7 Things You Should Know About Boys
There’s something about boys. I love boys, and not just in a ‘quick, get your boner inside me now’ sort of way. I wouldn’t say I’m one of those girls who doesn’t have girlfriends—on the contrary, I love my girls, and they’re like sisters to me, but I really do love surrounding myself with boys, and I’ve always had a lot of close straight male friends. And my boys—the boys I’ve climbed trees with, played video games with, burped the alphabet with—have given all the other boys a lot to live up to. This is what those wonderful, disgusting, can’t-live-with-em-can’t-live-without-em fellas have taught me about boys.
1. They all have a throbbing Peter Pan heart somewhere in their guts, even if it doesn’t seem apparent on the surface. No matter what a boy has been through, no matter how hardened or old his soul may seem, there’s this most beautiful thing inside all boys that seems to last forever. It’s the thing that makes them hate showers but love rolling in the dirt. The thing that makes them scramble around nipping at each other like little puppy dogs. The thing that makes them run instead of walk when they’re excited. It’s possibly the most magical, romantic thing about boys, and the thing that enthralls me the most—the small piece inside them that never, ever grows up.
2. The only thing you can change about a man is his clothes. You can’t ask a boy to grow up, to be more reliable, to stop swearing or stop being a lad when he’s with the other boys. Boys are what they are and the more you push them the more they will spite you by amplifying all the things you’re trying to change. You either have to accept what your boy is or let him go, because that awful mythology girls cling to of being the one to change a man is just that—mythology. The only thing a boy will change for you is their clothes, and that’s because most boys don’t know how to dress even though they’d like to dress well/better, and most are generally relieved to have someone point them in the right direction.
3. A boy won’t respect you unless you respect yourself, (and if he doesn’t respect you even then, he’s not the sort you want into your life). I’ve watched many girls come and go in the lives of my boys and even the good boys have trouble respecting girls that didn’t respect themselves. They’ll try—bless their cotton socks—but it’s impossible for a boy to take a girl seriously when she’s at his constant beck and call. On the flip side, a girl who is affectionate yet independent is the one that will stay on their mind.
4. It’s nothing personal when they criticize you. Boys have this impeccable way of giving criticism that girls just don’t get. My boy friends are all very honest with me—“Kat you’re wearing too much makeup today,” “I didn’t really like that article you wrote because the jokes seemed forced,” “your hair looks weird”—and I don’t know what I’d do without it. Sometimes comments from girls come off snarky and mean, and will from time to time leave you wondering how long they’ve been pondering, or bitching behind your back. When a boy gives you criticism, it’s matter-of-fact, he’s open to discuss it with you, and it’s not something he’s going to dwell on or let influence the way he thinks of you.
5. Boys have feelings too. Having held boys sobbing through heartache, or watched as they stoically continued with their life only to find out months or even years later that they’ve been screaming inside, boys aren’t all the heartless bastards girls often brand them as. They hurt too, and by golly, can they cry. Just because one boy screwed you over, don’t paint them all with the same jerk brush, or any jerk brush at all. Everyone hurts someone sometimes, and everyone hurts.
6. Boys like to masturbate all the time. And watch porn. And talk about it. There’s nothing you can do—you’re helpless and outnumbered on this one. You can fuck a guy 6 times a day and he’s still going to want to rub one out when you’re not around. Deal with it.
7. Boys don’t play games. Maybe I’ve been blessed by my boy friends—none of them are game players. If they like a girl, they will tell her so. They will text/call/try to see her. If they don’t like a girl, they will also tell her so. So if you’re ever lucky enough to date one of my babes, don’t read between the lines. It might sound crazy, but it’s really quite the opposite—most boys aren’t trying to mind fuck you. Be honest with them too—go on, I dare you. When you’re upset and a boy asks you what’s wrong, instead of answering, “nothing,” try telling him that you’re hormonal and you just feel like being cranky, or that you had a bad day at work or you don’t like the way he spoke to you earlier. If that doesn’t work then he’s a shit bloke—drop me a line, I’ve got about a dozen unappreciated good ones to share.
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This is the first part of a book that I am writing for Thought Catalog. This is a fiction book about young people in New York City. A lot of it is not fiction, and not made up, because I am not sure if I am very good at making things up.
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