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Teen Health

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How to Get a Girlfriend

Put Away the Phone

It should be a no-brainer to avoid thumbing your smartphone during the date.

Also, think twice before texting or emailing her after the date, tempting as it may be. First, wait a few days. You don’t want to look overly eager. When you do follow up, try to do so in person.

“With texting and email, all you get is words,” Piorkowski says. You miss out on the body language and facial cues that will give you a better idea of how she really feels. Worst case, if you can’t see her face to face, just call. That way you at least get a clue from the tone of her voice.

Get Real

Once you start dating, it’s easy to start thinking that the world revolves around this girl. But be careful not to put too much pressure on her or the relationship. This isn’t a Hollywood romance. “On these romantic comedies, love is all about infatuation and feelings,” Kalish says. “Real love is a behavior. It’s about caring and growing.”

You need to give her and yourself room to grow as individuals, Piorkowski says. Balance your schedule. Spend time with her, but also spend time with your guy friends. Stay involved with your sports team or your after-school clubs.

“She can’t be the end-all be-all,” Piorkowski says. “She can’t take the place of what’s important for you.”

When you're with her, live in the moment. Try not to worry about commitment or the distant future. She’s a friend, so enjoy your time with her. Dating should be fun.

Take the High Road

Rejection is part of dating. It’s hard. But how you handle the end of a relationship can be just as important as how you handled the beginning.

If she breaks up with you, try not to get mad. “Boys turn sadness into anger,” Kalish says. “They tend to lash out.”

It’s OK to go home and cry. It’s not OK to smear her reputation or stalk her. Respect her space. Remember, the reason she gave you for the breakup may not be the true reason. (Kalish says her research shows that 90% of the time, the parents cause the breakup.) Besides, if you really like her, you don’t want to ruin the chances that you might get back together someday.

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