You’ve Got Plenty of Kisses to Come

Dear Dategirl, I'm a 14-year-old girl and I have been going out with my boyfriend for seven months and he hasn't kissed me yet. He said it's not the right time yet. Could you explain that to me, please? —Never Been Kissed I always get nervous when the youth write in, because I worry if I say the wrong thing they'll go out and catch themselves an incurable STD or a tragic teen pregnancy and it'll be all my fault. So much pressure! Being a teenager was the hardest thing I've ever done, so I understand why you might be having a little difficulty. First, let me assure you that nobody kissed me until I was 16. And when it did finally happen, it wasn't with a boyfriend, because I didn't get one of those 'til I was 17. Nope, my first kiss was with some dude from my algebra class, at a party. I was trying to be cool by smoking menthol cigarettes (didn't work), and he had a ginormous, slithery tongue. So when he leaned over and kissed me, that thing slid down my throat like a big, fat sea slug. Between the cigarettes and the giant, wet piece of flesh in my piehole, I came this close to hurling. That sure put me off kissing for a while. So while it may feel as though you're the last girl in school to get kissed, you're not. If your boyfriend isn't ready, don't push him. The thing we ladies don't always remember is that boys have even more pressure on them than we do. Men are supposed to be the aggressors. They're supposed to always want more, even when they don't. But this guy is brave enough to shrug off the peer pressure and speak the truth: He's not ready yet. So simmer down! And once he is ready, take it easy. When you start with a kiss, things can progress pretty quickly. And believe me, nothing complicates a young relationship like sex. While it may not feel like it currently, you're very young. Take it slooooooowly. At the risk of sounding like your crazy auntie, I'm going to suggest you focus on other things right now. For instance, this is a pivotal time in your education. Do you know how hard it is to get into a good college? I know you're preoccupied with this guy, but you have your whole life to worry about men. Why not get a jump on your reading? Study harder. Hang out with your girlfriends. Learn a new language. Play a sport. Stay healthy. Dye your hair a funny color. Get an ill-advised piercing (but hold off on the tattoo). All these things are more important than a relationship. I realize this is boring advice, but it's also the truth. One of my only regrets in life is the time I wasted worrying about how random men felt about me. I've spent hours pondering the meanings behind their words, wondering if someone liked me–liked me (as opposed to just, you know, liking me) and trying to figure out how to make someone love me. It was pathetic. What I should've been doing instead is figuring out what I wanted. Instead of worrying about whether he liked me, I should've been deciding whether or not I liked him. Instead of moping around when the inevitable rejections happened—and believe me, everyone gets rejected—I should've been moving on. So my advice? Get good grades. Go to college. Become a strong, smart, independent woman. And when you do decide to have sex (and please wait a while to do this), use birth control. Boys can wait. You'll get plenty of kisses in your life. Believe me.

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