Editor’s note: Catch up on Bianca’s previous dating adventures here.
About a month ago I wrote a piece on lessons that I learned from my middle school and high school crushes. I extrapolated these lessons from the memories of my interactions with them, taking insight from whatever cues I could find. I then thought- “What advice would these boys actually give me? Did I hit the mark, or is this another example of me completely misconstruing the message of their actions?”
Out of curiosity (and a spurt of confidence) I decided to contact my middle school crush to find out. He agreed, with a bit of hesitation (something about my dating pieces being slightly “intimidating”?), to pull together some dating tips for me from both current and middle school life observations.
These are the actual dating tips from my middle school crush (who wishes to remain anonymous.) These tips are his own, not mine… that’s not to say I don’t agree with him. And even though his advice is for middle schoolers, I think this interview is evidence that in love, some things never really change.
Make it obvious.
“Boys at that age are self conscious about everything around them, like their social status. That being said, they can also be oblivious,” says my MSC.
So — do something to make an impression on the guy, like I mentioned in my last post (nailed it!).
He does have a disclaimer to this piece of advice, considering this self conscious nature of boys: Don’t go blasting this to your whole network of friends. Okay, you’re excited, but it can be pretty intimidating when your affections for him are public knowledge. Drop hints to HIM, not to the world. (i.e. don’t post that list of 10 reasons why you love him on facebook). Unless you’ve become comfortable with each other and he says he likes you back… then that’s ok. Maybe.
Don’t mention marriage too soon.
When you are 12 years old, or when you are just starting to date someone. While there are some guys out there who are on the fast track to family-ville, it’s pretty scary to hear a girl talk about their wedding plans on a first date. Even if you don’t think that the guy you’re on a date with is ‘the one’, saying something like “don’t worry, it’s not going to be you!” still comes off as crazy and aggressive. I’m going to leave this at that, because the topic of marriage makes me totally uncomfortable.
Approach his territory.
If you like a guy, go the extra mile and meet him on his turf. You’re into the football player? Go to his games or practices and cheer him on! Have a crush on a boy that rock climbs? Give it a try, even though it might not be something you would be into normally doing. Take yourself out of your comfort zone a little and do something that he wants to do. Easier said than done, though. My boyfriend rock climbs — something I’d never do. However, if this were the early stages of courtship, I may have considered it.
Be the “better man”.
Guys in middle school (and beyond) can be pretty immature. Basically, MSC totally admitted that girls/women are generally more advanced on maturity level than guys. So sometimes, you just have to be the one calling the shots. I’m down with that. (Although I will say the boys I’ve dated who are younger than me have been wise beyond their years.)
Don’t be afraid to ask (lots of) questions.
People like to talk about themselves, and by asking them questions you’re giving them attention, and you’re also learning about them. It shouldn’t be all about you, it should also be about them. Like this piece. Am I doing it right yet?
Be present when you are together and be comfortable being apart.
I LOVE this advice. It’s my favorite. In middle school, my crush spent wayyyy too much time with his girlfriend (who wasn’t, to my chagrin, me). I mean c’mon, you need a break every now and again. You don’t HAVE to see each other between every class. This piece of advice is important when you’re with someone at any age. It’s something that I’ve realized has made my current relationship the best ever. Spending time apart and doing your own thing doesn’t mean you like each other less, and if you’re both on the same page and comfortable with that, it makes the relationship run very smoothly. And when you are together, spend the time wisely and be fully in it.
Surprisingly, calling my middle school crush made me feel just as nervous and awkward as my middle school self calling him for the first time almost 15 years ago. It’s sort of like in those romantic comedies when the strong female lead finds herself successful, prettier, and more popular than she could’ve ever imagined in high school, but still ends up a bumbling mess when she randomly runs into the high school boy of her dreams — making you sympathetic and embarrassed all at the same time. Are you feeling sympathetic and embarrassed right now? You should! We’ve all been there, right?
Lucky for you, I filmed the whole call. So you can actually see my nervousness in all its crowning glory. Enjoy! Point of interest: when my current boyfriend walks into the room and sits through half the call. #Awkward!