The Beginner’s Guide to Dating Boys

Need a little help on how to, un-complicate “The Date”? Even if you don’t feel quite ready yet for your first date … you can tuck this stuff away for later.

“I’ve had lots of crushes but never a boyfriend. Is that normal?”
Maybe you’re still a little uncomfortable with the idea of going out with a boy, perhaps your parents won’t allow it, or it just so happens you haven’t been asked out on a date yet. Whatever the deal, there’s no “normal” age to start dating. If you think everybody is doing it, not so! It’s far better to wait until you and your parents have full confidence that it’s the right time. For now, you could hang out with boys and girls in groups. Why rush it?

“My crush asked me to the school dance, and my parents said I can go! What should I expect from my first date?”
You’ll probably have a much more pleasant date if you don’t have any expectations other than to be treated with respect. Once you’re out, just chat him up like you would a bud. This is simply a chance to get to know each other a little better. Sure, he’s cute and all -- but maybe you’ll figure out you two are better off keeping it in the friend zone. Or you could find you’re ready for an official boyfriend. Either way, dating isn’t nearly as nerve-racking as final exams so just relax and have fun.

“Shouldn’t I pretend to be into the same stuff he’s into so he’ll really like me?”
No! Don’t fake it. If you really are into what he likes, then sure, say so. Otherwise, it’s totally OK to have different interests, so be who you are. That said, it’s also fine to learn more about what gets him stoked if you have a genuine desire to do so. (e.g., “No, I’ve never played that video game, but maybe you could teach me!”) And never sell yourself short. Go right ahead and take his character down if it turns out you’re a natural at virtual martial arts. If a guy is intimidated by your strengths, that’s too bad for him.