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Do Girls Ask For It?

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Do Girls Ask For It?

Some girls at my school dress like they’re inviting boys to be interested in them. But if I say something to them, they get all huffy and mad. What’s going on? Aren’t they asking for it?

Apparently, they’re not. Or they’re asking for something but not what you had in mind. How can you sort this out and be around girls without making them think you’re overdoing it? Let’s figure this out.

The issue here is one of boundaries. Girls – all people, really – have boundaries that it’s offensive to cross. But these boundaries are invisible. They’re supposed to be understood, without anyone saying anything. So the problem you’re having is with these boundaries that you just don’t see. It’s not that you’re clueless or some sort of jerk. You just don’t realize that there are limits.

Imagine you are driving down the road – a nice, wide, smooth, inviting road – and you don’t see a speed limit sign. So, naturally, you cruise along, going as fast as you like, thinking that everything is good. But then the highway patrol pulls you over. You were going way too fast. You argue that you didn’t see any signs, but you’re busted anyway. The cop tells you that old thing about ignorance being no excuse and that you should have known.

Getting along with girls is very similar. There are rules and you’re expected to know them. Ignorance is no excuse. So what are the rules for getting along with girls?

  1. Girls are people. They are not sex objects or any other sort of object. They exist to be themselves, not to hook up with boys. They are no one’s property and they will never be anyone’s property.
  2. Girls dress however they want. They are not dressing in order to send any sort of signal to you, so don’t imagine that a short skirt or a dipping neckline is an invitation of any sort. Just like boys, girls dress in ways that make them feel happy and comfortable.
  3. Girls flirt, just like boys flirt. People talk to each other, laugh, do things together, and tease each other in a friendly way, because they like each other and they’re friendly people. A girl who seems to be flirting might be interested in you but she’s not sending you an invitation to own her. She’s sending you an invitation to be a friend.
  4. If a girl wants to hold your hand, or let you nuzzle her neck, or kiss you, or even have sex with you she will tell you that, if you ask her. You must ask her. You. Must. Ask. Her. You may not jump to conclusions based on how flirty she seems or how sexy she dressed today or how hot and bothered you feel when you see her. She’s her own person. You have to ask.
  5. When a girl answers you, she’s telling the truth. If she says “no,” then she means “no.” She doesn’t really mean “yes” and she doesn’t really mean, “ask me again.” She’s not trying to be funny or tease you. It’s not Opposite Day. If she says, “yes,” then make certain she’s answering a real question and that she really said, “yes.”
  6. Once isn’t always and it isn’t everything. The girl who agrees that you can hold her hand today doesn’t mean you can hold her hand tomorrow or even this evening.  The girl who agrees to hold your hand hasn’t also agreed to be kissed. Girls are their own persons. They are not giving themselves away with a single word.
  7. What a girl does with someone else has no bearing on you. Do not imagine that a girl’s reputation matters here, no matter what you’ve heard. Every girl, every woman, every person deserves respect. Do not make any assumptions or take any advantages.
  8. Play no tricks. Will she say “yes” if I get her drunk? Will she say “yes” if I slip something into her cola? What if I know she’s already in such a state that she won’t remember anything tomorrow anyway? You’re talking criminal activity now, guy, and you know this isn’t okay. Don’t even think of going there.
  9. Speaking of criminal activity, even if a girl says “yes” to sex with you, you cannot act on that answer if she’s underage. Find out what the age of consent is in your state – ask your dad or look it up on the Internet. Don’t fool around with girls who are legally too young to agree to it.

This stuff isn’t difficult to understand. You have to keep yourself in check and treat women with the same respect you treat guys with. Not with more – not putting on a pedestal stuff, which is really just another way of making women into objects. You’ve got to treat girls and women like real people. You are not more important or more powerful than a girl is. Your needs and wants are not anyone else’s priority.

Love begins with like. Get comfortable being around girls and let them see what a nice guy you are. Don’t try to move things too fast and don’t make everything all about you. Someday, you’ll get everything you could wish for and more, so long as you observe the boundaries.

Dr. Patricia Nan Anderson Dr. Patricia Anderson is a nationally acclaimed educational psychologist and the author of Parenting: A Field Guide. Dr. Anderson is on the Early Childhood faculty at Walden University and she is a Contributing Editor for Advantage4Parents. Learn more about Dr. Anderson at www.patricianananderson.com
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