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The Ultimate Guide to High School Dating

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Noelle had a less-than-ideal dating life in high school and is here to share advice.

How to Date in High School

Dating in high school can be a very, very confusing time. It's hard trying to sort out your love life and familiarize yourself with the rules and insecurities you feel in a relationship, along with balancing school work and social circles.

It's perfectly fine to feel insecure and unsure of what is expected of you and how you should take certain phrases or situations. High school is a time of trying to figure out how the world works and the start of finding who you are.

My love life in high school was less than spectacular. I actually only kind of had a "boyfriend" for three weeks who I never even kissed or went out anywhere with, and the whole thing was just awkward and horrible.

So, I am here to tell you that life goes on after high school, and it's going to be a heck of a lot better experience (less confusing and more serious). However, your high school years and first relationships are definitely an important part of your life.

Take this guide as a reference or an idea book. It's certainly not 100% true, nor does it cover everything, but it's advice I would give myself back in high school or my younger sibling if I had one.

Crushes, Friendzones, and How to Ask Someone Out

How do I know if he/she likes me?

Simple. Either ask them yourself or have one of your friends ask them for you. This cuts out the awkward not knowing phase, which will drive you crazy if you wait around in it too long.

Of course, there are some telltale signs: if he/she treats you differently, if they go out of your way to always talk to you, if they always smile and laugh, if they seem genuinely interested in how you're doing and what you have to say . . . all of these are a sign that your crush likes you.

I was devilishly shy in high school. The thought of even telling someone I liked them or asking someone out . . . I would have rather died. However, I eventually learned that it's stupid to wait around and see if the person you like will ask you out (chances are they're just as scared to make the first move), so instead of obsessing over "what ifs" and wasting my time on someone who may not even like me in the first place, I started being forward and honest with people I wanted to date.

Yes, it is scary, but usually, if you pay attention enough to the situation, you'll be able to tell generally if they like you. It just might not be the right time for them to want to date you. And yes, I have been rejected. More than once. Each time it does hurt, but I was happy afterward knowing how they felt about me and if I had a chance.

How do I ask someone out? How do I ask my crush to my girlfriend or boyfriend?

There are a lot of creative ways you can ask someone out, but as a general rule, it's definitely best to do it when just the two of you are alone. I've had someone pass me a note in class before. It was an okay way to get the job done. It actually made it easier because I was so shy so all I had to do was meet up with him after class and say yes.

The actual asking doesn't have to be fancy. Usually, you can start off by telling them that you really like them and would like to get to know them better. Maybe ask them out to a movie or straight out ask them to be your girlfriend/boyfriend. If you keep things casual, it's easier to brush off (if you do get rejected), but don't be too casual. Say what you mean.

For example, I would say that I really liked them and felt like there was something more between us than just being friends. Depending on whether or not they like you enough, they may just say they want to stay friends or that they want to take it slow.

If they specifically say "stay friends," don't think you can change their mind. The sooner you accept it and decide whether or not you can still be friends with them, the better. There's no point putting yourself in the position to be in pain around someone. As hard as it is, move on. There are other people who are waiting to be with you.

If they do say they want to take it slow or that they have something going on where they don't want to start a relationship right now, respect their decision. The best relationship I've ever been in (and still am in) came from going slowly and not rushing things. I had been hurt in the past, and he had never been in a serious relationship before, so we didn't want to rush into things.

Sometimes people need time to heal from previous relationships. Don't rush it. Let them heal and be there for them. Relationships are built from honesty and caring for one another.

How do I tell my best friend I want to date them? Will I ruin the relationship?

Dating your best friend is a risk. Some people can take a break up and remain good friends; other people can not. Even if you both agree that if things go badly, you'll still remain friends after the break-up, there's no guarantee that you both will feel that way. I dated one of my best friends, and I absolutely could not remain friends.

It took around a month before I even would want to speak to him. It might have been the way he ended it with me, but I absolutely could not get over the pain. So, I had to let him go as a friend and move on.

Yes, it is a risk, but speaking from someone who has a boyfriend who is my best friend, I could not be happier. Weigh whether it's worth the risk (what you have to lose or gain with the relationship) and talk it over before starting anything.

How do I tell someone I'm not interested and not hurt their feelings?

A lot of dating has to do with body language. If a guy is flirting with you and you don't like him, don't play along to mess with him or because you enjoy the attention. If you don't want to date him, don't give him any kind of signals.

Try not to encourage him and if he/she eventually asks you out, be honest with them about why you don't want to and let them deal with their feelings and move on.

Break-ups, Relationship Problems, and Heartache

My girlfriend/boyfriend isn't answering my phone calls or texts; what does that mean?

99.5% of every anxiety you have about your relationship can easily be answered by talking. If you're wondering why your significant other isn't responding to you or making time for you, ask them. Write them an email, find them at school, and ask if they can make time to talk.

Communication and honesty are important to a relationship, and if they overreact or can't make time for you, it's not worth it to sit around and be anxious about. Ask them what it means. They may be trying to find a way to tell you what's wrong, or they may be struggling with some sort of family problem. You never know unless you ask, and you should never jump to conclusions.

I don't like my girlfriend/boyfriend hanging around xxx.

First off, figure out why you don't like your girlfriend/boyfriend hanging around this particular person or people. If you're jealous of your boyfriend hanging out with other girls because you're scared of losing him, trust that he's not going to cheat on you or be unfaithful.

This might be hard for people who have low self-esteem or have been hurt in the past, but be sure to talk to your boyfriend and be honest with them. Tell them why you don't like it, honestly. I'm a firm believer in not jumping to conclusions (even if I had been previously hurt in a relationship under the same circumstances). If you always go into a relationship expecting the same thing, you're never going to be able to let go of the past and treat your significant other right.

It's not fair to expect your girlfriend/boyfriend to want to be around you 24/7, and it's perfectly okay to be jealous of a girls' or guys' night out. People need to recharge and just be apart, but don't let your jealousy turn into a controlling personality. You can't control someone, nor should you want to. Your significant other should like to be around you because they like it, not because they're afraid of making you mad.

How to Get Rid of Past Relationships Fears

One of the worst things you can do when starting a new relationship is to carry over any of the baggage or judgments from your previous experiences. Just because the guy or girl you were with before cheated on you or treated you badly and never made any effort doesn't mean that this new person is going to be the same.

Talk to your partner and tell them why you feel insecure about what is happening. They should understand and be able to help you get over the pain. There's always a certain amount of healing from previous years and hurts that you will be able to heal in your partner and vice versa.

Be understanding and open, but don't jump to conclusions. Remind yourself that this is someone different and that they deserve to be given the chance to prove that they are better.

I don't like how my boyfriend/girlfriend does xxx.

This is another one of those control issues. Don't ever go into a relationship and expect to change the person. If they drank before you got into a relationship, don't expect them to stop.

If they're a social person, don't expect them to not want to be social. If you get together with someone and expect them to give up who they are for you, you're not getting into the relationship for the right reasons.

How do you get over a broken heart?

I wish there was a better answer, but really, it just takes time. After a break-up, it's important to take the time to find yourself again, remember who you are, and be able to define yourself without your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Don't go rushing into a new relationship just because you hate to be lonely. Take the time you need to heal, and then try again. You'll have a lot of healing to do when you do find someone new (it will take a while), but you'll find someone who will be able to take that hurt away.

Talking to friends and relying on them and your family is helpful. I remember talking to my friends about how I felt. It did help. My hardest break-up took around half a year or so before I began to feel okay being myself again. Although, I didn't feel completely whole again until I found someone whose love took away that pain and showed me more love and compassion than any relationship I had previously.

Hang in there. It does get easier.

Time is one of the only methods of healing a broken heart.

Time is one of the only methods of healing a broken heart.

Advice for Introverts and Singles

Is there something wrong with me?

No, there is nothing wrong with you. You may be too shy for people to want to approach you to ask you out, or you may just be giving off an uninterested air to you.

Finding someone to love takes time, and I have found that if you're actively looking for it, you'll either find the wrong people (by attracting people because you're more desperate and not happy with yourself), or it just won't come. My best advice is just to wait and meet new people. I have always found the best relationships by not looking for them. They just happened.

I don't have any interest in dating.

That's perfectly fine. Some people are more focused on their studies and hanging out with friends than playing the dating game. If you're happy with it, don't worry about other people.

In your high school years, a lot of people are very immature, so if you're someone who is more mature for your age, you may find the whole high school dating thing to be a waste of time.

Conclusion and Advice

Your high school years are a time to find who you are. This includes who you are in a relationship, after a break-up, and how you function caring for another individual. Your first heartbreak and relationship will be the hardest to get over. You'll learn more about yourself and about love than any kind of advice you can be given.

Trust, honesty, compassion, and understanding are all traits of a good relationship. Follow your instincts and heart. If you're not happy with who you're with, try to figure out what is missing. Communicate and see what can be done about it.