February 1, 2009

How to Avoid Rejection from Boys

This might seem like an odd one. It's kind of odd to write because my mother and I never really talked about boys other than when I was given official notice that I was "allowed to date." What she didn't prepare me for was the lack of dating offers that poured in. I think this goes back to elementary school though, because I distinctly remember being grossed out when I found out a couple of boys liked me in 1st or 2nd grade. I just didn't like boys then and was humiliated when a carpool of kids arrived at school one day and my friend informed me that this boy announced his love for me on the way to school. I suppose I was humiliated because she was laughing when she told me. I know my mom knew of the incident because she was my teacher. I believe she was relieved that I was horrified and hoped I would just stay that way for a long long time so she wouldn't have to discuss boys with me. I believe she did teach me something about coping even when you are horrified by something, but as far as I remember, it stopped there.

Around 3rd grade, I distinctly remember starting to like boys. But I didn't discuss this with my mom. And subsequently, she didn't teach me appropriate behavior around boys or appropriate things to say to them to "not let them on that you like them." I had no problems fishing to find out if a boy I liked liked me back. And it was obvious fishing, not round about. They usually liked my friends, but somehow this didn't stop me. What do they call that? wearing your heart on your sleeve? From a practical standpoint once I knew they weren't interested I knew where I stood and could move on right?? Well no. I didn't usually move on until someone else caught my interest.

This continued in high school and beyond. Not with everyone. In high school I just made googly eyes at them and followed them around and talked about how dreamy they were with my friends. But if I was close enough with them, I had no problems either being "obvious" or letting them know what I thought of our situation (Usually in some kind of note. This was strategic since I didn't have to face them and if it "got ignored" well at least I now knew what they thought without forcing them to "let me down easy" in person. Less humiliating for both of us this way.). Where was that "He's Just Not That Into You" book when I needed it? I always figured with enough time, I could change their minds. No such luck. Actually I was very lucky, I just didn't know it at the time. And if my mom did ever try to tell me this, at that age, I'm sure I didn't hear her. It turned out to only be a shot at my ego rather than breaking my heart. I'm one of the few people I know who didn't have their heart broken by a "significant other." So again what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

I never got the "will you be my special friend" note from anyone in elementary. I probably would have said yes to anyone. Or knowing me, I would have made up a new box that said "ooooh GROSS!!!" and sent it back with that checked. You see back then and in high school I generally had crushes on "unattainable guys." Meaning I knew they were interested in someone else or they had girlfriends or whatever. I rarely liked "available" guys from 3rd through 11th grades. So had any available boy sent me that note back then, I probably would have freaked out. The one time I did like an available guy (in high school) I made googly eyes at him for a couple of weeks and then he asked me out and I said yes. I changed my mind before he even got to my door to pick me up. Poor guy. Not his fault at all. It was completely mine. Looking back at that incident told me a lot later in life about myself. In reality I just wanted to be asked to the banquets in high school. I wasn't ready to date and I didn't want to have a boyfriend even though I thought I did. I never got asked to banquets and believe it or not, I was too chicken to ask. Probably because they might have actually said yes. hmmmm...No wonder they didn't ask me, I was probably wearing a sign on my forehead that said "NOT INTERESTED!!" "ASK AT YOUR OWN RISK" Oh well. I always had fun with my chicas!! So it wasn't that big of a bummer looking back...

This isn't flowing well today...neither did my other post...grr

Anyways back to wearing my heart on my sleeve, I stuck myself out there when I met my husband too. The only difference was I didn't go overboard, I just made an effort to talk to him and let him do the rest. I changed the sign on my forehead to "Available and Interested" from "Back off Bozo." Before I met him I had resigned myself to being happy with my life if I ended up single the rest of my life. The only thing I was lacking at that point was a dog. Good news, he came with a dog!!! Jackpot!!!

Am I the only girl who was this awkwardly forward? I say awkward because I didn't get it right until I met my husband. Let's just say I feel sorry for guys and have much respect for what they go through.

I guess in a way, it turned out ok that my mom didn't discuss wooing a boy with me, because I turned out ok. But what if I hadn't? hmmmm what do you tell your sons and daughters about dating and what do you let them learn on their own?

If I ever have a son, I will just teach him that no matter how much you aren't interested in dating a girl, and you feel the need to "get her off your back," be honest and tell her you're not interested in dating her, but you are interested in being her friend. Otherwise there's no harm in her liking you unrequitedly. To any daughters, I think I would say it's ok to like guys that aren't interested in anything more than friendship (as long as he's not doing the "friends with benefits" with her) because then her mind and interest is occupied with the "unavailable", and she is learning how to be friends with and interact with the opposite sex without the sex coming into the picture.

But I'm no expert. What do you experts think??

1 comment:

Jessi said...

Anyway you go on this, your kid or someone elses kid is going to get their feelings hurt. If my daughter someday flirts and gets shut down in person, that will hurt. If her friends do the snooping for her and then they let her down gently, the outcome is still the same. Just saving face. Rejection is never easy for any of us. I think the key is to instill in our kids (somehow) the self confidence it takes to say "you know what little boy or little girl, I don't need you to make me feel good about myself.

On another note Ambro....I was asked to banquets, but not ever by whom I wanted to go w/ unless I was dating someone at the time. (2 guys) through high school. I would say yes and be miserable the whole banquet. Ozark had girls ask guys every other banquet. Yeah.....I asked TWO TIMES. Talk about frick'n nerve racking!!! But hey, I landed David. woo hoo!!!!