Spotlight On: Jordan Catalano

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Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life was a total dreamboat. Yes, he had the looks part down but there wasn’t all that much depth too him. Jordan wasn’t exactly the sharpest crayon in the crayon box. I always felt sorry for Brian but I always wanted Angela to end up with Jordan simply because Brian got on my nerves. You got to admit, annoying or not, Brian certainly treated her with a hell a lot more respect than Jordan ever did.

The majority of Jordan’s appeal comes from his looks so I’m not even going to try to deny it. He has learning problems which set him back and frustrate him. He doesn’t want people to think he’s stupid but he doesn’t try to stop them. Instead, he basically just struggles in silence. He’s lucky to have Brian help him out with his schoolwork and with getting Angela back even though he’s not appreciative of that at all.

The reason why it really doesn’t matter that Jordan is so well liked because of his looks is because that’s what a lot of teen girls like. Our first crush may not be on the most intellectual guy. I can’t speak on behalf of all girls but this is what I’ve personally found in my own life and in those closest to me. We’re drawn to the popular angsty teen guy because that’s part of who we want to be. We may be a really good girl who’s never done anything dangerous in her whole life but we don’t let that side show. We dream of rebelling with the hot James Dean type. He rebels against his surroundings and that draws the girl in.

Angela maintains her fascination with Jordan throughout the entire first and only season. This is more than just a crush for Angela – Jordan is everything to her. Is this the right decision? Well, it is to Angela and that’s all that really matters at the end of the day since she’s the one forced to live with her choices. Jordan screws up big time – he sleeps with Angela’s best friend. He does this mostly due to the fact that Angela won’t put out and her friend does after the both had been drinking a lot. Setting the plots and storylines and aside and looking at strictly the facts, Jordan is screwed up. And Angela is okay with that and so therefore we’re okay with that too.

Do Age Differences Really Matter?

I touched on this topic a little bit when I brought up having a crush on someone. Often, our crushes may or may not be on someone a lot older than us and part of the fact we like them is because we know it can’t happen but we fantasize about the possibility anyways. This topic is different in some ways due to the fact that crushes are sometimes not always acted on or the person may sadly not feel the same way. This is going to focus on why or why not age differences matter. Hopefully I touch on the pros and cons enough in a way that doesn’t sound too repetitive or preachy!

First things first, age differences do matter. But it depends mostly on what age you are. It’s not a big deal if you’re old enough to make decisions for yourself and live out on your own. You may be asking yourself: “What does that mean? I’m 13 and I make decisions myself because I’m mature for my age.” Regardless of your maturity level, dating someone who is 18 or 19 when you’re 12 or 13 is just a bad situation to be in. There’s a reason why a guy that much older is going for a girl so much younger, and it has nothing to do with you. It may have something to do with his lack of maturity or something of the like. But at such a young age, it’s not going to end well with someone so much older?

Why won’t it go well? 

You may not be able to meet his needs physically. That has nothing to do with you, you may just not be fully developed and you’re still learning and discovering who you are. He’s doing the same thing in a different way. He’s also in a whole different level intellectually and you can’t just be yourself. It can be hard to reach for something to talk about when you have such a big age gap between the two of you. This may not always be the case, but it pretty much typically ends up just the two of you making out in his car. If you’d rather really get to know the person you’re dating, you’re not ready to date someone that different from you.

Another big reason is that you should be acting your age. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to act like the kids you’re age, enjoy your age while it’s still here. Take advantage of that and I think it’s important to experience friends when you’re still in middle school. Dating a senior in high school or a college aged guy when you’re in eighth grade or even a freshman in high school isn’t the best idea because you should be focusing on hanging out with friends and doing the things you love. I’m so glad I waited until I was a lot older to start dating so I was able to enjoy my adolescents as much as possible. I suggest you do the same! You have plenty of time to date whoever you want, cross that bridge when you get there but enjoy the place you’re in your life right now.

Sarah Dessen Books and Teen Love

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Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it. Not because her writing is bad or anything, but because it’s young adult romance books and sometimes it can be considered a guilty pleasure to admit that you totally love them. I’m not going to be ashamed to admit my love anymore. What I really want to say in this post is what these books have to say about teen lust and love and just relationships between teens in general.

“This Lullaby” is a book about Remy, a 18-year-old girl who’s father she never knew wrote a one hit wonder song dedicated to her that she still earns some money off of. She doesn’t believe in love due to watching her mom never really find love. Dexter is a musician she meets that has encountered the same experiences with his mom. Unlike Remy, he has the opposite belief and he is a hopeless romantic and his belief in love flips Remy upside down. What this book says about love is that sometimes it happens with your complete opposite. But you have to take the risk and let it just happen.

“The Truth About Forever,” Macy accepts chaos as she lets Wes into her life. This says a lot about just letting things happen. Note a theme? This Lullaby for the most part had the same theme. Most of the books have a main character who is either really serious, perfect, rejected, and some other similar characteristics. She’s the type of girl who needs reminded of her childlike qualities and being able to truly experience fun. “Along For The Ride” is about Auden, yet another girl who is serious about her studies and not much else. Her mom is a college professor and her dad is a writer. They split up when she was fairly young. In general, Auden was forced to mature at a young age. She never experienced a childhood and instead turned to focusing on her studies and being the best in her class. She spends the summer at the beach with her dad, his new wife, and their new baby daughter. Auden meets Eli who shows her another side to life, a fun side and with him, she experiences her childhood for the first time.

Sarah Dessen’s books are so special to me because they show a whole different side of teen romance. It’s definitely one I’ve personally never experienced. But I love how it takes me to a different place whenever I read them and it gives me a chance to dream. The books may not prepare you for the real world of teen dating, but they give you a chance to get away from reality for a little while. If you haven’t read any books by Sarah Dessen, you should definitely give it a chance.

How To: Distinguishing Between Love and Lust

Being able to know the difference between lust and love is especially tricky sometimes. There’s always those cases where lust is disguised as love. What I mean by that is you get the impression that it’s love and the other person may play along but in the end, they are after one thing and that isn’t love. It can be devastating when something like that happens. It’s even worse when you don’t see it coming so it’s best to just prepare yourself for the worst case scenario. I could be off base completely, but based on what I’ve personally dealt with, here’s some methods to determining when it’s lust and when it’s love.

Lust:

  • Constantly complements you.

I guess it’s possible that if he’s truly interested and leaning on the love end of things, he does this as well. But when it’s lust, it’s like the complements are absolutely complement. When in love, you can actually talk about things and being content with just asking how your day is but with lust that’s typically not the case.

  • The guy never seems content with just talking to you.

Like I alluded to in the last response, talking is important. It can say a lot if the guy isn’t willing to actually have meaningless conversation with you.

  • You go days without talking

You don’t have to talk every second but it’s just weird when these guys magically disappear for days on end.

Love:

  • They don’t care what you do, they just want to spend time with you.
  • They take you out in public during the daytime.
  • Willing to pay for you.
  • Don’t expect anything from you in return.
  • Never pressure you or want to talk about sex all the time.
  • Will send you random messages throughout the day.
  • Respectful and interested in you as a human being.

What to Do When A Friend Changes

People change, it’s a fact of life I’m sure you don’t need me to preach to you. It can be hard to watch a friend change in a negative way. It doesn’t always have to be due to a relationship they are in, although that typically feels like the case. Sometimes people just evolve and see themselves differently, therefore how they see you changes. It has nothing to do with you, this person is just changing and they will still remain in your life if they are a true friend. It’s hard to accept it no matter how old you are. Sometimes, letting go of friends is just a fact of life.

There’s different ways of dealing with this situation and knowing which one to go about really depends on why your friend is changing. If it’s due to a new relationship, it’s best not to mention it initially. It’ll just create drama although I don’t recommend you to act like you are completely okay with this relationship to your friends face. It’s best to just be supportive, but if their significant other is with your friend all the time then gently bring up to your friend that you miss them and wish you could spend more time with each other. It’s best to avoid trash talking or saying anything that your friend might misinterpret as something against their boyfriend. This might seem like common sense, but sometimes you may not intentionally do it, but you’re friend might take it that way so it’s most effective to say positive things about him.

If you notice a dramatic change within your friend, don’t panic. It’s best to handle the situation as calmly and friendly as possible. Like I said, if the friendship is extremely important, then a relationship won’t ruin that. The friendships that end due to change either relationship related or something else, were the ones that didn’t matter anyway. It sucks to lose a friend but sometimes you end up becoming a better person because of it. Some of my best friendships have happened after losing other friends. Things have a way of working out for the better which is something to keep in mind.