She's Dating To Make Friends Jealous

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Male
I'm 15 (sophmore) and for the 1st time I am in love with a girl for more than just her looks. I've fallen head over heels, ga ga for a junior girl. I've become her friend over the last 8 months and grow closer to her everyday. This was the 1st girl to ever call me her valentine. We share, we walk together in the hallways, and through it all I've gotten to know who she is. We've never seen each other outside of school because I've always been too nervous to ask her. Anyway, she may be beautiful on the outside, but she's even more-so on the inside.

Of course, though, there is a problem. She has a boyfriend, a freshman in college 3 hrs. away, who she is in love with. This guy sees her once every few months and almost never calls her, but she's obsessed with telling her friends her boyfriend is in college. Then here I am, younger then her, which seems to be a no-go in relationships.

The guy is clearly not in it for a relationship with her, but he wont leave her. I've met the guy before and all he thinks about is sex (in other words, he's a man). I fear for my friend that this guy will just use her for his sexual needs and then hurt her by leaving her. However, she seems more concerned with making her friends jealous then her own personal happiness.

I dont know if she'd ever accept a younger man as a boyfriend, but I've come to love this girl so much that I can't stand to see her with this guy anymore. So I have 2 questions: 1) Can I do anything about this guy? 2) How do I go about asking this girl out as a friend (keeping in mind the age taboo)? Thanks. Advice
OK first, there's no such thing as that age taboo. Tons of girls date guys that are younger than them. You guys are not even two years apart!! That's practically the same age. You need to get that out of your head, that it could even matter to the vast majority of people. Most people who date are a few years apart in age, and lots of times it's the girl that is older. It doesn't really matter.

It does sound like this girl of yours has her priorities screwed up. There are many things to admire a boyfriend for. He can be funny, sweet, sensitive, caring, dependable. But "being in college" is one of the most ridiculous reasons to date someone. Life is not about impressing your friends. What you have as a partner in your OWN life should have nothing to do with showing off to others. That is really one of the worst ways to choose a mate.

But one of the most important things you learn in any relationship is that you can NOT change your partner. If you are patient and are a good example, maybe they might choose to change on their own. But many times they don't. And either you accept the person the way they are, or you get EXTREMELY frustrated trying to "remake" them the way you think they SHOULD be.

So while she's a great girl, she has a serious quirk - she cares more about what others think about her than her own happiness. And she makes really bad decisions for her own life based on what others might think. There are certainly teenage boys and girls who do this. MTV-style shows almost encourage it with the "Wow, what are the friends thinking" inanity in tv shows and such. So she's fallen into the trap.

Maybe sometime soon she'll learn the lesson, perhaps the hard way, that you can really harm yourself by obsessing about what others think. In the end, it doesn't matter what they think. And if you seriously screw up your own life, they won't care about that either. Only you will. Maybe you can be there to soothe her as she gets over the pain when it happens. But there's really no way you can "tell" her to be different. She is the way she is. And while she might mature as she gets a bit older, you can never make someone mature.

Just be there for her, be her friend. If she only talks to and sees this guy every few months, he's not really a boyfriend. He's a guy with a title and she likes the *title* she can show off. Undoubtedly he's seeing other women in college and thinks of her in the same way - 'a girl to have fun with when I'm around town'. So they're both using each other. At some point she'll realize she's wasted her entire high school dating time with an imaginary guy, want someone real to care for her, and you'll be there.

On a final note, you claim that because he thinks about sex all the time, he's a man. I'm sorry, but I know tons and tons of men that are not obsessed with sex. That's yet another MTV concoction. In fact I know many women who are in relationships and who have difficulties because they want sex and the guy just isn't really interested. So it's important that you understand that too. If you know some sex-crazed guys, that's fine for them. But that's not how all guys are.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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