I remember feeling nervous as a 9th grade girl—wanting to feel pretty, fretting over whether my outfit and hair were just right, putting on a face of confidence when I was terrified on the inside.
I remember feeling intimidated and awkward and unsure.
I remember wanting to know what boys were thinking and how they were feeling and what they were doing.
I remember waiting for that boy to call—the insecurity and neediness and the unforgettable feeling of my stomach in knots.
I remember feeling like my boyfriend’s friends hated me.
I remember boys being so mysterious.
Now that I’m a mother of four sons, I have fresh insight daily from the endless neighborhood boys who hang out in my kitchen and clear out my pantry and share stories on my sofa.
So, teenage girl, I want to kill the mystery for you. I want to clear the fog and give you a peek behind the facade.
Here’s the thing…
He’s just a boy in a man’s body. Just like you, he’s still very much a little kid inside. Even though he looks amazingly hot and confident, he’s scared and unsure of himself. He still feels like he’s 10-years-old inside.
YOU are the reason that he suddenly (after years of his mother nagging him) knows how to shower and wash his face and brush his teeth and comb his hair and put on clothes that weren’t stuffed under his bed since the last time he wore it. This is all fairly new to him so please don’t put him on a pedestal. He’s sure to go crashing to the floor, burping and farting on the way.
When he doesn’t text or call or Snapchat you, he’s most likely not even thinking about you or any other girl. What he’s doing is killing zombies on his Playstation, or playing football in the yard with his buddies or binge watching on Netflix or playing ping pong or arm wrestling or watching SportsCenter with a box of Oreos and a gallon of milk in front of him.
When he does finally get around to texting you, he doesn’t even realize that you were waiting. He’s got no clue. Because he’s a boy in a man’s body and boys like to play. And not all are players like you think. Some are truly just playing real games—frisbee, darts, capture the flag. I’m not kidding!
Then when you get mad at him for not texting, he’s got no idea how to cope. No Idea! None. He has zero capacity for drama so don’t be surprised if he looks like a deer in the headlights when you are upset with him. (He looks like this when his mother is upset with him too.) He truly doesn’t know what to do and rarely hears anything after the first 10 words spoken in a dramatic fashion.
He’ll say he’s sorry because his mother will tell him what it’s like to be a teenage girl and try to coach him through being thoughtful and considerate. But, he won’t really get what he did wrong because he can look back and see that he texted you a mere four hours ago and to him, that’s not a lifetime. It’s enough time to work out, play a round of golf, eat two cheeseburgers, fries and a chocolate shake, and scroll through Instagram on his phone where he then sees your text and finally replies.
And when you hear that his friends have started a hashtag called #getsamback because he’s been spending too much time with you, those boys don't hate you. They probably like you. But, they miss hanging out with their buddy and deep down they know the days of hanging out with friends all the time are numbered. They simply want more time with their friend. And the thing is, your friends probably miss their time with you too. So don’t freak out and skulk around saying, “But, your friends hate me.” It will just make everyone miserable.
I tell you all this because I remember ALL the excessive time that teenage girls spend waiting on teenage boys. It’s dramatic and heartbreaking and time-wasting. The next time that boy doesn’t respond to your text right away, please don’t sit around listening to Taylor Swift and eating a pint of ice cream. Go out at play, hang out with your friends, have some fun. Because that’s probably exactly what he’s doing.