Dear Dish-It: What's My Next Move?

Dear Dish-It: Love & Dating Advice
What's My Next Move?

Dear Dish-It,

I'm 16, and there's this boy I was slightly interested in since September, when I first met him. We went to the same school, and since about 2 weeks ago, he suddenly talked to me more, cracked jokes with me, and then he even phoned me to ask about homework.

A few days later, I had to move to a new school not very far away. One day I went to visit my friends at the old school. Most of my classmates just said bye and went home, and in the end I was left with two close female friends and this boy... I think it's around this time that I realized I love him, but I couldn't just keep it to myself forever, I needed to talk to someone so I told one of my close male friends, Matt.

But then a few days later Matt told me he thought it would be better to tell the boy I like him, and he really did. I was shocked and asked Matt about the boy's answer; apparently he had said "I wanna stay friends coz she didn't give me enough time to get to know her well". So I told Matt to tell the guy that for now, I wanna be good friends with him too.>

Though I haven't seen him for more than a week, it seems my feelings are growing. He came on MSN two times but I was sorta scared to talk to him so I didn't... Then yesterday I sent him a text message and he answered, to my relief.

I don't know what to do. Is it still possible for us to be together someday? And if so how can I get him to 'know me better'...? How should I act, should I strike conversation on msn when he comes on? Text him? Should I eventually ask him to meet me somewhere? If so, how should I ask and where?

A detailed, prompt response would be extremely appreciated... Thank you so much!!


Dear arto,

First of all, I think it’s important for you to remember that while I enjoy getting questions and giving my best advice to all of you guys on Kidzworld, I don’t have all the answers – especially when it comes to relationships. Unlike mathematics, where 1 + 1 definitely makes 2, there are no hard and fast rules to love. I say this because of your request for “a detailed, prompt response.” It seems like you are pinning all your hopes on what I say – which shouldn’t be the case. At the end of the day, you can only trust your own gut – that is to say, if you don’t like or agree with my advice, there’s nothing wrong with going against it, if that’s what you feel you need to do.

(Also, in terms of my being “prompt” with my reply, I hope everyone out there keeps in mind that I receive about 25 new questions every single day – it’s hard for me to get to all of them in a timely manner, though I try my very best.)

Having said that, I’m afraid I don’t agree with your statement “I love him.” While no one can tell you when or how real love starts or even feels, I think it’s important in your case to be very aware of the difference between having a crush on or liking someone as more than a friend and true, deep, meaningful love. When you love someone, there’s usually already a commitment in place between yourself and the other person. That commitment, whether it be sharing a house or apartment, marriage or children, requires you to think twice when things in your relationship don’t quite go according to plan. What you have is a crush, and while crushes bring a lot of intense feelings with them, they don’t require the same degree of thought or attachment that a love relationship does.

To be more specific about your question, it sounds to me like this guy really liked you at one point but, because you two didn’t have a relationship or a serious commitment to each other, it didn’t take much time for his feelings to change. I’m not trying to be unkind – it’s just a normal part of life for your feelings about the many people you meet along the way to grow and change and, in many cases, lessen. It happens all the time, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Plus, it doesn’t mean there’s no chance for his feelings for you to grow once again and for the two of you to have a deeper relationship. Anything is possible – that’s something you should always remember.

So now the question is, where do you go from here? You asked me what I think you should do – and you wanted me to answer in very specific terms (I’m guessing you want me to tell you what to write to him in your next MSN convo, or what to type if you decide to text him again). But I can’t do that for you (just like I can’t live your life for you). Those are decisions you need to make, and you need to make them keeping the person that matter most in mind: you. What’s best for you and what will ensure you take the best care of yourself possible (i.e., prevent yourself from getting into a situation that may leave you feeling hurt or sad)?

It’s hard for me to say what you should do at this point. You could pursue this guy (i.e., make it known to him that you like him and want to have a relationship with him), and there are tons and tons of ways to go about doing that. You mentioned a couple of those ways: MSN and texting. Besides those, you could call him, send him an e-mail, write him a note or a letter, arrange to hang out with him when your other friends get together, ask him to go out on a date with you, etc. If you don’t mind putting yourself out there and, possibly, having your feelings rejected (although it sounds to me like he really liked you once and could quite possibly like you again), then go ahead and do it: talk to him next time you see him on MSN or text him back and remember to ask him lots of questions about himself and his life since it’s not all about him finding out more about you, it’s also about you learning more about him. You can also try and spend more time with him in person if you guys run with the same group of friends (again, when you see him and get a chance to talk, just ask lots of questions about him and give him the same chance to ask you questions about you).

The other option, of course, is to just sit back and see what happens (that is, let him make the next move if he likes you). Some people will tell you this is the wrong approach – that what you need to do is be active to get what you want, not passive and wait for the things you want to come to you. But I don’t necessarily agree with that. Sometimes when we try to manipulate the situations in our lives so they turn out the way we want them to, we actually end up doing more harm than good. Plus, there’s a lot to be said for being patient and letting life reward you when the time is right (good things come to those who wait!). Whatever you decide to do, do it with confidence and conviction (meaning, don’t be shy to strike up a convo with him on MSN if you want to!), listen to your gut (most of the answers you need will come to you if you let them!) and remember – at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what other people think of you. What really matters is how you feel about yourself. That’s what will get you from this crush to the a more a meaningful relationship, whether it be with this particular guy or with someone else.

More Great Dish-It Advice:

  • I Like Him & He Likes Me
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  • What Should I Do About My Crush?
  • Does He Like Me?

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    commented: Sun Sep 11, 2011

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