Dear Dish-It: Why Are My Friends Suddenly Into Girls?
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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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