you go for it! Just don't get too serious. It's middle school. Good luck!
    reply about 14 hours
    Error44
    "Lulu335" wrote:I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!!I know, it is too late but I think you should not go for a deeper relationship, don't make it hard for yourself and try to be his just friend because you are so young .
    reply about 17 hours
    Error44
    "queenslay173" wrote:I was at school when I noticed people started to tell me this boy liked me and I thought it was cool because I'm used to that type of stuff then we started to dated in October we broke up right before christmas and it was so strange. we got back together in the beginning of January and we broke up again on the 4 my friends are really mad at me and he seemed really upset I like him but I just don't want to be with him anymore what should I do ?- confused lover Tell him your reasons and make it clear for both of you
    reply about 17 hours