Q. I am 17 and in high school. The boys in our school seem infatuated with more “mature” and flirtatious girls, of which I’m neither. I’m more of a jock. I play soccer and basketball and hang out with my girlfriends. But I am interested in boys and would like to be part of the “scene” in some way. Is it true that all they care about is looks?

Q. I am 17 and in high school. The boys in our school seem infatuated with more “mature” and flirtatious girls, of which I’m neither. I’m more of a jock. I play soccer and basketball and hang out with my girlfriends. But I am interested in boys and would like to be part of the “scene” in some way.

Is it true that all they care about is looks?

Heather 

Dear Heather,

Thanks for writing.

It’s great that you play organized sports and are pursuing your various passions. More girls — and guys — should follow your example. Now, to your question.

Looks definitely matter to guys. I’d be lying to you if I said they didn’t. But it’s not necessarily as bad as it sounds. I’ll break it down for you with data from a very unscientific study. I would say 99 percent of guys would agree on the looks of about 15 percent of the women in the world. All this means is that guys don’t agree on looks, and that looks are generally a subjective thing.

The issue for you is that you’re dealing with young guys — teenagers —  and they are a whole other subset entirely. Young guys’ hormones are well ahead of their brain development. It’s as if they have super powers they can’t control. It takes almost nothing to set these powers off: a glance, a brief flash of skin, a walk down the hall, a friendly touch. All day long, chemical reactions are exploding throughout their bodies with no command center to override them. Young guys aren’t as subjective as older guys because they’re being controlled by their hormones rather than their brains.

I am in no way saying you should start dating older guys. That would not be a good idea because older guys have much more experience and a different agenda than you might. What I am saying is try to be a bit more patient and understanding of these high school boys. They’ll mature eventually. And there are exceptions to every rule. Those exceptions would be the nice guys. They are sometimes difficult to pinpoint since they often hide behind posturing, strutting, silly talk and whatever else young guys do to keep their manly charade in tact.

To be clear, looks are important to all guys young or old. But younger guys are focused almost entirely on looks and certain physical characteristics that girls possess. Whereas, with maturity comes clarity and a shift in focus from only being attracted by physical features to a more balanced combination of looks, personality, smarts, and common interests.

I think you should keep doing what you’re doing. Pursue your interests, maybe join some other groups or clubs that intrigue you besides the sports you play. And ask yourself this question: Is it possible that you keep focusing your attention on the same type of guy, the guy who only cares about one thing? Look for the exceptions and you might be pleasantly surprised.

All the best.

 

Saelen Ghose is the head writer for The Guy’s Perspective, a popular relationship blog and website. Over the course of his tenure he has responded to thousands of relationship questions, and while he hasn’t solved every problem, he has provided a thoughtful perspective on every question received. If you have a relationship question of your own, please email tgpadvice@gmail.com. Saelen will do his best to answer your question. Please limit your question to 200 words or less. For more from The Guy’s Perspective, visit www.theguysperspective.com.