Last spring I spoke at a middle school career day. That night, I received this email from a sweet girl seeking some advice. (All names have been changed.)
Hello Mrs. Michelle,
I was in your one of the groups that you presented to today and I wanted to ask you a few questions. First I have a friendship that’s going south and I would like to end it as easily as possible with little to no DRAMA. I need to know how to do this and listening to your speech, I know you know how. Also there’s another thing. And I’m pretty sure you knew this was bound to come up. I like a guy named Mark. We were friends but his girlfriend made our communication restricted so we kinda grew apart. Now that they’re not a thing anymore we began to talk again but not how we used to. But now even when he doesn’t say anything to me he looks at me all the time… the problem is that he’s a player so I dont know whether its all in fun for him or this is the way he really feels. Please email me back with your thoughts or opinions.
And here is my response:
I’m sorry you are having a tough time with a friend. What you are feeling is totally normal, for your age and for women my age! We all go through it and I commend you for seeking a solution that is drama-free. I recently wrote an article about how to break up with a friend. You can click below to read my advice. I hope it helps you.
As for Mark, the answer is in your note itself. You say that Mark is a player and you are not sure if he has real feelings for you or if he is just having fun.
Take a good look at Mark. Now look to his left. Now look to his right. Now look behind him. Mark is not the only boy at school and there are plenty of boys who are not players. He may be cute, he may funny, and other girls may find him irresistible because he is so good at playing the game. Here is the question you need to answer for yourself: Do you want to have a boyfriend who is playing a game? In a game, there is a winner and a loser. Personally, I don’t want to have a relationship where someone wins and someone loses. Both people should enter a relationship as equals with the goal of supporting each other. That’s a win-win situation.
Try to think less about Mark specifically and more about the qualities you are looking for in a boyfriend. Make a list of those qualities. I’m married, but if I were single, this would be my list:
Qualities I Want In A Boyfriend
Sense of humor, must not take himself too seriously
Likes to learn new things
Is respectful to everyone, not just some people
Healthy, must not smoke
Thinks I’m awesome
After you make YOUR list, ask yourself how well Mark fits the list. Don’t try to make him fit if he doesn’t, just open your eyes to all those other guys at school. Your ideal guy exists but if you are too busy trying to mold someone else into him, you might miss him walking right by you in the hallway. And don’t worry if he takes a while to find. Enjoy your friends, both guys and girls, until you bump into each other.
Let me know how this advice works for you!
Michelle Icard is our resident middle school expert. Please visit her website www.MichelleintheMiddle.com and like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/middleschoolrelief.
Well I’m officially a middle school mama and let me tell ya, the minute I dropped her off I felt worse than the first day of kindergarten! It was almost instantaneously that all of my little girl preteen insecurities came screaming back at me – I had no idea they were even there. And I hate to see MY daughter go through all that. But it’s part of growing up – we all were there. We just have to listen to experts like you to help us empower our girls and teach them to feel confident in their skin.
Here we go!
It is SO hard not to get emotional about it. And boy can I relate to the rush of preteen insecurities. At least we’re in this together 🙂