Help me understand feelings for girls
I am an 18-year-old boy and have never had a girlfriend. Until recently I have had very little opportunity to meet girls (I was in a boys' school and I don't like discos), but now I am studying in a college in Sweden (I am half Swedish and can speak and understand Swedish) that is mixed. Apart from being shy I also have difficulty understanding my own feelings towards girls. As I have met more girls both here and previously in England I have noticed that I feeling more "interested" in certain girls than others, and that I seem to be able to talk easily to some girls but not to most. The problem is that I don't understand my feelings, as I haven't met many girls before and haven't been able to talk to anyone about girls and what feelings mean what. I don't know whether I might be feeling the beginnings of love to a girl or just a friendly "on-the-same-wavelength" feeling. Can you help me understand myself?
The Young Lovers' Guide replies:
It certainly can be difficult learning about one's own feeling if one has had little social experience of the opposite sex.
No-one can tell you about your own feelings, but I hope it may be possible to help you gradually to explore your feelings and 'work out' yourself.
I think the best thing you can do is to take things at a nice, relaxed pace - and not to be in too much of a hurry to gain sexual experience. It sounds as if you are doing well in meeting more girls and finding yourself on their wavelength. This is certainly something to keep up.
Keep making friends and socialising. There are certainly plenty more places to go than the local disco! Girls and boys can share all sorts of hobbies and interests - or just enjoy hanging around.
Put friendship and increasing understanding above sex at this point - and for as long it takes before you do feel comfortable taking your explorations further and find the right person to do so with.
That said, you can do much to explore your feelings on your own. You can think, daydream and fantasise. You can think about the sort of partner you might like to be with. You can masturbate and this will help you gain confidence with yourself as a sexual being.
When you do find someone and want to be her boyfriend, and she wants to be your girlfriend, you can explore your feelings together - and enjoy your inexperience because it allows you to set about discovering, which should be a real adventure.
It might feel as if you're behind other boys, but there isn't a timetable to have to stick to and plenty of time to find out where you individually want to be.
When and if you're ready:
You really must say you're a virgin the first time you have sex.
Go really slowly and gently, don't have overly high expectations - Meantime, enjoy your virginity and maybe explore