Absurd not to be dating?

Question:

I feel really honored to be writing to you today since you are one of my favorite authors. I notice you give really good advice and after reading your site for a long time I have a question for you.

I am in my third year of high school and all of my friends are dating. Everyone around me is dating! Even my sister who is three years younger than me. My friends keep trying to set me up with people and I don’t mind really, I just say, “No thanks” and ignore them when they ask again. The person that is driving me insane is my mother. She thinks it is positively ridiculous that I am not interested in boys right now. Every guy I talk to, she asks if I am interested in him. Every text I send, she asks if it is to a possible boyfriend. She keeps asking why I never go out with boys and why I don’t have a date to this dance or this movie. Yesterday, she flat out asked me if I liked girls! Now, I don’t have anything against homosexuals, but I know I am not one. Sure, I sometimes think girls are pretty but I would never want to kiss one. I am really busy now, and also had my heart sort of broken a while back and I just don’t feel like dating. So my question is: How should I voice this to my mother who just won’t listen? And also: Is it really this absurd not to be dating?

Phyllis replied:

I can’t count the number of girls who write to me because either they or their friends or parents are concerned that they are almost through high school and still haven’t had a boyfriend, or gone out on a date, or been kissed.  I also hear from girls who never started going out with guys until they were in college.  Parents worry about all sorts of things because we all want to believe we’ve been good parents, and it’s possible that your mom simply wants to support you whatever your sexual inclinations.  If you have a full life now and don’t want to date yet, don’t!  Many girls date because they like the idea of having a boyfriend, but don’t necessarily like the guy.  It could be that you are simply more discriminating.  That you haven’t met a guy who appeals that much, and can’t quite see yourself spending an evening with someone you don’t especially crave to be around.  It’s hard to know how to turn off a worried mom, but perhaps you can tell her, with a genuine friendly smile, that if she will stop pestering you to go out with a guy before you’re ready, you will let her know when you need her suggestions or advice.  Sometimes parents just want to know that they aren’t completely excluded from what’s going on in your life, but you are certainly old enough to keep some thoughts and feelings to yourself, whatever they are.

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