50 Things I Want My Son to Know About Teen Girls

Because forming friendships and the whole dating world can be confusing for teen boys

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: 50 Things I Want My Son to Know About Teen Girls

Pack on the charm or act mysterious, text or call, make a move, or let her make the first move… navigating the complex world of girls, friendships, and dating can be confusing for teen boys.

And, can we all agree that teenage girls (actually, the entire female species) can oftentimes be difficult to figure out? 

That’s why when my son started hanging out with girls, forging friendships with girls, and stepping into the dating world, I wanted to pass along a few pointers – “truisms,” if you will – about teen girls. Of course, not every point noted here will hold true for every teen girl, but there’s a good chance you’ll find that a lot of these ring true. 

If you have a teen boy who’s getting the hang of being around teen girls, who’s sometimes baffled by a girl’s behavior, or needs a few tips on how to form meaningful relationships with girls, pass along this list of 50 Things I Want My Son to Know About Teen Girls. (MOST of these tips were offered up by teen girls themselves!) It might clarify a few things for him. A lot of these apply to guys as well.

50 Things I Want My Son to Know About Teen Girls


#1 Lighten up and SMILE. Trying to act cool by being aloof won’t grab a girl’s attention. Don’t be afraid to be silly and laugh. Just be yourself.

#2 Nothing turns a girl off more than a guy who acts like a player. You won’t win any brownie points if you’re “on the prowl.”

#3 With girls, manners count. Whether you’re her friend or a boyfriend, open doors for her, use your table manners, put your phone away so you can give her your undivided attention, and make eye contact. Believe me, girls notice.

#4 Girls love it when a boy smells nice. Invest in one quality cologne. (Research has shown that guys who smell nice are considered more attractive to girls.)

#5 Skip the swearing when you’re around girls. They might think it’s funny on occasion, but do it too often and you’ll turn them off.

#6 Just because a girl doesn’t act interested in you, doesn’t mean she isn’t. She might be a little shy and need a little practice being around boys. Give her time to get comfortable around you in a fun, casual way.

#7 Practice being a good listener. Most girls love to talk… A LOT.

#8 Give the shy girl a chance… please.

#9 Some girls do better research than the FBI. If you cheat, lie, or make a move on another girl when she’s not around, she will find out.

#10 Girls are notorious overthinkers. Practice being a good communicator so you don’t leave her in the dark about your thoughts or feelings.

#11 When you mess up (which, let’s face it, you probably will), put your ego on the back burner and apologize quickly. The longer you wait, the more her frustration will fester.

#12 Get to know a girl’s parents. You can learn a lot about a girl by the way she treats her mother and father.

#13 The #1 thing all girls want is a good guy who will treat them right. Be the good guy.

#14 If you’re dating, never flirt with another girl or try to make your girlfriend jealous. Nothing turns a girl off more. Plus, it’s more of a reflection on you and your insecurity, and other girls are watching.

#15 Girls care what their friends think about you – even if they don’t admit it. 

#16 Girls like it when guys make the first move. Even if you have to muster up the courage, walk up to that girl in class or the girl standing alone at a party. Chances are she’s just shy and is waiting for you to break the ice.

#17 If you’re dating and your girlfriend offers to pick up the tab or go Dutch, let her. Most girls know teen boys aren’t made of money and they’re willing to share the cost of dates.

#18 If a girl is a little awkward around, don’t pass judgment too quickly. Chances are she just needs a little practice being around boys. Give her some time.

#19 If a girl calls you “cute,” “sweet,” or “adorable” in public, she’s not trying to embarrass you. Take it as a compliment.

#20 Having girl friends can teach you a lot about girls. Plus, when you start dating, they can help you navigate the dating world.

#21 If you want to turn a girl’s head, make her laugh. A good laugh always breaks the ice.

#22 When a girl has a crummy day or breaks down and cries and you’re not sure what to say or do, just be there for her. Don’t worry about trying to fix things. (FYI, hugs, chocolate, and a listening ear work like a charm.)

#23 Girls love to be noticed. Compliment her on her new haircut, how sweet or funny she is, or how impressed you are that she got an “A” on that hard test.

#24 Never try to coerce or pressure a girl into doing something she’s not ready, willing, or interested in doing. “No” always means “no” regardless of the situation (even if you’ve been dating for a while).

#25 Little things matter to girls. Flowers, small surprises, an unexpected sweet text or a phone call to let her know you’re thinking of her will melt her heart. Remember, your actions will always speak louder than your words.

#26 If you break up with a girl, break up in person and never via text. Girls despise that. Plus, word travels.

#27 Teen girls can be very hormonal (just like you) – especially at certain times of the month. If a girl is moody, offish, or not herself, don’t take it personally. Just give her the support she needs, even if that means buying her a chocolate bar and just sitting and watching a movie with her. 

#28 Most girls have zero tolerance for games. Don’t even go there.

#29 Heads up guys, you know that girl you’re dating? She will mess up. She’s learning how to act around boys and figuring out how to navigate complex relationships. Be patient and cut her some slack. Just like you, she just needs time to learn.

#30 Girls pick up on the smallest details. If you want to impress a girl, make sure you shower, smell nice, comb your hair, clean your fingernails, and don’t wear clothes that look like you slept in them. And, don’t forget to wear deodorant.

#31 Your looks might catch her eye, but your personality, sense of humor, and character is what will keep a girl around.

#32 When a girl is dressed up and looks cute, never touch her hair or mess with her makeup. She might flip out.

#33 Say what you mean and mean what you say, honesty goes a long way with girls.

#34 A lot of teen girls are insecure about their bodies, zits, and bad hair days. Don’t toss out flippant negative comments. She’ll carry the “dig” with her for a long time. (Bottom line, don’t be the reason a girl questions her worth.)

#35 Never compare a friend or girlfriend to the fake, airbrushed, perfect girls you see in magazines or online. Girls want to be around guys who appreciate authentic girls.

#36 Even if they don’t outwardly admit it, most girls love holding hands, long hugs, and sweet kisses. (That is, if you’re dating.)

#37 If a girl is moody, mad, or upset, don’t tease her or ask her if she’s “on her period,” unless you want to get slapped.

#38 If you ask a girl if something is wrong and she says, “I’m fine,” heads up, she’s usually not fine.

#39 Never assume a girl’s intentions. Just because she’s friendly doesn’t mean she’s flirting. Just because she’s dressed a certain way doesn’t mean she wants sex.

#40 If a girl asks for your hoodie, she likes you. If she refuses to give it back, she either loves you or hates you. 

#41 When a girl likes you, she’ll drop small hints like making a lot of eye contact, smiling, laughing, or flirting. Pay attention. 

#42 Teenage girls want a boyfriend who makes them feel special and treats them with respect. Focus on that and you’re halfway to having a girlfriend.

#43 Girls and guys can be friends. And, girls make the best friends.

#44 Most girls love a guy with great hair. A good haircut really does matter.

#45 Rejection hurts. If you have to let a girl down, let her down easily and respectfully. And never make fun of or gossip about her to your friends. Treat her the way you’d like to be treated.

#46 Girls like guys who show interest in them. Ask her questions about school, her job, her hobbies, or things she likes to do. It will make her feel special knowing you’re interested in her life. (Also, be willing to listen about things you have absolutely no interest in.)

#47 Instead of looking at girls as potential girlfriends, focus instead on being friends first. In the best relationships, the couple typically started out as friends.

#48 If you ask a girl out and she says “no,” it’s not an invitation to keep trying. If she decides she’s interested in you, she’ll make the next move.

#49 If a girl texts you, try to text her back right away. Trust me, she’s waiting for your reply.

#50 If a girl tells you something personal, never share it with your friends. Don’t betray her trust in you.

Of all the things I want my son to know about teen girls, it’s that any relationship ~ romantic or friendships ~ should be viewed as a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time. Don’t rush things. Resist the urge to jump in too quickly. Above all, enjoy the journey.

If you enjoyed, “50 Things I Want My Son to Know About Teen Girls,” you might enjoy these other posts, too!

Things I Want My Teen Son to Know Before He Starts Dating

10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know Before She Starts Dating

55 Summer Date Ideas for Teens that Won’t Break the Bank

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