To believe 12 is too young to be obsessed with finding a boyfriend

(76 Posts)
ItsDecisionTime Tue 30-Jul-13 11:33:29

Many of my DDs friends are absolutely obsessed with finding a boyfriend and it's taking over their lives. Many of them haven't even entered puberty but believe something's wrong with them if they aren't 'in a relationship'. One friend even wrote on FB that she met a boy on holiday, he kissed her on the lips, held her hand and they lay gazing at the stars. She is only 11. I can remember my first boyfriend at 15 and I only went out with him because all my friends were doing it. Have times changed so much that I'm to be on my guard against boys this early in my child's life?

TheDetective Tue 30-Jul-13 11:39:46

I am 28. I was as your daughter is at 12.

In fact probably earlier.

Boys were a year older though. 11/12 year old boys aren't particularly interested in girls!

HollyBerryBush Tue 30-Jul-13 11:41:54

I dont think I knew what a boy was when I was 12

emuloc Tue 30-Jul-13 11:45:28

I was not thinking like this at 12.

ForgetfulNameChanger Tue 30-Jul-13 11:46:17

Its horrible isn't it sad you see it even younger though too. My ex SIL's daughter used to come home from nursery at 3 years old and tell us about who she'd kissed that day and who her next boyfriend was going to be. ex SIL used to encourage it though so that probably had something to do with it. And when I volunteered in a primary school, some of them had "boyfriends" in year 1 :/ where's all the innocence gone sad

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Tue 30-Jul-13 11:47:00

My friends DDs 12 and 13 seem to be same just now.

meditrina Tue 30-Jul-13 11:48:53

Another good reason for observing the FB rule of 'no under 13s'?

I've found that "boyfriend" talk occurs quite early, but it doesn't really mean much. I can remember it happening at primary back in the early 1970s!

But of course, no Internet back then. Perhaps less screen time and more (wholesome, hurrah!) activities would be a natural counterbalance?

cory Tue 30-Jul-13 11:48:56

I was deeply in love when I was 11. 38 years ago. Still remember it. Doesn't mean anyone had to be on their guard; nothing happened.

Often the whole Yr 7 relationship thing is just a social rite: children playing at something they have no intention of doing seriously. It's early practice, like puppies playing at hunting. And often more about maintaining status within the same sex group than about a very strong interest in the person of the opposite sex.

Ds seems to have pretty well kissed his way through the class in Yr 7. And then lost interest in Yr 8. I have no reason to believe that he has left swathes of broken hearts behind.

cory Tue 30-Jul-13 11:49:56

Early boyfriend talk is not something new. Read Anne of Green Gables.

KellyElly Tue 30-Jul-13 11:59:19

It was pretty normal amongst me and my friends at 12/13. That's when you hit puberty and your hormones are raging. Not something I would worry about tbh.

chickensaladagain Tue 30-Jul-13 12:06:41

There was an issue in yr 5 of my dds school so 8&10 year olds

The school actually had to ban boyfriends and girlfriends as it was causing so many problems

livinginwonderland Tue 30-Jul-13 12:15:12

It's pretty normal.

enderwoman Tue 30-Jul-13 12:21:13

Normal.
Ds1 is about to go into y8 and in the first term of y7boyfriends/girlfriends was a hot topic. I think it might be linked to the fact that everyone was getting to know each other and having a gf/bf meant that you weren't ugly. It was basically a way of help establishing social hierarchy of the class.

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 30-Jul-13 12:28:14

Very normal at our school, DD (year 6) very upset because she was the only girl in the class that had not been out with a boy.

Astr0naut Tue 30-Jul-13 12:29:43

I was desperate, desperate for a boyfriend at 12. I had one for a month at 13 (it lasted a whole month before he dumped me), and whas characterisd by going down the woods and snogging. THere may have been mild groping, I can't remember. I do remember thinking that I would have sex with him, if he asked, as I was also desperate to have a go at that.

I was 16 before I actually got a boyfriend again - and got to have sex! Luckily byu then, the J17 message of 'only have sex if you love them and feel secure with them' had got through.

As a teacher though, I see how you yr 7 are and get really cross with them when they talk about fancying so and so and going with such and such. I am the ultimate hypocrite. grin

happyreindeer Tue 30-Jul-13 12:31:25

It is all I thought about at 12.

mrsjay Tue 30-Jul-13 12:35:07

I think it is pretty normal to be interested in boys at that age I can remembering being totaaly inlove with a boy at 12 he didnt know i existed but still, dd 1 had a boyfriend at 13 till she was 15 I don't think it is anything really to get worried about although dd2 was quite sad the other week about not having a boyfriend, so there seems to be pressure, but It is totally normal to fancy boys as cory said it is all practise

fluffyanimal Tue 30-Jul-13 12:35:19

I'm nearly 42, and it's definitely all I thought about at that age too, and given that I went to an all girls boarding school, I was madly jealous of any girl who actually knew some real live boys, whether they were 'boyfriends' or not.

gazzalw Tue 30-Jul-13 12:37:18

DS (12 going on 13) goes to an all boys school and seems quite philosophical that he's not likely to have a girlfriend any time soon.....

cory Tue 30-Jul-13 12:39:10

Fwiw I reached puberty at 11. Dd reached it at 10. So a little earlier, but not totally pearl-clutchingly hand-wringingly what-is-the-world-coming-to earlier.

Solari Tue 30-Jul-13 12:40:53

I don't think its particularly sad or horrible to be honest. It could be if the girl is only having those feelings because she's pressured into it, and doesn't really feel interest.

But I suspect its a fairly average age to start noticing the opposite (or same!) sex, and having starry thoughts about holding hands and true love. I know it was fairly normal amongst my siblings, although they all hid it rather well from our authoritarian parents.

I do think it is very stressful from a parent's point of view though (I have a teen myself), as you are so aware of their vulnerability, and of how badly things can go wrong, hard lessons to come, etc.

But seeking love, and being attracted to another... its about an old a story as time itself. I don't think any parent can actually put the brakes on those sorts of feelings, just maybe help with the steering a little.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 30-Jul-13 12:42:36

Oh I thought about it a lot at that age. But not it IYSWIM

My main worry is that earlier adolescent yearnings might get warped into "must give boys blowjobs to make them like me" reality in some cases. Because I hear that's what is happening in certain small cliques at DSs school But that might be my moral panic kicking in...

manicinsomniac Tue 30-Jul-13 12:43:56

I lost my friendship group at 12 because I was the only one who wasn't ready for this. I would say 80% of the year group were in and out of brief, largely innocent, relationships with each other all the time. I think it's normal. I was very innocent and young for my age, found I had less and less in common with other girls and was eventually ditched.

I was still pregnant at 19 though (the first time I had sex and by a man I was violently attracted to but was a total idiot and I knew it). So I don't think innocence at 12 is necessarily going to lead to responsible decisions and desirable behaviour later one!

Erm, I really don't think the 'innocence has gone' when a Yr 1 is talking about boyfriends!

I think it's normal. I remember being the same, although I only had a hazy idea what you did with a boyfriend.

In Yr 6, we had a scale. First Base was sitting under a tree with a boy you liked, Second Base was one arm round, Third Base was both arms. The teachers didn't even care shock grin

FobblyWoof Tue 30-Jul-13 12:46:09

I was fairly boy mad at 12 but I was about half way through puberty at that point so had the body of a 15/16 year old and all these raging hormones I had no idea what to do with.

Generally speaking we weren't all like this though

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