Teen relationship help
May 9, 2008 7:16 PM   Subscribe

Why are there no good books on relationships for teenagers? [I could use one.]

Granted, I usually like solving this type of thing on my own, but I have an acquaintance (met during a Magic tournament) that I would be interested in getting to know better and I don't know how to ask her on a date without seeming overtly desperate or pushing too hard. I've had bad experiences in the past with trying to meet up with casual acquaintances of both genders, and I wish I knew how to ask someone so that they'll respond.
posted by LSK to Human Relations (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
"Hi, I was wondering if you would like to [activity] sometime?"

It doesn't really change much when you get older.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:32 PM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

You're probably projecting your nervousness, which makes other people nervous (plus it's unattractive). Drop all expectations of the other person, and be yourself. You have no control over them--you can only express yourself (this is called being "assertive").

"Hey, we should hang out some time. You like pizza?"
posted by mpls2 at 7:33 PM on May 9, 2008

They were written more for girls, but Judy Blume's YA novels actually are pretty good books on teenage romance. While they're definitely dated as far as details go, I can't imagine that the emotions/anxiety/confusion changed much since they were written. :-p

Then again, I'm an old fart, and what do I know?

I do know that "Forever" was the first book I read that dealt with the responsibility and sexual ends of relationships in an adult fashion. You might have a hard time locating it though -- a lot of school districts and towns banned it in more conservative areas of the country. That just means it's good, and it's accurate. ;)
posted by SpecialK at 7:42 PM on May 9, 2008

If you don't ask her out, nothing will ever happen. If you do ask her out, there are two possible answers. No, in which case you're no worse off than if you don't ask her out. Yes, in which case you get what you want. So you really have nothing to lose.

Books are fine, but if you hang around here, you'll get dozens of good suggestions. Experiment, and when you're done, experiment some more.
posted by netbros at 7:45 PM on May 9, 2008

The best way to ask this young lady out without seeming desperate or pushing too hard is to ask her out without being desperate or pushing too hard.

Just ask her if she wants go to have coffee or tea with you sometime. Don't make it anything too fancy, just some place where you can sit and enjoy a conversation together. Do that a few times and get to know her better and see where your relationship goes and if you want to do other activities together. Don't put too much weight on meeting up with her as being a "date", that's just going to make you nervous, and she's going to pick up on your nervousness.

It really isn't a big deal and I believe you are thinking about it way too much. It's just two young people with common interests getting together to enjoy each others company. No big deal.

Have fun! :D
posted by wigglin at 7:58 PM on May 9, 2008

Does she play Magic too? If so ask her if she'd like to test some decks sometime. The best way to get her to say yes is to find something you both are interested in and invite her to do it with you. The wort thing that can happen is she'll say no. Trust me, as a 29 year old man who used to be exactly like this, the worst thing you can do is not try. Try as much as you can with as many girls as you can. Every success and every failure will teach you something about the opposite sex and yourself.
posted by ChazB at 7:58 PM on May 9, 2008

Dude, just ask her out. Unless she's some super hot chick who talks about her many boyfriends all the time (and even then...), she's probably as new to this whole thing and as awkward feeling about it as you. Girls don't just figure this stuff out when they turn 16 or whatever, and in general girls are likely to wait for the guy to initiate things. I'm 18 and believe me, me and my nerdy friends spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out how to get boyfriends. Then we realized we needed to be about 11 times more obvious than we were being to guys we liked, and in some cases tell 'em straight out "hey we would like to go out with you". She may have a huge crush on you, and you don't even know because she assumes the fact that she smiles more at you than other guys and laughs at more of your jokes is clearly signaling her interest. JUST ASK HER OUT! It's cool if you aren't all suave and "Hey baby". If all you can get out is "So uh, I was wondering if you like, wanted to I dunno, hang out, or something, some time, maybe. Or not! Or whatever! Just, yeah. " If you're lucky, she'll say "Oh uh, OK! Sure. If you want, that sounds fun. We could go see a movie or something". You'll both feel like the lamest people who have ever lived and wonder if the other person can even like you for real because God, you're so weird. Don't worry about it. This is how these things work, you'll be fine and it's so worth it to make the first move.

For bonus points, come up with an actual plan. Movies are nice because they give you an automatic topic of conversation (I really liked the guy in this one's last movie, I wanna see the one on that poster over there, etc. etc.). You don't get to talk as much like you would get to if you went for coffee, but that might be a little too much pressure for a first time thing. Good luck!!

posted by MadamM at 8:47 PM on May 9, 2008

There's a lot of good advice here, but there are decent relationship books written for teens. Again, a lot of "teen" books are aimed at girls, but Jon and Jayne's first book is pretty good. The main problem I have with a lot of teen books is that they try too hard to reinvent the language to be cool (I recognize that I may be an Old Biddy and just unable to accept change, but the word "Hawtie" to describe an attractive male was a step too far for me) instead of saying what they need to say in plain English--but still, there are a lot of teen books with good information out there.
posted by Cricket at 9:03 PM on May 9, 2008

Why are there no good books on relationships for teenagers?

Because adolescence is a weird, awkward time that we all have to go through, but is uniquely difficult to each of us. Take it from someone who studied child and adolescent psychology - kids are pretty easy to gauge on a psychological basis up to about age 12. After that, it kind of seems like everything goes to the birds - you can make some predictions of behavior, etc. based on upbringing and such, but this is the time at which external forces to the traditional family start to play a dominant role (read: magic tournaments. girls.) and the number of additional calculations to add in begins to exponent themselves.

I'd advise you, young friend, if nothing else, to have no hidden agendas. If you like this girl, and want to hang out with her, just tell her you'd like to hang out, and have 3 things in your pocket, as it were: 1) Plan A (pizza. trip to the baseball card store to check out magic cards. whatever.). 2) Plan B (have something else in mind - she might honestly reject plan A but not be rejecting you). 3) Your dignity (if she rejects A and B she's either trying to say no, or she's too picky and its her turn to recommend something). Don't press, just throw the suggestion out there and see where things go.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:31 AM on May 10, 2008 [3 favorites]

Also, it occurs to me that your original question is on relationships, where in the extended definition you're really only asking about going on a date with a casual acquaintance. These are 2 different things, and you need to treat them as such. Don't think of the date as the beginning of a relationship, because it may or may not be, and if you treat it like it is, she's going to get wind of that and it very likely will turn out not to be just that. Just take it easy. Everything else works out later.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:33 AM on May 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ha, when I was a teenager the first date was the only prelude to getting serious. I mean getting a boyfriend/girlfriend. I don't know how things are now, though.
posted by herbaliser at 4:27 PM on May 12, 2008

Don't think of the date as the beginning of a relationship, because it may or may not be, and if you treat it like it is, she's going to get wind of that and it very likely will turn out not to be just that.

Couldn't agree more. True, dates sometimes turn into relationships. But keeping expectations in check is key. So relax. Keep it casual. Have fun. The teen years are traumatizing enough without a whole lot of intense expectations added in.
posted by hydrate at 1:54 AM on May 14, 2008

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