Young People Ask
Why Don’t Boys Like Me?
He knows I’m popular because I’ve told him that other boys like me. He laughed when I told him how silly some of my friends are. And he knows I’m smart—I’ve corrected him on a few things he said. I wonder how long it will be before he asks me out.
She looks attractive, but she seems so shallow! I’ve hardly had a chance to say anything. And when I do speak up, she corrects me! I wonder where the nearest exit is.
DO YOU worry that boys are not attracted to you? Many girls do, even the ones you think would have no problems! Take Joanne, for example. She’s good-looking, intelligent, and articulate. Yet, she says: “I often feel that boys don’t like me. A few that I liked showed an interest in me for a while but later stopped talking to me completely!”
What types of things do boys find attractive in a girl? What do they find unattractive? Without demeaning yourself, what can you do to draw the attention of a decent young man?
What to Do
● Know your own mind and heart. You likely felt an increased attraction to boys soon after you entered puberty. You may have felt drawn to more than one boy. That’s normal. But if you had quickly given your heart to the first boy who made your pulse race, you would have risked stunting your emotional and spiritual growth. It takes time to develop positive personality traits, to ‘make your mind over’ on important matters, and to reach some of your own goals.—Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 7:36; Colossians 3:9, 10.
True, many boys are attracted to girls who have not yet formed strong convictions or who are naive. However, such boys are primarily interested in the girl’s body, not in who she is as a person. The fact is, a balanced young man will look for a girl who can bring her strengths to a partnership.—Matthew 19:6.
What boys say: “I find it attractive when a girl is able to form opinions for herself, when she seems to have the inner conviction that she’s a person in her own right.”—James.
“I’d be interested in a girl who can express herself in an honest, respectful way and who doesn’t just agree with everything I say. Even if she’s pretty, I don’t feel comfortable with a girl who just says what I want to hear. That scares me!”—Darren.
“I admit that I’m often initially attracted to pretty girls. But that can quickly cool off if the girl doesn’t have some definite, worthwhile goals. On the other hand, if she knows what she wants to do with her life—especially if she has already reached some of her goals—that can make her very attractive.”—Damien.
● Develop respect for others. Just as you have a need to be loved, the boys you know have a deep desire to be respected. It’s no coincidence that the Bible says to the husband that he should love his wife but that the wife should have “deep respect” for her husband. (Ephesians 5:33) In harmony with this insight, one survey of hundreds of young men found that more than 60 percent said they valued respect more than love. Over 70 percent of the older men surveyed made that same choice.
Respect doesn’t mean surrender—that you must give up your right to hold a different opinion and to express it. (Genesis 21:10-12) But the way you express your opinion will likely determine if you repel or attract a young man. If you consistently contradict or correct what he says, he may feel that you have little respect for him. Yet, if you acknowledge his viewpoint and comment on what you find praiseworthy, he will be more likely to accept and value your opinion. Of course, a discerning young man will also notice if you treat members of your family and others with respect.a
What boys say: “Guys like to think that their opinion matters to someone, especially to a girl they like.”—Anthony.
“I think respect is the most important thing at the start of a relationship. Love might develop later.”—Adrian.
“If a girl can show respect for me, I feel that she can definitely love me.”—Mark.
● Dress modestly, and maintain good hygiene. Your dress and grooming are like loudspeakers that broadcast your inner thoughts and attitudes. Long before you start to talk to a boy, your attire has expressed volumes about you. If your clothing is well arranged and modest, it will send a very positive message. (1 Timothy 2:9) If it is provocative or sloppy, the message will be loud and clear—and negative!
What boys say: “A girl’s standard of dress says a lot about her attitude toward life. If she wears revealing or sloppy clothes, it tells me that she is desperate for attention.”—Adrian.
“I am drawn to a girl who cares for her hair, smells pleasant, and has a soothing tone of voice. On the other hand, although I was attracted to one beautiful girl, her bad hygiene put an end to that.”—Ryan.
“I’m really attracted to a girl who doesn’t feel the need to wear stacks of makeup and who doesn’t have to resort to tight or revealing clothing to get attention.”—Ethan.
“If a girl dresses provocatively, she’ll spark an initial attraction for sure. But that’s not the type of girl I want to start a relationship with.”—Nicholas.
What Not to Do
● Don’t flirt. Women have the ability to exert tremendous influence on men. That power to attract can be used for good and for bad. (Genesis 29:17, 18; Proverbs 7:6-23) If you test out the power you have on every boy you meet, you’ll likely gain a reputation as a flirt.
What boys say: “Just sitting beside an attractive girl and touching shoulders can be thrilling for a guy and can excite his emotions. So I think that a girl who frequently touches you when talking to you is flirting.”—Nicholas.
“If a girl constantly finds ways to touch the arm of every boy she meets or if she coyly glances at every passing male, then I think she’s a flirt, and I find that unattractive.”—José.
“I would describe a girl as a flirt if she touched every guy she met and quickly switched her focus to whichever guy was giving her the most attention.”—Ethan.
● Don’t be clingy. When a couple marry, they become what the Bible calls “one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) At that stage of the relationship, both husband and wife give up many of the freedoms they may have had when single; really, they become committed to each other. (1 Corinthians 7:32-34) However, if you’re just getting to know a young man, you don’t have the right to expect that level of accountability from him, nor he from you. If you’re hasty in demanding his undivided attention, you may sabotage your friendship.b
What boys say: “I think a girl is being too clingy if she needs to know my every move and seems incapable of having a social life or other interests aside from me.”—Darren.
“If a girl I’ve recently met constantly texts me and wants to know who I’m with, especially the names of any girls in the group, then I think that’s a warning sign.”—Ryan.
“A girl who won’t allow you to spend time with your male friends and gets annoyed when you don’t always invite her to be with you is unattractively dependent.”—Adrian.
Appreciate Your Own Value
You likely know girls who would do anything just to gain the attention and approval of a boy. Others may lower their standards just so they can have a boyfriend—or even a husband. However, the principle ‘you reap what you sow’ applies in this matter. (Galatians 6:7-9) If you don’t value yourself and the standards you try to live by, you’re likely to attract boys who don’t value you or your standards either.
The fact is, not all boys will like you—and that can be a good thing! But if you are conscious of caring for both your external beauty and your inner beauty, you will have “great value in the eyes of God”—and you will attract the type of young man that you deserve.—1 Peter 3:4.
More articles from the “Young People Ask” series can be found at the Web site www.watchtower.org/ype
a See chapter 3 of the book Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work, Volume 2, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
b Of course, when a couple get engaged, they are rightly more accountable to each other.
TO THINK ABOUT
● How can you show that you respect a young man’s thoughts and feelings?
● How can you show that you value yourself?
[Picture on page 27]
Love and respect are like the two wheels of a bicycle—both are essential