When you can microwave a meal in seconds, text a friend 24/7, or instantly stream a video (like the amazing time-lapse below) who needs to wait?
You do. Some really good things only come to those who wait.
Take friendship. You can’t cook one up overnight. A good friendship needs time: time to savor shared experiences, time to relish each other’s quirks and qualities, time to simmer in conflict and brew up closeness in the process. If you don’t pour in the time, you may get a half-baked acquaintance, but you won’t get a lasting friendship.
Have you ever noticed that there’s a big chunk of “friend” in “boyfriend”? Yet how many of us girls think we can skip the time it takes to make a boy into a friend and go straight to “being in love”? Then we’re devastated when we break up. Why do we let that happen to us?
Here’s part of the problem: our hormones play games with our minds. See if this sounds familiar…
You meet a guy and feel attracted to him. Adrenaline rushes in, and you get flushed and excited. Then he asks you out. On your date, he wants to hold hands. Now more hormones rush in. Oxytocin, sometimes called “the cuddle hormone,” is just one of the mind-altering chemicals that start coursing through your brain. It sets off a reaction that your brain interprets as, “This guy likes me. I can trust him. He really cares about me.”
What you choose to do next is critical. Your choices are:
(1) Keep the oxytocin flowing by ramping up the physical contact, or
(2) Slow the flow of oxytocin and pay attention to the “friend” side of this boy.
Behind Door #1 lies a flood of feel-good messages for your brain. You will believe this guy is trustworthy. You will believe that you two are forming a close bond. And you will want to keep the good feelings coming, through more physical contact. Now the bad news: those good feelings may blind you to what he’s really like. If you haven’t spent time getting to know him, you may later find out that all those things you believed were lies.
So what’s behind Door #2? By limiting your physical contact, you give your brain room to think clearly. You turn the oxytocin faucet down to a trickle, so you can keep your eyes open and really study this guy. Does he treat you right? Do you two share common interests—besides each other? Do your personalities clash? How does he act around his friends? Is he truly trustworthy? Are there any red flags waving madly?
Don’t let your emotions cloud your thinking. And don’t let anyone force you to abandon your hopes for a true boy friend. Come talk to us at Choices. We have listening ears and lots of resources to give you (like one of our Healthy Relationship quizzes). Take our free individualized classes to strengthen your resolve to wait for all the good things you’re hoping for.
Think about it. Isn’t finding a lifelong friend worth the wait?
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