Hey Terra!

Terra's Past Letters


Wish I had one:
"I can't get a boyfriend!"

Hey Terra,

I have a problem. I am ugly... Well, not that ugly, but I think that I am ugly. All my friends have boyfriends, but I don't. I am in 8th grade and still have not been able to get a boyfriend! I need your help PLEASE!!!

Ugly boyfriendless girl


Dear Ugly boyfriendless girl,

I understand how hard it can be when all your friends have boyfriends and you don't. I've been there! Part of it is beyond your control but there is something you can do about part of it.

Let's first look at that part that's out of your control.

Boyfriends are people. When you say you "still have not been able to get a boy friend" it sounds like you either think a boyfriend is like a fish you can catch, or a goal you can set for yourself, work hard at, and achieve. Something like running a quarter mile in under 1 minute or receiving a perfect score on a math test. In the quarter mile race or the math test you can practice and practice and, in time, you are likely to achieve your goal. But "getting a boyfriend" is not the same thing.

Girls and guys your age randomly hook up and unhook on a weekly basis. You see someone you think is cute. He thinks you're hot. BINGO, instant boyfriend/girlfriend. Maybe those are the kinds of boyfriends "all" your friends have. And maybe you're just saying you want a guy to think you're hot and ask you out. Nothing wrong with wanting that. But you can't make that happen. Either it's going to happen this year or it won't. There's no timetable for what's "normal". Most 13 year olds don't have a boyfriend or girlfriend. And the ones that do, today, most likely don't have the same one (or any one) two months from now. 8th grade relationships don't usually last very long. They're not supposed to.

You think your problem is that you can't get a boyfriend and you want one now. Well, the truth is you can't "get" people to do anything they don't choose to do. People make their own choices. You can't "make" someone be your boyfriend no matter how hard you work at it, not if he doesn't want that too. Which brings us to your real problem, as I see it:

It sounds like what you really want is to feel good about yourself. And you think that having the attention your friends get from their boyfriends will help.

Maybe it will. But here's the part that you DO have control over: You control how you feel about who you are, as a person. That self-image comes from how much you value your intelligence, your kindness, your sense of humor, your skills, your talents, your ability to be a good friend, etc. Do you respect yourself? Do you admire the way you treat others? Or, are you your worst enemy, always trash talking about yourself? You're the only one who can control what you think about who you are. And if you truly believe that you're a good person who has lots to offer, then others will see you that way too. If you constantly put yourself down and believe that you don't measure up to others, then others will also believe that you don't measure up.

So, bottom line, your problem isn't how to get a boyfriend, it's how to love yourself.

In friendship,


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