Sam is a 15-year-old from Montgomery, NJ. She enjoys playing tennis, writing and Community Service. Her favorite subject in school is History.
You know the story. Quirky Girl or Boy gets The Boy or Girl of Their Dreams. There should be a happily ever after, right? Well, from what I’ve experienced, not always. Below are a few tips on how to (and how not to) handle some of the toughest things about dating someone more popular.
Getting Their Attention
Do Seize Opportunities: Will (his middle name), a junior and wide receiver on our school’s varsity football team, and I, a brainy freshman, met at a meeting for a school Halloween function, and hit it off from there. The possibilities of meeting someone new are virtually endless. You just need to be yourself and make your move from there. After all, a popular kid is the same as anyone else, but with more friends on Facebook.
Don’t Be Too Pushy: I’ve definitely made this mistake before, dating way back in middle school. Following guys around, saying hey to them every time you pass them in the hallways, always trying to dance near them at school dances. Need I say more?
Do Shake ‘Em Off: When I started going out with Will, rumors started flowing around that he was using me for sex, that he was going to dump me in a matter of days, and all other kinds of weird stuff. However, I figured out that most of the stuff people were saying was out of envy (after all, nerds like me don’t go out jocks), and decided that the best way to handle the rumors was to ignore them.
Don’t Be Confrontational: This is a tough one. Popular people are like celebrities: rumors are spread about them all the time, and you aren’t really sure which ones to believe until they turn out to be true. They also don’t like to be angrily confronted by people, even ones they are close to. That being said, don’t take every rumor to heart and give a popular person (or any person) the Inquisition.
Do Talk It Out: Will and I have had that same old “Talk” before. It may seem kind of boring and useless, especially when your boyfriend or girlfriend has possibly done it. And explaining to him or her what your limits are is easier said than done. However, as painful as it can be, you have to let them know how you feel about sex. Agree to always use protection if you choose to have sex and get tested.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No: This seems to apply more with girls than guys, but either way, staying silent is NOT an option. If he or she is pressuring you, say so. Be assertive! If they choose to ignore you, it might be time to find someone new.
Do Be a Gracious Receiver: Will was one of the first guys to shower me with all kinds of stuff, from 53 (yes, 53) mini samples of Vera Wang perfume to heart shaped pendants. I was always in shock, especially when I didn’t have anything for him. Treat a gift from a popular guy or girl as you would with any other gift. Say thanks, and give them a hug or a kiss. If you don’t like a gift, still thank them and well, … there’s always re-gifting.
Don’t Flash Your Gifts: Girls have come up to me screaming with delight as they say “LOOK WHAT (enter guy here) GOT ME!!!” The only problem is, they scream it to everyone. While I’m guilty as charged as well, I’ve learned that the best way to talk about the silver heart hanging around your neck is not to flash it in people’s faces, but to let it subtly slide into your conversation. Conversely, you also don’t want to cry to people about a gift you hate, as word can get around easily, and your boyfriend/girlfriend will be upset.
Out of Control Behavior:
Do Try Your Best to Help Them: While taking remedial classes like Will isn’t exactly “out-of-control,” drugs, partying, and abuse are common at my school, especially among the school elite. If you feel like your boyfriend or girlfriend is spiraling out of control, try talking to them about it. Express your concern for their well-being. If they refuse, get a third party involved, such as a parent, teacher, police officer or adult you trust. Your boyfriend of girlfriend may be angry, but be aware that you may have saved their lives.
Don’t Expose Their Troubles: Like any celebrity, a popular kid doesn’t always want truthful, yet bad press leaked, especially from a close friend. Any popular kid in need is no different. They trust you to make sure their situation is dealt with by the right people (adults), and not judged or commented on by people in your school. It may seem hard to keep such secrets, yet most relationships are based on trust, and that should be put first.
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