Q: “So I’m going into 10th grade and I have a few close friends this year and they all have boyfriends. I don’t feel a need to have one, but it can be kinda weird when they’re all talking about it, and I just feel left out. Do you have any advice for feeling behind in your friend group?” - Anonymous
A: Hey chica. Totally get where you’re coming from. Every Junior in this city is cuffed and I’m actually the last single person left. I’ll start off by commending you for staying really confident and content with where you are… it can be really easy to fall into the trap of trying to get a boyfriend just for validation or to fit in. So yes, love that you know what you need and what you don't need.
I have had friends who would ALWAYS talk about their boyfriends but many of my friends who are dating now really don’t bring it up very often. I will say, however, that the lifestyle of my friends who have boyfriends is very different from their post-dating lifestyle when they were single (ex: now they stay out less late, no real interest in hanging out with other guys except their boyfriends, etc). You may find that you are looking for something very different from your other friends right now and feel like socializing has become impaired by the fact that everyone else is dating. In turn, it’s understandable that you feel left out from this shared commonality of having a boyfriend… I know I would if I was in that position. HOWEVER, by no means should that (a) force you to end any friendships and with that (b) cause you to lower your expectations of how good of a friend that person is to you and vice versa. For example, just because your friend has a boyfriend does not permit them to stop checking in with you, making one on one plans… and the same applies to you. Being there for your best friend and being a great girlfriend are not mutually exclusive. Also consider reading this post if you feel like you’re losing your best friend to her boyfriend.
However, more than it being about the boyfriend, the bigger issue is the ‘feeling behind in the friend group’ part. That can really apply to anything. In my experience, it’s nice to have ‘one off’ friends who have different comfort levels than you whether they are either really advanced or slower than you. In general, I gravitate toward people who share common values with me and who seem to share similar my comfort levels. It’s really important that you don’t constantly feel like the odd one out in your group because not only can that be really isolating but it also may add extra pressure to do things you're just not ready for. I’m sure you know this but as your online big sis I have to remind you that as long as your friends aren’t pushing you to do things you're not comfortable with or excluding you from activities that they think you wouldn’t like/want to do, then you can only just block out the other noise and move at your own speed.
Always super proud of the dear monday fam for picking up on their feelings, asking for help, and keeping a positive attitude. You guys are the best!