Question from Andy
How do u find a good girlfriend if u have to be 18 or older to be on a dating app?
I don’t really know how to answer this question other than to tell you that, for centuries, people did manage to find one another without dating apps. They engaged in a very low-tech behavior called talking. And to envision this, you must first picture an age where “talking” did not mean texting. It meant being brave, making eye contact, walking over, smiling and using your voice to ask somebody how their day is going. That is how people found a good girlfriend.
Learning how to communicate face to face is key. Sure, you can make friends online. But just as in real life, don’t push for dating too soon. Get to know the person. Show an interest in who they are and in what matters to them.
You will have many, many friends in your life and only one significant other at a time. Do not underestimate the value of friendship. It will often blossom into love. But first, work on finding and being a good friend. Romance is out there waiting for you, and I promise that you will get there when you are truly ready.
(Barrett Pall video)
• • •
Question from Malcom
I’m 12 and I have problems with my family. I can’t speak to them without judging me or I can’t speak to my so-called friends because they will tell other people. I’m struggling with my sexuality as I’m gay. What should I do?
Most 12 year olds feel that no one understands them. It is a frustrating time of life because at 12, you don’t really understand yourself yet. That can compel you to put out negative and defensive energy. This, in turn, will invite what you are perceiving as judgment.
No matter how churned up you are feeling inside, try to always generate kindness and positivity. It will not come naturally because you are so uncomfortable right now. But push yourself to be pleasant and approachable.
Whatever you desire, you must first give it away. If you don’t wish to be judged, stop judging. Let your face signal that you are safe and friendly. Allow your tone of voice to follow.
A lot of kids struggle with understanding their sexuality and their gender identity. You are under no obligation to explain anything to anyone. You get to simply experience your feelings and your crushes and your sense of who you are growing up to become.
It’s a process. The answers do not come all at once. It takes years. Be as kind to yourself as you wish others would be to you.
Click here if you feel the need to talk with someone about all of this.
• • •
Question from Kylie
I can’t help but feel so unappreciated. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I was really looking forward to my first one with my boyfriend. I’m always thoughtful with my gifts so I put a lot of effort in them and, to be honest, it did cost me a bit of money.
That’s why when we exchanged gifts I felt so bummed. He basically had gotten me generic stuff, a small teddy bear from Walgreens, candy and a chocolate rose, and a note he made by folding a piece of paper … to me it all just seemed like everything was just not thoughtful from his part. I’m not into into stuffed animals, I don’t like chocolate and I just don’t have a sweet tooth.
I wasn’t focusing on the value of the gift so much. What I was really upset about is that I didn’t feel valued. That may be because buying gifts and spending money on someone is my way of showing appreciation. That’s my love language.
But it may not be his. He expresses his love for me 24/7. I didn’t mean to feel unappreciative of his gifts, but I was sorta expecting something more special because it was our FIRST Valentine’s Day together.
By the way, we ended up not following with our plans all day cause I just felt like it was whatever to him. I spent the entire day crying in my car trying to explain this to him. Which sucked cause I had spent the majority of my time getting ready and driving to meet him for dinner and a movie. Plus it just sucked to see how thoughtful my friends’ boyfriends turned out to be via social media.
I don’t know what to do and this still bothers me.
I’m not sure that spending money should be anyone’s “love language.” That does not sound at all healthy. What matters most is how you and your boyfriend feel about each other and the quality of the time you spend together. While you were stuck on what you did not have, you missed out on the experience of dinner and a movie and the memories that would have created.
Is it possible that you are looking for flaws because you don’t believe that you deserve to be loved? Life is not about the money spent on a gift, and it is especially not about how that is depicted on Instagram. If you continue to compare what you have to what others have, you will always find someone who has more. Or at least it will seem to you that they have more. They don’t.
The winner (if there is such a thing) is the person who can fully appreciate what she has. Does this guy love you? Do you love him? If the answer is, “Yes,” then stop beating both of you up and start enjoying all of the the lovely moments. We are blessed to be alive and safe and healthy. If you already have those gifts then cherish them and everything else that life has to offer.
• • •
Got a question for Weezy? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be answered in a subsequent column.
— Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She also hosts a weekly video podcast called Things I Found Online, and teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.