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It’s time to deal with all those guy questions in your life. Guys can make life complex. Sometimes they’re nice, sometimes they’re not, and when they’re cute they sometimes leave our brains in a jumble. On top of seeing them every day, we have to figure out how to interact with the male gender, and exactly what to do with any romantic feelings. It’s no wonder girls have so many questions about guys! Well, here are answers to many of the issues and wonderings real girls like you have. The Whole Guy Thing explores ...
It’s time to deal with all those guy questions in your life. Guys can make life complex. Sometimes they’re nice, sometimes they’re not, and when they’re cute they sometimes leave our brains in a jumble. On top of seeing them every day, we have to figure out how to interact with the male gender, and exactly what to do with any romantic feelings. It’s no wonder girls have so many questions about guys! Well, here are answers to many of the issues and wonderings real girls like you have. The Whole Guy Thing explores how you can deal with boys now and in the future, as well as create self-respect that is rooted in God’s love. Featuring relationship topics, real feedback from guys, and even advice on how to talk to your parents about dating rules and guy-girl interactions, this may be the book you’ve been waiting for.
Take a minute to remember back when you were in, say, fourth grade. Maybe fifth.
The bell rang and the boys bolted out of the building already yelling—about what, nobody knew—and immediately got into an activity that involved throwing something or climbing on something or jumping from something or concocting something. Punching each other for no apparent reason was often part of that. If they stopped moving and started talking, it was either to plan the next throwing-climbing-jumping-concocting-punching thing, or to agree on how to get the most squealing out of the girls with their throwing-climbing-jumping-etc.
They were complete pains, but they were predictable. If a disagreement arose among them, they solved it with either a shove or a shout, and five minutes later (if it even took that long) they were back to throwing-climbing-jumping as if nothing ever happened.
And then there were you girls.
You strolled out of the building, sometimes arm in arm, already chattering, and you sorted yourselves out into groups. One group always formed a knot by the fence. Another gathered around the playground equipment that nobody played on anymore because that wasn't cool. (The swings and see-saw were now more like furniture.) Still another group hung out by the water fountain, because all the boys ended up needing a drink at some point after all that throwing-climbing-jumping-concocting and punching. And even though they could be little pains, there was something mildly fascinating about them to those few girls who could tolerate them for more than seven seconds.
Whether you made it your business to be around them or not, you most likely thought certain things about boys:
"They HAVE to show off, as if people would forget they're there if they don't. Like that's gonna happen ... "
"They're so gross! What's with that disgusting noise they make with their hands in their armpits? And burping the Pledge of Allegiance? Really? Body sounds and fluids are that hilarious?"
"It's like making us scream is their career."
"I want to stay away from them, which is pretty easy because, except for the making-me-scream part, they act like I have some weird disease they don't want to catch."
You probably complained—most likely to your father, since he was a boy once—that males were annoying, to which said father most likely told you they purposely bugged you because they liked you. You could not figure out the logic in that, but you didn't spend much time worrying about it, because you had more important things to concern yourself with. Like your BFF and the girl drama that was constantly taking place.
Yeah. You thought that was drama.
Sometime around sixth grade, give or take a year, stuff like this probably started showing up in your mind:
"I want guys as friends, but I'm too embarrassed to talk to most of them. If a guy's good looking, that makes it even harder. I had a lot more guts with guys when I was little!" "I find myself wondering who will ask me to dances and stuff, if anybody. Is that good or bad?" "I'm not allowed to date yet, but when I see all these happy couples together, I feel like people think no one wants to date me. Then I feel like a loser." "I really want a boyfriend. I just want a guy to hug me and protect me. I daydream about it a lot. For hours." "If I meet a guy and he's my age or a little older, I immediately start thinking about our wedding!" "I want a guy to notice me. That's all."
I'm not making this up. Like all the girl quotes in italics you'll find in this book, they come directly from girls on my teen blog "In Real Life" or girls who have emailed me privately. I have dozens like them in my file, with more coming in all the time. As soon as the tween girls graduate at thirteen from their blog ("Tween You and Me"), the whole subject comes up again: "Should I be thinking about boys this much? Shouldn't I be concentrating more on God? If there's no point in dating until I'm ready to get married, like my dad says, what am I supposed to do with all these feelings I'm having now?"
Seriously, wasn't it so much simpler when boys did their thing, you girls did yours, and you hardly had to talk to them if you didn't want to? (And who wanted to?) Sure, they might have picked at you—knocked your pencil off your desk every time they passed, unzipped your backpack on the bus so when you stood up all your stuff fell out, laughed like a pack of hyenas when you gave the wrong answer in class. Now, you sort of want them to pick at you. You realize that what grown-ups told you when you were a kid was right: they do tease the girls they like. And you want to be liked.
It isn't that you didn't notice the attractive-factor in the male of the species before now. As a tween, you might have had a huge crush on the teen celebrity of the year (week, even day!). Maybe you had a "thing" for the young assistant soccer coach or that student teacher with the great dimples. Those were safe crushes, because the chances of ever meeting that media heartthrob were like a million to one, and no matter how much you daydreamed about the older guy you actually met, you knew he wasn't for you.
And then one day, as one of my bloggers put it, "It seems like boys are finally growing up and you can totally picture yourself in a relationship with one of them. Nothing serious, but that desire for male company is definitely making itself known."
Maybe a guy in your own age group emerges from the pack of absurd little pests looking a little less absurd than the rest. And a little cuter. Okay, a lot cuter. He has a sense of humor that doesn't include bodily functions. He uses vocabulary of more than two syllables. He actually seems to notice that other people have feelings. He shines brighter, looms larger, goes deeper than any teen guy you've known so far. Every time you see him, you may do one of a number of embarrassing things: Blush. Stammer. Lose ten or eleven IQ points. Giggle like you're five years old. Or hightail it to the nearest safe place (i.e. a restroom) to do all of the above. The mere thought of the boy is enough to send you into cardiac arrest, and that thought is ever-present—on your math worksheet, your computer screen, the insides of your eyelids. You're not exactly obsessed, but you aren't above making sure you're in the right place at the right time to catch a smile, a "hi," or—be still my heart—an actual conversation. If he accidentally touches you, you practically swoon like a character in a Jane Austen novel.
If you haven't felt that way around a guy, chances are you're waiting for that moment to happen. If you picked this book up on your own (as in, nobody made it required reading for you and you haven't stopped rolling your eyes since), I guarantee the above will occur at some point. You may be twenty-five before your heart hammers for someone of the male persuasion. I know women who didn't have their first crush until they were in their forties. The point is, there is nothing more normal than for you to feel drawn to a guy and crush big time. It's not even silly, though some adults who want you to put off matters of the heart for as long as possible might tell you that it is. No, this probably isn't the man you're going to spend the rest of your life with, although stranger things have happened. But for right now, it feels very real.
This almost magnetic feeling is normal because it's triggered by your hormones. Think about it: you didn't consider boys to be anything but pests before puberty, right? You didn't decide they no longer have cooties—your body did. This is how you were put together by your Creator. Granted, the pull is stronger in some girls than others, and it happens at different times for every individual, but chemically speaking, it's there. If it weren't, the human race would come to a screeching halt. So enjoying the jittery, giggly feeling or longing for the feeling or wondering why you don't long for the feeling is all as natural for your age as pimples, periods, and armpit hair.
And sometimes just as confusing, annoying, and downright painful.
If anything even remotely like the above is going on in your head— including, "Why is it that every other girl on the planet who's my age is all about boys, and I just don't see what the big deal is?"—you've come to the right place. Guys don't have to be "an issue" in your life for this to be an important subject for you to look at. You might not be spending every waking hour struggling over the opposite sex, but your attitude toward them is significant, no matter what it is, and you'll be thankful at some point that you got clear on it. Now's your chance.
I'm not calling this "the right place" because I have all the answers and am going to lay them out for you so that you can breeze through your teen years with this whole guy thing under control. I can't do that. Nobody can do that for you.
Nobody but you, that is.
I know it sounds almost ridiculous for me to say that you are in charge of your relationships with guys, even at thirteen or fourteen. Maybe the culture around you is constantly telling you what you should or shouldn't do or giving you the impression that you have no choice but to do what everybody else is doing.
On the one hand you live in a society where the clothes on the store racks sometimes border on exotic dancer or at least criminally indecent, and every secular teen magazine you pick up is telling you how to flirt, how to turn your crush into a serious relationship, and how to choose the shorts, blush, and haircut that will make you the sexiest. If you do find an article about embracing your body type and being comfortable in your own skin, it's probably placed right next to an ad featuring a skeletal model showing almost all of the skin she's in. Guys are under just as much pressure to be hip as you are, so you almost have to spend a thousand hours with a boy to find out who he really is. Meanwhile, our culture shrugs its shoulders and assumes that every girl in her teens is sleeping with every boy in his.
All of that is even harder when you're trying to walk in your faith. You're talking to God, getting a handle on how God wants you to live in this world, and then you go out into the world and people look at you like you've grown a second nose for not going with the cultural flow.
On the other hand, if you're part of a faith community that has boy-related rules, that can be confusing too. Things like:
"You shouldn't date until you're ready for a husband, and then you should only go out with guys you think you might want to marry. Otherwise there's no point in dating." ' "Christians shouldn't date; they should court." (Or even "You shouldn't kiss a man until you're at the altar with him, exchanging vows.") "Flirting is trashy." "You shouldn't even be thinking about boys right now. Your mind should be on God."
Now, hear me. I'm not expressing an opinion about any of those. I'm just saying that there are so many conflicting messages, you may feel like you need to escape to the nearest all-girls boarding school and stay there until you're eighteen.
There's no need for that.
In my years as a high school teacher, workshop director, youth group leader, speaker, blogger, writer, mother, aunt, and friend, I've gotten to know many (and we're talking many) girls who don't want what society's telling them they ought to want, but who at the same time wrestle with the rules their church and/or parents are laying down. Like you, perhaps, they:
really like boys and at least want to be friends with them, but aren't sure they know how
want to get to know guys but they're afraid to, because they've been told that it could lead to sex (or that it always does ...)
enjoy having guys like them but wonder, "Is this okay? Is it godly?"
see girls getting all strung out over boy-girl drama and wonder, "Does it have to be that way? Can I have a healthy relationship with a guy at this age?"
want to honor their parents but don't exactly agree with their rules about boys
Those girls just aren't sure how they're "supposed" to think and feel. There's your trouble right there: the ever-lurking "supposed to."
Our society tells you you're "supposed to" be a sophisticated boy magnet by the time you're thirteen. They (whoever "they" are) tell you that, because it's your effort to be sophisticated that sells the movies, videos, music, makeup, clothes, hair products, magazines, and birth control they're selling.
The adults in your life may tell you you're "supposed to" put off all thoughts of guys until you're marrying age because they're afraid for you (and sometimes rightfully so) and are trying to shield you from being hurt. Their motives are a whole lot purer than the world's in general.
But what both sides tend to forget is that no one can tell you what you're "supposed to" feel about boys at your age, any more than anybody can tell you that you're not "supposed to" ever get jealous, or angry, or confused, or have an upset stomach. It's not just about what you feel anyway. It's about what you choose to do with those feelings.
And that ... only you can decide.
When you get that first flutter in your stomach that tells you, "I have a crush on him," nobody is going to swoop in with the butterfly net.
When a boy plops down next to you out of nowhere and says, "Hi, I'm Jason," nobody else is going to be in your head figuring out what you want to say back.
When a guy leans in to kiss you, no set of rules is going to unroll between you with "No Kissing" highlighted.
We adults may say to you, "Do this, don't do that—and you'll be fine," but we're fooling ourselves. You will be the one making the decisions. You will be the one in charge of your behavior.
And yet not totally. You're going to find just a few basic truths in the following chapters, and here's the first one:
Basic Truth #1
You're much more likely to make true, authentic choices when you have a relationship with God.
You aren't in this by yourself. When you really think about it, it only makes sense that because God created the hormonal- development-normal process that put you here in the first place, God is going to be there to get you through it. God has never been known to put something in motion and then abandon the people it's happening to, expecting them to fend for themselves. (Hello—forty years in the wilderness anyone?) In fact, the Lord is so in there, it's pretty much impossible to do it without him.
Excerpted from The Whole Guy Thing by Nancy Rue Copyright © 2012 by Nancy Rue . Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Chapter 1 "It Was Easier When They Were Annoying Little Pests." 7
Chapter 2 "I Just Don't Get Guys." 33
Chapter 3 "I Feel Like a Geek." 51
Chapter 4 "Can We Just Be Friends?" 75
Chapter 5 "Do They Really Just Want One Thing?" 93
Chapter 6 "So, What About Dating and Boyfriends?" 113
Chapter 7 "Oh, the Drama." 125
Chapter 8 "And All of This Is Important Because …?" 151
My Hope for You 163
Posted June 11, 2012
The Whole Guy Thing is an advice book for young girls concerning boys. It talks about not just the feelings girls feel with the opposite sex but also with behavior and understanding about guys.
It was a fast-read, with evaluation quiz that would determine what we have learned in the chapters. I had fun answering these questions. And true to the author’s word, it didn’t made me feel like I was being accused or something, rather it make me realize and understand what level of understanding I had not just with myself but as well as how I react with others around me especially boys.
Nancy Rue knew her thing well. This book comes just like talking to her one on one. The words were easy to understand and the whole book sounded conversational, making teen readers confide in it wholly and truthfully.
It also comes with advises on how to talk things like these with our parents, who knew and experienced everything that’s going on with us. We just have to do the right thing, and talk to them in a way that they’d see themselves in us.
As a teen myself, I appreciate how the author used Twitter-like phrases which pretty sums up the whole book. It makes reading easier, especially when the long paragraphs look tiring. :) And not only that, she also gives us tiny advices like “What the Guy’s Says” or “God on Guys”.
The Whole Guy Thing is not just a book about crushes, dates and anything concerning guys, it’s a book that will make us realize that even if it’s a girl-guy business, there’s still our parents and God who will guide us in this complicated yet enjoying stage in life- our teen life.
This book comes with lessons that will surely leave a print in our minds and hearts. Highly Recommended!..:)
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Posted August 26, 2012
Posted August 12, 2012
This book doesnt abuse the subject of boys. The author is kind of having a conversation with the reader. Which is a better way to tell people about the subject , other than reading the book and cramming facts down the readers skull.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 27, 2014
And i so needed help on the guy thing. A guy played me and cheated on me and i didnt know why! But now i know boys will be boys and all i can do right now is slam my fist into their skull until they are nicer. (I made up the last part. Now im considering slamming my fist into the skull of the boy who played and cheated on me...)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 28, 2014
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Posted October 31, 2012