Early Dating


I began reading your Alice series in 3rd grade, and the first one I ever read was The Agony of Alice and completely fell in love. I wasn’t even sure what getting your period was when I first read it! But then when 5th grade came around I definitely knew what it was….Anyway, I am now in 8th grade, and of course dating…kissing…all that is happening. I have many people who are my friends, but there are two people who are my truest friends. We can call one of them, Carrey, well Carrey and I have known each other since first grade. We met each other at a summer camp and hit it off completely. And then she attended my elementary and we were on and off friends until 5th grade and became best friends and it’s been that way since. Now, the other one we can call Mark, Mark and I met more than a year ago and became friends. There was even a time where he had more than friend feelings for me and maybe they were some what mutual. But we never acted on it, and then we became best friends. He of course became friends with all my other friends as well, including Carrey but him and I were always closer than anyone else. Now this school year, Kelly tells me she likes Mark. I am not surprised because Carrey likes everyone. But then three weeks later Mark calls me telling me he’s developing feelings for Carrey and finds out she likes him as well. But yet Mark likes another girl, whom he had already dated, more than he likes Carrey. But then Mark and I were sitting in wood shop together and he says, “I asked Carrey out before school today.” Mark had already told me he wasn’t going to ask Carrey out, so I was shocked. I hadn’t spoken to Carrey yet that day, so I didn’t know if what he was saying was true or not. “Yeah right” was my response but then our friend who we can call Mike said, “he’s serious, I saw the whole thing.” My heart plummeted. I hadn’t wanted them to date because I knew how different they were and how after they broke up, I’d be forced to choose sides, and I already knew who I’d pick. Maybe I over reacted, but I started to cry. It was completely embarrassing, it was right in wood shop in front of my classmates, but I couldn’t help the quiver in my lip. I told Mark to get away from me and that I didn’t want to talk to him. But then he said, “no don’t cry! I was kidding, nothing like that happened. I’m sorry.” I didn’t believe him and then Mike said, “I was just playing around to, nothing happened.” And I spoke to Carrey later who said she hadn’t spoken to him all day. But….how can I accept this?? I hate listening to her talk about him, and I know soon enough I’ll begin to feel like a third wheel.


Phyllis replied:

When guys and girls first begin to date, there’s a lot more talk than there is action.  And the couple doesn’t just talk to each other.  They talk to their friends, and they try out ideas in words.  Who is dating whom, who likes whom, who likes him back, on and on and on…  Feelings are perpetually hurt and people get their hopes up….  It’s a difficult time, and all I can really tell you is that we’ve all been through it.  Emotions are so very close to the surface, and it’s possible that part of the reason you were crying is that you probably still have feelings for Mark yourself.  You hear all this talk about his liking other girls, and you are beginning to feel left out.  Perhaps he is testing you to see if you still like him.  I  hope you will just take a deep breath and see what happens in real life, despite all the talk.  Things get easier, and a bit more private, as people start feeling more sure of themselves.

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