Sunday, June 03, 2007

An Internet thing

At the tender age of 16, I find myself feeling intense feelings for a boy. At first, I was absolutely positive it was merely obsession, because I: 1) met him on the Internet, 2) hadn't known him for more than six months before I started feeling like this.

I'm pretty average on maturity level, but I do have a solid head on my shoulders. So I figured if I got to know him better, the feelings would either straighten themselves out into oblivion or into something a little bit more clear. I'm pretty sure I messed up with my plan somehow, because as soon as I started telling him a little bit more about who I was (in hopes he would do the same), he started closing up, talking to me less. After that, I slowly edged back a bit, because I didn't understand why he was being so cold towards me, and I still don't.

I'm 16 and have never had a boyfriend, or even had feelings this intense. I don't have many friends, and can't tell my parents because they've warned me that they'll restrict the Internet if they find I've been getting too involved with those on the other side of the wires, and my sisters would tell my parents out of concern (it's not a strict family, but perhaps an overprotective one).

Eventually I tried again, and then made friends with one of his friends. She was really nice, and figured out from the way I talked about him that I had feelings of a more romantic variety towards him. She called it puppy love, and spilled the beans "by accident" to him. He immediately contacted me and told me that I was "too young to know what love is" and that "I shouldn't tempt him, not at my age". Now he won't talk to me at all, ignoring me when I try to initiate contact.

I still have feelings for him, though I'm pretty sure that it was never the kind of love that people get married to. I'm just really hurt by the way both of them treated me. They were the ones who called me "mature for 16," and then she goes and mocks me, and he tells me that I can't love yet.

I'm pretty sure that it isn't true, what he said. Maybe I shouldn't have feelings for a man 7 years my senior ("not until I'm 18 years+," WTF!?), but I think I'm allowed to love anyone I want, and that I can love anyone I want. Or is what he said true, and it's just all hormones and no brain until after I'm legal? I don't get where he's coming from, especially when I told him I didn't want to even think about romance, just friendship, until I was older and more able to have a mature relationship.

Miserable and Confused

Dear Confused,

As I'm sure you've realized, the Internet has a vastly different dynamic than in real life. When I was 17, I met someone who was in his late 20s on the Internet in Napster chat. We started talking about politics and music and who knows what else. We took our chats off Napster and eventually started e-mailing. Our relationship has faded since because he is not usually at a computer, but that tends to happen.

I think the difference between my relationship with him is that while I could love his opinions, I didn't know him and couldn't think of him in a romantic way. As for him, well, he is married and shouldn't be talking to young girls on the Internet if he is going to flirt with them or try to bed them.

I'm pretty sure the reason your Internet friend laid off was because he could tell you were interested in him on some level. You can tell him you're only looking for friendship, but you're telling me you have intense feelings for him. There is an allure in a 16-year-old which you might not be aware of. Sixteen-year-olds often look like adults and can sometimes be coerced into having sex with much older men. They're immature forbidden fruit, and at 23, your friend would have probably gotten into trouble if he kept getting closer to you.

No matter how mature or level-headed you think you are at 16, you're not. You can be in love with someone at your age, but real love is mutual. I'd forget the Internet and try meeting some boys your own age at school. They may not be the boys you marry, but you will get relationship experience and be able to identify what you want in a partner.

Aunt Amy

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I agree with Aunt Amy here...I at your age was into a lot of guys on the internet. Some of these guys were my age but quite a few were older. Recently I found true love and we are engaged to be married. The difference between this love and any other "love" I have found in a relationship is that it is mutual. We are both on the same level when it comes to our relationship and this is important. Hang in there and take Aunt Amy's advice.

PS-He may be backing of for good reason on a legal front. The age difference and your age in particular is not friendly with the law. In addition, If it was meant to be it will happen and your paths will cross again at a later date and time.