Me, the High School Junior Baseball Version
When I was a young teenager, I loved girls but had absolutely no skills for showing affection and no idea of how to attract girls. Sports, music, and hanging out with friends occupied 99.9% of my social life. Little did I know that although I was popular, I was also a complete fool about love, romance, dating, and all of that kind of stuff. I began to catch onto some things the summer following my high school graduation, but, by then, many of my girl acquaintances had scattered.
In high school, I missed a lot of fun with girls. And, I'm not necessarily trying to suggest I should have had more sexual encounters, but I am saying I just didn't get close to enough beautiful girls who graced the halls of my school. I would often choose guy things over dating for some pretty stupid reasons. I now understand the error of my ways. With my perspective now, the pedestal of great girls appears much larger than it did from 1966 to 1969.
Why was I not girl "savvy" in high school? I think I know a couple of reasons:
(1) Girls whom I was desperately attracted to truly intimidated me. I didn't have the "talk" or the confidence to court them with proper style and grace. Beauties could easily cause me to stutter and to fumble for things to say. No doubt, once they met me, they soon saw me as a dork or as a clown and wondered when I was ever going to grow up. The girls in my school were much more mature than I. Let's face it, it takes experience to build maturity, and due to lack of experience, I found girls to be pretty much a mystery.
(2) The fashion of the day was to go steady. I really liked so many different girls, so I didn't want to go steady, and I assumed "going steady" was the first lockstep to marriage. So many beautiful girls in the entire school -- freshmen to seniors -- went steady all the time. In my mind, if a girl was going steady with someone, she was off limits to me. Of course, I saw the fights over girls and the breakups of couples, yet it seemed to me the most delectable sweeties ALWAYS went steady or were ALWAYS wanting a date to go steady.
I should have talked with girls I liked, even if they were going steady. I see now that honest talk is not betrayal. In fact, it may lead to better relationships. I was not aggressive enough.
So, after college and gaining some "girl" maturity, I began teaching at my old high school. It wasn't long until I noticed scores of boys acting with the same immaturity I had displayed when it came to dating. I began a crusade of talking to some of the guys I knew who weren't dating but interested in doing so -- nice, intelligent, kind young men who were looking for clues.
With this in mind, here is a primer that I think might help young, timid, nice guys find their way to first or second base.
The Junior Class Play Cast - Tom Jones
High School Dating Primer From An Old Man
* Divas in school exist to steal hearts and to hold court. No doubt a few "special beauties" are high school queens. But if you want great girls, you must look at the middle and even at the fringes of the female population while you are in high school. I guarantee you have overlooked wonderful, exciting, alluring girls who sat right beside you in study hall.
We young men are stupid when it comes to judging who will be the best, most compatible, and most beautiful women long after high school graduation.
Mark these words: when you go to your tenth high school reunion, you will find so many girls you would not have given a second look in high school that then turn all men's heads. Not only that, these same women who have worked hard continually to improve themselves find unique ways to project their true beauty, grace, and unique talents. Damn, they blossom and improve!
In fact, by that tenth reunion, many high school homecoming queens are so used to being passive and still attracting attention that they resemble sports veterans in later stages of their careers -- fading has already begun due to egotistical concerns.
* Dating does not have to mean serious, close contact nor sexual relations. Having fun with a girl you admire can be as simple as taking her for a drive, going to a restaurant for a burger, or talking with her in private. I believe most "nervous-dating" guys expect too much, too soon. They want to impress with money and sweet talk and flash. They seem to deny that sincere affection runs a wide range of stimulus and response.
I've found simple things like walking with a girl or receiving permission to hold hands with her can be super pleasant. Trust and close friendship take time: not all romance sparks instantaneously. In fact, boys may have deep crushes on girls. Then, they work up the courage to ask them out, and the girls turn out to be very incompatible dates. Talking out expectations and feelings can be very beneficial in managing relationships with the opposite sex. Striking out with a girl you have long admired is just part of the dating game. Moving on is essential for happiness.
* Please, boys, dance! I'm not just talking about just dancing slow dances either. Most young girls love to dance -- fast and slow -- and they need a partner. I know, most boys believe they look like Herman Munster on the dance floor. Maybe they do. So what? Personally, I don't think any guy looks good dancing.
Let me clue you in, fellows. Girls in motion are beautiful creatures, and they know it. In truth, boys feel they look silly dancing because of their lack of confidence, their lack of experience, or their honest evaluation and true lack of great elegance. That's what I said: some guys aren't great dancers. But, no guy is a fool for accompanying a young lady to the floor and being genuinely sincere in his dance.
It doesn't matter that boys can look a little odd dancing. Girls understand this... they want to look attractive on the dance floor, and they are seeking males that can help them showcase their agility. A boy must never upstage his female dance partner. He must never act silly because he is nervous. He can refine moves with practice, fit in, and be genuinely interested in his dance partner as she moves. All it takes is getting on the floor and complementing the lissome lasses. By the way, fellows, that takes some guts, so don't dance with your paper-thin ego. Have fun and dance with girls not to draw attention to yourself like John Trivolta.
* Avoid seeking those young girls with too much flash -- it decays and rusts much sooner than you think, anyway. Some fine girls simply cannot afford the glitter, bling, and fashion and yet have stunning qualities in their demeanor that get better with age. Other attractive young ladies simply understand that refinement and innocence are complimentary to lasting attraction, and, God, don't they find out how to enhance their good qualities. Never forget that perfection in beauty lies in imperfection and the honest style in which it is presented.
It is understood that young men love "hot parts" -- beautiful breasts, pretty faces, long and flowing hair, small waists, and shapely long legs -- but a girl who willingly displays the most for all to see can be either uneducated or a willing, superficial product. Boys will always look for parts on display, but they soon understand the bait can be nothing but trouble.
* Always, always, ask the girl you want to date out. If you don't -- for whatever reason -- you will forever wonder if she might have accepted. If you like the high-and-mighty queen and feel deserving of her favor, at least ask her out. She can only say, "No." And, if she does, you have lost absolutely nothing. Again, I believe most guys find that divas are not the sole best choices.
I bet you will find the best girls in school aren't necessarily at the top of the "beauty list." Buddy, you are going to change, and so are the ladies. Be satisfied to make close, good, female friends and let some of the testosterone simmer on the back burner.
* Take this advice or leave it: I would date a lot of girls in high school. In doing so, I would not ignore girls I felt great attraction towards, yet I would talk, talk, and talk some more with them about my good intentions. I would intend to have many innocent dates. Haste in love denies a smorgasbord of other interesting girls. If people all are truly looking for love and companionship, why do they settle so quickly for the first feelings of affection? I believe young people should be loving one another, just not setting their futures so quickly without regard for the entire field.
Do likes attract? Do opposites make better pairs? I don't know. But, I do know many lovers regret not having time to date others in simple relationships. Forget the intercourse and the copulation -- Jesus, I know it's all about rites of passage, but what's the hurry? Too complicated too quickly usually equals misery,
How about some simple, "no-sexual commitment" dating between couples who feel mutual attraction? Or, for that matter, how about some simple dating encounters that strengthen ties of friendship while allowing young people to experience so many wonderful different personalities? If you like a rebel, go out with a geek, etc., etc, etc. It's a date, not necessarily a commitment, and it's certainly not a social clique indictment.
* Lastly, feel free to ignore everything I have proposed here. After all, guys, you are all individuals capable of making up your own mind about girls and how you either do or don't wish to approach them. Everything I know about ladies I pretty much stumbled into. Why? Not because I didn't get some good advice from others, but instead because I chose to "do it my way." Love is silly that way. I am still mystified that the most important force of mankind can be so difficult to understand and so hard to maintain. A smile, pretty eyes, casual talk, a fun date -- high school love? I think so.