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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Is Holding Hands Meaningless?

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm 15, going on 16 in August, and was wondering if you could help me out here.

So... I like a girl. Sally, we'll call her. I've liked Sally about 4 months now. Sally is a non-member, but has many LDS friends, and has excellent standards, and lives them better than most kids in my Stake.

Oh, and she's adorably cute!

Anyways, a group of friends (Sally included) and I went to a movie (rated PG, of course) and I sat next to Sally. Of course, beforehand, Sally and I had been flirting, and about an hour and a half into the show, I realize that I'd been holding hands** with Sally for a good half hour.

Yikes! She'd been leaning her head on my shoulder! Frankly, I'm somewhat enjoying the moment, so I just let it happen. The movie ended, and we all waited for our rides.

Luck would have it, Sally and I were the last two left to get picked up. I took this opportunity to discuss our feelings. And guess what? We both like each other!

Since I won't be dating until August, my parents probably don't want me having a "girl-friend" and that it's highly recommended to date different people, we agreed to keep it under wraps until August, and then see what happens. So, I guess my question is.....

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Sally has said she's willing to take this in any (appropriate) direction, and this being my first ever real "girl" experience, I was just wondering what your thoughts on it were. Thanks a bunch!

Sincerely,

Dumbstruck

** PS: Holding Hands is something that is common for two friends to do in my group of friends. It's just sort of a sign of friendly affection. Normally doesn't last longer than a few seconds.




Dear Struck,

Talk to her again!

Tell her that you like her (casually; don't make this a profession of your love), but you're focused on your faith and serving a mission when you're old enough. (Which may lead to a Gospel discussion, future elder.) That means that you're going to hold off on the "serious girlfriend thing" until you come home in five years.

And include this girl in your plans for Casual Group Dates when you turn 16.

(You may want to check out: Bro Jo's Dating Rules for Teens (and their parents);  or even check out a copy of "Bro Jo's Guide to Casual Group Dating")

There's nothing wrong with how you feel or enjoying the moment (it IS pretty cool, isn't it?), but you're right: now is not the time in your life for a serious girlfriend or exclusive relationship.

Keep it Casual.

And have fun!

- Bro Jo

PS: The "hand holding" in your group of friends should stop. First off, there's no way I'll ever believe it doesn't mean anything; I may be old, but I remember that at your age we'd make any excuse to touch a girl, and getting them to believe that it was "no big deal" meant that we could do it more often (holding hands, hugging . . . etc.). And, let's be honest, you and I both know it's neither Casual nor Meaningless; not to them, and not to us; so it should stop. If you don't, you're going to be inviting a lot more drama into your teen life than you want. Trust me.

3 comments:

Peter and Molly said...

One of the saddest things I've ever read was an op-ed in the BYU-I paper basically shaming people for holding hands on first dates, because it gives the wrong impression. Yes holding hands with someone means something, it means, this is the person I'm with tonight. So, for a 15 year old who shouldn't be with anyone he probably shouldn't be holding hands, but it is not a sign of devotion or love. It's just a signal to other people to back off since the two of you are together.

Dave Johnston said...

Exactly!

And that's why it shouldn't be just a casual thing that friends do when they're hanging out.

Just like kissing.

- Bro Jo

Anonymous said...

Thank you for clearing that up, Brow Jo! I was so confused about it.