As of Friday the 13th, I am officially Mom of three teenaged boys (one of whom will become Bar Mitzvah, at which point, he’s technically a man - talk about scary!). There has been some confusion on their part as to how to interpret the bizarre, twisted way teenaged girls behave, so I’m offering this as a decoder ring to GirlWorld, where nothing is as it seems, even less is fair and the sooner you get used to it, the better. Allow me to pull the curtain back a bit and show you how girls, intentionally or not, mess with boys' heads.
The guy-girl thing is complicated - some men go their whole lives without getting it, so don't be discouraged if it takes some time. Just think of it as a game of Stratego, Battleship, chess or Capture the Flag: the more information you have about your “opponent,“ the better you can plan your strategy. I will be letting you in on several secrets, which will help you get over the “no-fairness” of it all and figure out your next move.
Secret #1: You may think girls have it easier, but girls think you have it easier.
That puts you on equal footing with them - they’re not more powerful than you. In fact, they have many, many obstacles to face when they like a guy:
1) What if I like a guy and he doesn't like me back? (Sound familiar?)
2) What if I like a guy and my friends don't like him and decide I can "do better?"
3) What if one of my friends likes him, too - who decides who "deserves" him more?
4) What if one of my friends, who is more popular and never noticed the guy before, suddenly decides to move in on him and grabs him for herself?
5) What if a really cute guy likes me, and I go ahead and become his girlfriend and my friends think I’m “stuck-up” about it and need to be "taught a lesson" and they start spreading rumors that I’m a slut?
6) Am I really a slut if I‘ve never done anything but everyone says I did? (Guys don't have this problem, since getting with lots of girls is considered being a "player.")
7) What if - worst case scenario - these girls who spread “whore”-ible rumors about me and sabotage my relationships don‘t want to be my friends anymore???
As you can see, girls have a freakin’ minefield they have to cross in order to stay OK with their pack, as opposed to boys: lone wolves figuring things out by trial and error. Neither way is easy.
Secret #2: As if that weren't enough pressure, girls also have to appear sweet all the time, lest they be accused of being “bitches.“
That’s why they say things to you like,
“I already have a boyfriend,”
In GirlWorld, this is a “nice” way of letting you down. They think they’re saying, “It’s not you personally, it’s just that I haven’t gotten feedback from my friends that you’re OK to date.”
Unfortunately, in BoyWorld, this is interpreted as,
"Get away from me, you freak!”
You can see where there might be a problem hooking up.
Plus, you know that teasing thing they do? Like where they ask you a question or borrow a pencil or mooch your lunch, then run back to their little group, all of these she-jackals cackling and pointing at you like you‘re the biggest idiot in the world?
Secret #3: Teasing is their only real power.
Since girls want to fit into their "pack," they can tease as a “joke” (hence, not “mean”), then can run back to their friends and they can all laugh together, which, in GirlWorld, makes it "OK." It’s so stupid, I know. It’s also incredibly confusing to boys, who are straight shooters and want answers: "Why did you do that?"; sadly, girls don't always have a good explanation for why they do the things they do. (Better get used to that part.) Believe it or not, though, they will be discussing your reactions and gestures for hours to analyze whether you just "like her” or really "like her like her” (otherwise known as “like like” - when a girl repeats a word, it means it's important to her).
The best way to deal with teasing is to shrug and turn away. Practice this in front of a mirror. Shrug. Scowl and shake your head a little. Roll your eyes. Maybe utter "Huh" in a bored sort of way. Put on the same expression as if you were brushing off a yellowjacket at a picnic. No matter what you're feeling, if you act like it doesn't bother you, it drives girls crazy! "Why doesn't he care?", they ask themselves, again and again. Which leads us to -
Secret #4: Girls have always gone ga-ga over distant, cool guys.
So why not get some mileage out of it? After all, they're teasing you: it's OK not to give them the reaction they want. (This part is actually fun.)
If you feel overwhelmed by all this, please remember the most important thing, which I’ve saved for last:
Secret #5: Girls really just want to be "like liked" for the sweet, funny, quirky people they are - just like you.
Now about dating in college . . .