Question from Miranda
I am 16. My boyfriend and I love each other very much and we are planning on growing up and getting married.
My friends (who have all had sex) and his friends (who have all had sex) are trying to convince us to, and I kind of want to and I think he does, too.
Do you think this is a good idea?
No, I think it is a bad idea. It troubles me that friends who have done something unwise think it is a good idea to convince others to do something unwise. Why is this any of their business? Do you even know for sure that they have had sex? A lot of people lie about this because they think it makes them seem more mature.
Imagine, if you will, that none of your friends has actually had sex but they talk you two into doing it and you two are the ones who become pregnant. Believe it or not, that is not an uncommon scenario.
My best advice is that you wait until you are 18 to become sexually active. You will then visit your gynecologist and discuss birth control and health and safety options. Sex is not playing tennis. It comes with serious responsibilities and consequences. It affects both participants dramatically, both physically and emotionally.
That you have a boyfriend who is not pressuring you for sex is huge and wonderful. He is a keeper. Please do not spoil this by getting pregnant now and having something that traumatic rip you apart. You have futures and lives to live. Finish high school, get into colleges and then take your relationship to the next level.
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Question from Ally
There is this boy who I like. I told him. I told my friends. He is on my ski race team. His name is Cooper and he told me that he didn’t like me and that he wanted to stay friends, but now he just completely ignores me.
My friend is trying to get us to date because he thinks that Cooper might have some feelings for me. I’m not positive, though. Cooper also told my friend, Crawford, that he blocked me on like text. It’s not true. I went home and checked my contacts and there he was like normal. I don’t know if he was saying that to save face or something, but I really need some advice on this and just some help with him.
I really, really like him, and I think he might have some feelings for me that he’s just not ready to admit it. Any help would be great. Thank you. <3
You have probably guessed correctly. He may have feelings for you that he is not yet ready to admit. This means that he will go out of his way to actively deny these feelings. This often happens with boys who are around 12 or 13 years old.
Your best course is to remain steady, calm, friendly and approachable. It sounds like the word is out. He knows that you like him. Time is your friend here. You just do you. Let him see a girl who is fun and involved and kind and interested in many people and topics and pursuits. If things are supposed to develop romantically between you two, then they will on their own.
Pushing anything will just push him away. As far as he has thus far communicated, he likes you as a friend. Until you hear differently from him, that is his story. A different story will be his to tell when and if he is ready. You can give him a smile and a compliment on his skiing, and then go do your own thing as if you can live with or without him. The truth is that you can.
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Question from Liz
Hi, Weezy. I’m finding myself really uncomfortable with my two roommates. They are really loud when they talk and they talk to each other in Chinese, which I don’t speak.
I had to tell them to stop being so loud one time because I could hear them over my loud earbuds. I didn’t want to do it often since I felt mean, and I decided to go to the library instead and get my studies done there. But I can’t do that so late at night and sometimes I need to study in my room.
I find that I’m the only considerate one when it comes to them studying. I try to be quiet and I don’t get the same treatment back. So I decided to do it back at one of the girls. When she had to prepare for a midterm and was really stressed about it, I decided to be as loud as I could be, watching videos and having a conversation with my other roommate. In the morning I disregarded her being asleep and I started slamming the doors shut just like she does when I’m sleeping.
I know this wasn’t right but I just wanted to give her a taste of her own medicine. Now she is giving me the cold shoulder, and I think because she gets along with the other roommates better they are kinda sided against me. I feel left out.
We were supposed to dorm together again for the new school year but now I’m not sure if I can handle another year of them speaking Chinese 24/7. I used to get along with them 90 percent of the time. What do you think I should do?
Giving someone “a taste of their own medicine” may feel good in the moment but it is never the wise path. It does not help the person understand what you have been going through. It only turns a situation in which you were mad at them into one in which you are now all mad at each other.
The Internet has begun calling this type of thinking “what-about-ism.” For example, someone is accused of lying and their response is, “Well, you lie even worse!” Maybe. But one lie does not erase another. It is attempting to negate your thing by pointing out someone else’s thing. In your case, you were attempting to point out someone else’s thing by creating your own thing. That’s just more bad things.
You being loud and distracting does not highlight what was done to you. Only talking does that. You were using the type of thinking that accelerates into war. It is just never the answer.
It’s time for a house meeting at which you all talk openly and honestly about what has transpired. Begin the meeting with an apology. Do not end your apology with a “but …” Simply apologize. Then say. What I did was clearly wrong. I feel so frustrated and unhappy. How can we better communicate? Let them talk. Then you can admit to them that when they speak to each other in Chinese it is not only distracting it also kind of hurtful because you can’t understand them and that makes you feel left out. Then let them speak. When you are vulnerable, people listen and they better understand.
Throughout your meeting, only make “I” statements. Tell them how you feel. Don’t back them into a corner by accusing them of “always this” or “never that.” Listen to them when they talk, even if they say something that makes you feel defensive. Take it in and then make another “I” statement. When you give the other side power by saying for example, “I never looked at it that way,” their guard comes down and you can make progress.
Your goal should be to establish ground rules. When is quiet time? When is social time? You can certainly go to the library when it’s safe. You should be able to study in your room after 10 p.m. I think you should be able to resolve this and if you can not, ask for a change of rooms. Do not agree to room with the same girls next year unless you reach an understanding. Learn some Chinese!
These conflicts occur on every college campus and advisers and RA’s are used to handling them. Ask for help if you need it. You will get through this.
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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at email@example.com 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.