Girlfriends and boyfriends
growing; girl; friends; boy; sexual; feelings; friendship; boyfriend; girlfriend;
When you're a little kid you just play together with other kids. Your best friend could be the same sex as you or not.
Some girls like to hang out with the boys because their interests are more like the boys' interests, eg. soccer, basketball, marbles. Or perhaps they have brothers and are used to being around boys.
Some boys like to hang out with the girls because they share similar interests, eg music, chess, athletics.
Some kids have a special girlfriend or boyfriend from an early age. They may be best friends. They can talk easily with each other, support each other and have similar interests. They feel comfortable together.
Girls and boys can be friends together without any sexual feelings in their relationship.
and boys are different
It is a scientific fact that boys and girls are different, not just in their bodies, but in their minds as well.
Girls usually mature faster than boys, physically and emotionally - so girls can be on the lookout for a special boyfriend, while the boys are still more interested in sport, video games and hanging out with a group rather than one girl.
Girls and boys often have same sex best friends who care for each other and share similar interests.
friends in the group
Being part of a group of girls and boys is great! You get to talk to each other, listen to each other, support each other and have fun together.
Girls and boys can learn to relate to each other comfortably and without any pressure.
Groups can give boys and girls opportunities of learning about the sort of stuff the other sex is interested in, so that talking to someone of the other sex is easier.
Even if you are not part of a group, you can keep up with the movies, the music, the sport, the stars, and the TV programs that everyone is interested in so that you can join in a conversation.
a special friend
If you really like someone, you can let that person know by:
- being friendly and smiling naturally (grinning all the time is scary!)
- actively listening when they are speaking - active listening is when you listen very carefully and say things like "uh-huh…", "yes…", "I agree…", or, "do you mean…?" to show you understand.
- not talking all the time, even if you're nervous, and not interrupting - otherwise the other person will stop talking (and listening) to you.
- giving compliments and positive comments, eg "I thought you did that talk really well - what great drawings you do!" (don't overdo it or you will sound creepy!)
- 'Put-downs' do just that! They hurt the person you are talking to and put you down in that person's thoughts about you.
- being helpful - "can I help you with…?" is a good way to start a conversation, so long as you look like you really are interested in helping.
- sharing an interest or finding out about something you know that person is interested in.
- looking at the person rather than gazing round the room when you're having a conversation.
- being you and feeling good about yourself - confident people are interesting.
- relaxing and letting the conversation flow - you don't need to be thinking about what you are going to say next.
- having your own opinions - it's OK not to agree with someone.
- looking and smelling clean! - look after your hygiene and your clothes, especially your shoes, as smelly shoes are a real turn off!
if he or she says 'no'?
You can't make anyone like you. If someone is having a conversation with you and seems friendly, then maybe that's what they want to be… friends.
Enjoy the friendship and realise that you have many years ahead of you in which to form closer relationships.
What can you do?
Accept what they say, and say, "OK, that's cool."
If you are the person who is saying 'no', then think about how you would feel if you were the other person - so be kind as well as definite.
Whichever one you are, don't start spreading rumours, gossip or giving that person a hard time. Why? Because they may have a friend who is interested in you and when that person sees how you are behaving, will they still feel interested in you? I don't think so!
Who would want to be friends with someone who behaved in such a spiteful, hurtful way? No-one.
Some people become interested in having a special friend at an early age, others are not interested until they are well into being an adult.
One of the greatest things about being a human being is friendship. Having others around to share things with and have fun together makes life more interesting. Don't feel pressured into looking for a special friend just because it seems to be the 'in thing' to do. You could end up losing someone as a good friend and that would be sad, as good friends are hard to find.
We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.