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Monday, March 10, 2014

Searching for Love

Dear Bro Jo,

I know you probably get tons of emails, but I hope you give mine some consideration because these are real questions and problems I have.

I am 15 years old girl and my mom died 5 months ago which still seems so very young.

I feel kind of lost with my problems without a person to seriously advice me in these times.

I have been home schooled my whole life until 9th grade last year.

I have four sisters and no brothers.

I had no boy troubles in 9th grade except for the fact that I've always forever wanted to feel loved and felt almost like I couldn't.

This 10th grade year I've tried so very hard to be outgoing and friendly and nice and now I have some problems.

I've gone from no boys to four boys and still no experience or knowledge on my part.

I believe that four boys have a crush on me, and I'm not sure what to do.

I was hoping you may give me perspective on these problems.

I am really really weak in this areas.. maybe you will just be able to tell me what I already know I need to hear, but I feel without advice.

Please help!

Boy #1: Is somebody who I met at a camp for kids who's parents are going through cancer, and I've been emailing him. He's super sweet and we say nice things to each other He used to give me notes in German and then translate it, one time he gave me a note in German but didn't translate it. I translated it myself on google translate and it said "I love you". Now we email each other about once every week, and he hasn't straight out said anything else to me.

Boy #2: Is a great friend of mine. When I told him that nobody "liked" me he got up the courage to tell me that he did. I kinda shunned that fact and told him I couldn't believe him. I had a partial crush on him until he told me he wasn't really LDS, then I forced myself to stop. He is a really inactive LDS person, and hasn't been to church since he was nine when his mom stopped going to church. I've had a lot of gospel conversations with him, and he knows I won't marry anybody outside of the temple. He told me that if he joins the church he wants to do it for the right reasons which I really admire.

Boy #3: Is a good friend of mine. He IS LDS... but his standards aren't really up to mine, and I unfortunately allowed him to lower mine. I danced with him at the New Year's Dance for the last dance and my friend told me to kiss him on the cheek. I decided that it would be okay because kissing on the cheek isn't that big of a deal, although I had never done it before to a guy my age before. However he turned his head and kissed me on the lips. It was a quick peck, and I turned and walked away as soon as he did it. He asked me to go to see a movie with him, and I invited a friend so it wouldn't be a date. BUT IT STILL WAS. He kept trying to hold my hand and stuff. And, because I am so weak at this, I didn't stop him. I told him that I liked him but I couldn't date till I was 16. Now he thinks I like him, and I don't know what to do with him. Because I do kinda like him.

But I like boy #4 the best. I almost feel evil or sinful because of what I've done with him, although most people would laugh about my hesitation of holding hands and peck kissing before 16.

Boy #4: Is my best friend. He is LDS. I trust him with just about anything and he was there for me with comfort when my mom died. He can make me laugh and be happy. And he checks off everything on my "list for future husband" even though I know its too early to really be thinking about this. This is the boy that I truly want. Because his standards are the same as mine he keeps holding back from me as well. He makes sure we don't have one-on-one time which I really admire. He helps me keep up my standards and makes me an even better person. I talk to him about spiritual worries and he really strengthens my testimony and makes me feel important. We give each other hugs sometimes and sometimes he squeezes my hand for comfort when I am crying. I'm really scared I met him too soon.. because I think it would be cool to have him forever and the chances of that lower because he is my best friend right now.

And I worry.

Maybe I'm stupid to worry about all this stuff right now, I'm not even sixteen.. but I do.

I'm especially worried that my problems with boys #2 and #3 might prevent me from getting what I truly want.

I don't want to be mean to any of these boys, and yet I keep accidentally encouraging them somehow.

I love and care about them all so so much.

And when they flirt with me... its really really hard to discourage it, because deep inside I guess I want attention. I want boys to love me.

But then things accidentally happen and I just feel really really confused right now.

What do I do?

- Unsure

Dear Unsure,

Okay, Little Sister, let me give you some advice.

First of all, boys don't give girls attention because they love them; they give girls attention because they like them.

Especially at your age.

And that's an important difference you need to learn.

Someone once said that girls learn to be attracted to the boy they love and boys learn to love the girl they're attracted to; and on some levels that's true.


Before you jump to conclusions here, let me explain why I'm telling you this: at the moment you are in life right now.

At your age many girls feel the need for some kind of external validation of their worth . . . as if having a boyfriend proves they're pretty and have value.

I understand why that might feel like the truth, but the Real Truth is that as a Daughter of God you have Beauty and Talent and Value and Worth regardless of whether or not one of the boys around you is every smart enough to realize it or brave enough to do something about it.

So that means that "looking for love" (or "getting a boyfriend") at your age not only isn't necessary (despite the social and internal pressures that are telling you otherwise), it's also not a good idea.

Serious Teen Relationships come with extra pressure and drama and temptation that I just don't recommend.
Y'all are vulnerable enough as it is!

I think that what you need to focus on right now is meeting lots of people and getting to know them better. 

Practice being kind and compassionate and understanding.

When you're just a little older, go on Casual Group Dates (make sure you read the rules, go over them with your family, and understand that, at your age, dates are about having fun, not about "finding that special someone").

Get attention in a Good Way.

Have boys (and girls) love you because you're a good person, a person who perseveres despite adversity, a person who does her best to lift and sustain others; in other words, a true disciple of Christ. Read often.

Pray often.

Worry not now about the "forever boy".

That will happen.

In due time.

Keep your standards high! 

Set a goal of not doing anything today, or tonight, that you'll regret tomorrow.

I know you miss your mom.  And I totally understand.  But don't fill that hole in your life with a Serious Boyfriend at this point.  Make good friends, and yes that can and should include boys, but fill the things you miss about your mother with your family.

 God bless,

- Bro Jo

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