Now, I enjoy talking about this because lots of questions arise, but not to worry, I shall be addressing them in this post.
Some persons have claimed that a boyfriend/girlfriend is a boy/girl you having sexual intercourse with while others will say No oh! He/she is just a friend. So let me end this argument once and for all.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a boyfriend/girlfriend has two definitions and they are:
- A male friend
- A frequent or regular male companion in a romantic or sexual relationship
So, the two schools of thoughts above are actually correct. Now that we have gotten this out of the way, let’s discuss the matter at hand, when is the right age to have a boyfriend/girlfriend.
But before I answer, I have a few questions of my own. When is the right time to buy a car? When is the right time to have a baby? When is the right time to get an education? When is the right time to get married?
I am certain that none of us would give the same response to one or all of the questions I asked above. So in the same way, there is no one age for one to have a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Why is this so?
This is so because we are all different human beings with different values, needs, expectations, and priorities and so we plan to do things at different times based on the factors listed.
Having a boyfriend/girlfriend has its benefits and consequences. Hence, there are certain things for you to take into consideration before deciding that you want to have a boyfriend/girlfriend and they are as follows:
- Love yourself: Now, you can’t give what you don’t have. It’s okay to feel attracted to this person and tag it "love". But it’s important to love you and appreciate yourself. Only then will you be able to reciprocate this love to another person. If you still struggle with loving yourself, it is best you stay off having a boyfriend/girlfriend and seek help from a professional.
- Time commitment: You are going to have to call, text, send chats, keep in touch, go on dates and the list goes on. Now if you love your space or have other things that are extremely important to you and would take all of your time e.g. a new job, education, traveling, etc. then you should think this through well. You won’t be doing either party any good if you can’t give that minimum time commitment.
- Age: There is a popular saying that age is just a number. But think about it? At the adolescent years of 10 – 19 (United Nations definition of adolescents), you want to go out with friends, read your books and pass your exams. Do you want to bother your head over boyfriend/girlfriend matters? For me, the answer is No and I would advise the same for you. Trust me, there will be plenty of boyfriends and girlfriends to have when you older and can handle the needs of a relationship.
- Sexual requests: A lot of teenage girls narrate similar stories of having a boyfriend while in secondary school with promises made not to have sex. As time goes on, the story changes with either party making sexual requests and this results in a fun relationship going sour. So, do you want to worry your pretty head over such matters? What’s important to you right now? But note that according to the Nigerian law, any person younger than 18 is a minor and so cannot consent to sex. Anyone caught having sex with a minor is guilty of child abuse. Hence, an adolescent cannot engage in a sexual relationship. Although, having a casual friend of the opposite sex with no sexual involvement is okay.
- Financial capacity: Recharge cards, chocolates, ice cream, cinema tickets, etc. are all expenses right? But what does this have to do with having a boyfriend/girlfriend? Well, everything because these are some of the expenses you would have to incur. I don’t think at your adolescent years, you would want to be taking care of such expenses when you are still been cared for by your parents with pocket money that can hardly cater to your needs. If you lack financial capacity, do you really need to have a boyfriend/girlfriend because whether we like it or not? Remember, that relationships need money to run.
So these are the five factors to consider before deciding if it’s time to have a boyfriend/girlfriend. I would advise that you wait till when you are emotionally, physically and financially ready and capable to go into a relationship.
I won’t tell you a particular age but let these factors guide you in making that decision.
What is your priority?
I would love to hear from you in the comment section on when you feel is the right age to have a boyfriend/girlfriend and why.
I can’t wait to read your contributions.
Written by Elizabeth Williams