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GL's fabulous guide to dealing with guys: savvy advice on dating relating and even sortahating ... with finesse.

Your Date

Ah, dating. For all its heart-thumping glory, it can also come with a heavy-duty helping of awkwardness and anxiety. But dating is kinda mandatory if you have any shot whatsoever at getting to know a guy better. So it's a smart girl who can master the art of dating with grace. ...

Your crush turns you to mush You're all ga-ga, and (yee-ha!) he's asked you on a real date. But as he so suavely invited you to the dance, you were a tonguetied, bobble-headed idiot. How will you get through The Date? First, get a grip. He wouldn't have asked you out if he didn't have a clue that you're a great girl. So show him how divine you are.

Carry yourself confidently, and stop thinking he's some god of gorgeousness. He's just a boy. Act the way you would around any-ol'-body and, if you feel like you're starting to break out in hives, flash him a smile that twinkles and offer to go get drinks. On the way to the punch bowl, remind yourself that a truly together girl refuses to be intimidated by a guy, even if she has to fake it. No matter how yummy he is.

The date stinks, and you want out now The flick was fab! But that was the easy part. Now you're going for coffee, and it's one-on-one chat time. So what happens when, before your cappuccino cools, you're having bad-date vibes? Look, if the boy is cute-as-a-button but brainlessly boring, stick it out through coffee. If he offers to take you to the arcade post-caffeine, you can bail with something along the lines of, "I have choir practice early tomorrow morning."

If, on the other hand, the guy is completely obnoxious, no need for the politeness of making it through the date or even being so diplomatic as to offer a reason for cutting out early. He's used foul language? Rambled about how girls are losers? Flatly announce that you're splitting, and call your ride. Always be sure there's someone on date-night standby to rescue you. Your parents or somebody else responsible should know where you are and who you're with. Take a cell phone, if possible, or have change for a phone call at the very least.

He doesn't call after a date that went great The date was awesome! You're digging this guy, and he tells you he's gonna call. But, it's the following weekend and ... nothing. Cake's "No Phone" is replaying in your head, and you can't figure out why he hasn't dialed. You two really hit it off! Or did you? Before your mind plays "he's repulsed by me" tricks on you, know this: Boys aren't nearly as enamored with the phone as girls are. They just aren't wired that way.

Be brave--call or IM him! But here's the catch: You can make contact only once. If he doesn't respond after a sweet message or chat sesh, move on. You've put it out there that you're into him and, if he wants to see you, he'll be in touch.

He wants a second date--ugh You've made it to the date's finish line, but the dude doesn't do it for you. And because you're such a polite girl, you tell him you had a "nice time." And it was--pleasant enough but not your cup of cola, so you're not lookin' for free refills. But then he says, "Can I see you again?" Er ... It's unwise to blow wind when you don't mean it: "Sure, call me." Yeah, right! Why string the poor guy along?

Still, you don't have to spit out something so brash as, "You bore me." Be tactful but truthful: "I don't feel we connected in that way." Or semi-truthful: "I thought I was ready to start dating, but I'm not after all." Then, give him a peck on the cheek (or not) and no apologies. Never be sorry for turning down a date you don't want to go on.

He's a kisser, then disser You two have been on a few dates, when you get the (gulp) goodnight kiss. The smooch was scrumpshee and dreamy and dramatic. And now you can't get him outta your mind. Except allofasudden, he's giving you the ice treatment. What gives? Unless you had raw onions on your burger that night, you might never know for sure. But we have a clue....

For some boys, crossing the line to lip-locking is scary! It shoves things into potential real-relationship territory, which some boys aren't ready for. So as hurtful as it is when a dude kisses then disses, he could be freaked because he's not mature enough to handle true dating. And then there's the Joe Player type--he got what he wanted, so he's outta here! Kiss, kiss.

Your Dude

He's yours; you're his. How sweet it is. But having a BF isn't always blissful--coupledom comes with its fair share of probs. Still, you can deal without having major meltdowns. You can address the boyfriend blues with a dollop of dignity.

He's crazy-jealous of your guy friends There's your boyfriend. And there are your boy ... friends. Guy pals. The boy you buddy with at the skate bowl, your lab partner who is of the male species, or the neighbor pal you've known since his nose-picking pre-K days. All these guys in a gal's aura could bring out her BF's ugly insecurities. You can't blame the boy for being a little weirded out.

The savviest way to handle this issue is to introduce any guys-as-pals to your boyfriend. Ideally, they'll hit it off, become buds, and you'll never have to worry about it again. Still, don't try to force an instant friendship between the fellas. But by bringing them face to face, you demonstrate to your BF the true nature of your relationship with Guy Friend. Showing your boyfriend that you're not uncomfy being around both of them should diffuse any distrust. By the way, if your BF demands you discontinue a friendship with a guy or becomes scary-jealous, dump him. Immediately.

Your boyfriend's ex won't go away Things are great with your guy, except for one detail: his ex-GF. She clearly is not over him and turns up everywhere. It's distracting, annoying and, well, kind of a romance-killer. The most unbecoming thing you can do is get all catty with her. Demonstrate your fabulousness by appearing to be unfazed by her presence.

The next move is for you and your BF to steer clear of the ex's radar. Lay low to let her move past the breakup. A change of scenery could do your relationship good, so hit some new spots. Or stay in for some DVD cuddle-bonding time. If the BF refuses to go for a detour in the routine, it's possible he actually likes the attention from his ex-GF. Yup, happens.

Your BF's friend hits on you Because you're so darn cute and all, one (or some) of your BF's friends might flirt with you. Of course, out of basic respect for your boyfriend, you won't flirt back. Be cordial, but avoid eye contact and drop your boyfriend's name into convos (a surefire sign you're into your BF, not the bud).

If your BF's so-called buddy makes a bolder move--tries to kiss you, asks you out--kick in with assertiveness. Tell him firmly, "I'm not interested--I have a boyfriend. But you already know that, don't you?" Should you tell your BF his bud is a dud? Your call. But if the situation is in check, we say let it rest.

Your parents hate your BF You've hooked a hot/sweet/smart package you thought existed only on life as we know it. You want the folks to meet him because they'll be just as charmed by his stellar traits. So you bring the dude home for dinner, and ... the 'rents are less than impressed. They don't approve, and that doesn't mean much in terms of dating privileges. Best bet? Hear them out, and resist the urge to jump to his defense. (Be warned: This will be tough because you like your guy sooo much.)

In a calm manner, explain to your parents why you disagree that he is impolite/disrespectful/a bad influence. Tell them they need to get to know him better because you're sure they got a wrong first impression. If, after bonding with the boy, Morn and Dad haven't changed their minds, consider the possibility that your parents see something in this boy that you can't because you're crush-blind. Think about it.

Valentine's Day was deleted from his memory Even your dorky brother got a brown bag full of paper heart cut-outs. And you got ... nothing. Guess your boyfriend doesn't think it's an actual holiday unless school's closed. You picked out the perfect Hallmark for him and packed it with Pizza Hut bucks because he loves stuffed crust. And you didn't get so much as a single truffle?

We can tell you potential reasons he didn't pull through--he's broke, he forgot, he's immature, he doesn't get it. But there's no excuse. He should have done something sweet for you--and you need to let him know that. Simply state that you're hurt he didn't acknowledge you on a day that represents expression of affection, and leave it at that. If you're lucky, he'll make it up with a fistful of flowers when you least expect it. But if your birthday rolls around and ... nada! Do you want to be in a relationship with Mr. Thoughtless? Didn't think so.

You're Done!

You guys gave it a go, but it didn't work. You're on the road to Splitsville, and breaking up is rarely a smooth ride. Even if it ends mutually, there is bound to be some hurt. But a girl can handle the bumpiness of a breakup with style.

He dumped you ... now he wants you back He dropped you like a bad habit, and you didn't see it coming. The utter rejection made you feel sooo low. But after six boxes of Kleenex and 26 pages of emotion scrawled in your diary, you're so over it. You're stoked to be boyfriend-free. And then? What's-his-face calls.

He's sorry. He made a mistake. He wants you back. Ha! No interest? Give a giggle and a brief "thanks anyway." You'd consider going back? Fine, but take a few days (which, hopefully, will torture him) to decide if you want to risk going back to a guy who--remember?--caused you a whole lotta ouch! If you do go another round, be leery of falling back into a cozy BF-GF groove. Take it slow, sister.

He's trashing you all over town You used to be "Princess." But now ex-BF's pet name for you is "Pighead." And he's spreading nasty rumors. Sheesh. Tough as it is, ignore it. Such matters tend to blow over quickly. But if the trash-mouthing gets crazy, do damage control.

Coolly, confront the ex. Tell him you're not bad-mouthing him and would appreciate the same respect. Give him a chance to express his disappointment because maybe he just needs to vent. If the trash talk continues, round up your posse: Ask that, when friends hear anyone repeating his rude comments, they defend your good honor. That's what buds are for, right?

You want your Urbz back It's a clean break except for one snag: The ex has your brand-new Urbz game. You left it in his PS2 just before the split, and you want it back. Yeah, it's just a game but you paid good money for it--and you didn't intend to leave it as a parting gift. Call him, ask for your disk, and hope he'll be civil about it. But what if he refuses to return the game or, even creepier, acts like he doesn't have it?

Give it a week or two, and try again. If he still holds out, kiss your Urbz g'bye. Yes, you lost a few bucks, but don't lose face by getting all wigged over ... a game. Because then the real game becomes this back-and-forth folly between you and the ex. Be honest--are you pursuing the matter to keep contact with him? Stop it right now. Accept your loss, and be glad you're not with a jerk who keeps stuff that doesn't belong to him.

Your girls love him and want to stay friends with him Yes, you might be tempted to forbid your friends to hang with your ex. But they shouldn't have to break off a relationship with him just because you did, especially if they knew the guy before you two were dating. You can't dictate people's friendships, and we know that is tough to swallow ... because you're broken up!

The last thing you need is the ex on the scene. What you can ask is for a heads-up if he's tagging along and hang time that doesn't include the ex-dude. But brace yourself because now he's free to date someone else--and that someone could turn out to be one of your friends. If that happens? Put the erase-and-embrace technique into effect: Erase him from your mind, and embrace your single-girl status!
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Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:White, Kelly
Publication:Girls' Life
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:2194
Previous Article:You are so cute! The clothes, the hair, the make-up ... here are a dozen right-now ways to look positively adorable (hottie Valentine optional!).
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