My daughter came sprinting into the house, as most informants do, to let us all know that my son was going to ask a girl out. After picking my jaw up off the ground I immediately launched into a million questions!
I was so excited for him! I wanted all the details. All I could get out of him was, this girl was in 7th grade, she was nice, and….that’s it. It finally became very apparent that he wanted nothing to do with this conversation and he excused himself.
As a nosy girl myself, I was offended. I wanted to know all the things! I wanted him to confide in me the same way the informer did. I tried my best to act cool and not bring it up again for the rest of the night. The next day he came home to announce, “Welp, I’m still a single pringle.” My heart was broken for him. He seemed to shrug it off while I was heated and ready to beat down a 7th grader!
Love in middle school. Who knew?
Being an adult I thought I’d never have to repeat the feelings of angst, frustration or excitement that I did when I was 13. I wasn’t prepared to feel this deeply on behalf of my children at this stage in their lives. I didn’t know I’d get sucked into middle school drama, too! I didn’t know anything about this girl, but I was ready to throw hands. How dare she break his heart! He put himself out there and she stomped all over it! I expected him to be as sad as I would’ve been if I’d just been rejected. I expected him to feel the way that 13 year old me would have felt.
Turns out, He didn’t. Not even a little bit. In fact, it wasn’t even a face to face rejection. It was over email. He asked her out over email. YUCK! Clearly, dating now is on a different level. He literally just sent her an email asking if she wanted to be his girlfriend. Her response was actually very nice: “no, thank you!”
Fighting her was no longer necessary. The whole exchange was not at all what I was expecting. When I asked if emailing was what his friends had done to get their girlfriends (thank you, informer, for letting me know), I learned that most middle schoolers are either texting or emailing their interests. It’s not the sweaty note passing or, GASP, actual talking face to face with someone. He wasn’t broken up about it. I kept trying to console him, and he kept saying, “Bruh…I’m fine!” I even congratulated him for putting himself out there, being brave, and for respecting her no, and moving on. He just kept looking at me like I was crazy.
So, I took all my feelings to the informer and asked her if she’d ever rejected a boy. I tried to coach her to make sure she was polite if, and when, she needed to let someone down. I made her practice so that in the future she would be courteous and not stomp on some poor boy’s feelings.
Middle school love is virtual and not life altering. At least for now. I can live with that.
Not-so-pro Mom Tips
- Listen, don’t talk.
- Don’t relive your glory days; it’s not the same.
- Congratulate showing respect to others, not the relationship.
- See number 1.