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Does liking someone have to mean headache and heartache? Not necessarily! Here's advice on how to handle all the in's and out's of crush-dom.
   
Advice Topics:

Advice Questions about Crushes:

  • GOI have a really big crush on a boy. The problem is, I don't have any classes with him. When the first school dance comes up, I want to ask him to dance with me. I'm really scared to, I don't know if he'll even know my name. Please help!

  • GOI really like this guy who just happens to be my best friend. I want to tell him how I feel, but I'm scared of what he will think. Also, there's a catch. He likes this girl in his karate class. He comes to me for advice because he wants to tell her. I give him the best advice I have even though it breaks my heart. What should I do?

  • GOHey! I've been crushing on dudes since forever. The hard part is, I'm like the nerd at school. Smart with glasses and acne, so I don't appeal to many guys. What do I do? I try to ask guys out, but they all refuse. I go to my friends, and I take their advice, but it never works. I really need your help!

  • GOI'm almost 10; double digits and I'm so excited! The one bad thing about it is that I don't have a crush. I know that sounds kind of bad but it is true, I don't. Eight of my friends have crushes that I know about and when I hear them saying ‘Hey, don't you like him?’ or ‘Who do you like?,’ it makes me feel bad that I don't have a crush. I'm not saying I'm obsessed with love but I just kind of feel like I need to like someone and that I have a crush but I don't know who he is. I really need your help.

  • GOI really like this guy who used to be one of my best friends. Somehow, he found out I liked him. He hasn't talked to me since. What does that mean and how do I start a conversation with him?

  • GOMe and this girl have been friends forever (literally) and since about 2nd grade (I'm going into 7th now), I started to like her as more than a friend. We hang out at the pool and we talk a lot in school. It seems like she likes me but I'm not sure. How do I tell her how I feel?

  • GOThere's this boy at school. Everyone says he's gross and weird. A lot of people make fun of him, but my two best friends and me don't and he always hangs out with us. Everyone has been telling me that he likes me. He's never actually denied it, but he also doesn't seem to pay attention to what they say. I think I may like him, but I can't tell for sure if he likes me. Whenever my friends ask me if I like him, I tell them I like him as a friend. I'm really afraid that people will make fun of me if I say I like him too. Not to mention the humiliation if he doesn't like me!

  • GOSome of my classmates tell me that a girl in my class likes me, and will tell me at my basketball game on Sunday. Thing is, this girl is the one I've secretly liked for almost a year now. What should I do?

  • GOI have this crush on a girl, and I'm planning on asking her to hang out at recess (I'm in middle school). I'm not sure if I should. Do you have any tips on how to do it? I'm only in two classes with her, and I need to do it in the morning. Please help me out!

  • GOI just got rejected by someone I really like. That is the 2nd person this week that has rejected me. I feel so ugly. What should I do?

  • GOI am in love with a celeb! I have fantasies about him and I all day and I even get depressed thinking about that most probably a relationship with him won't work out unless I get famous all of a sudden! The thing is that I have really, really deep feelings for him and since I think about him all day in school, I don't pay attention to my teachers and my grades are beginning to fail! How can I get this celeb off my mind so I can get my life back in place?

  • GOI'm home schooled and I go to this church on my street, and in my youth group there is this girl I've been bugging over for 4 months but I am so shy since I don't socialize as much as most kids, I have feelings for her that are so deep I get so depressed. I can't work up enough courage to talk to her. What should I do?

  • GOI'm having a problem with crushes. The thing is, I like to get to know a lot of people, which is fine, but when I form a close friendship with a boy, it always turns into a crush. CURSE YOU, HORMONES! I start thinking about them more than I would normally, and it's so annoying. I wouldn't care so much if it didn't affect EVERY SINGLE FRIENDSHIP I've had with a guy this school year. Is there anything I can do to keep myself from crushing on everyone? I am not looking for any romantic relationships; right now, I'd rather stay away from them. Why can't I control my emotions and keep from drooling over a guy every time we get close?

  • GOI am the quiet guy in the corner, and my friend is one of the popular guys. I have been crushing on this girl since the third grade, but my friend has already told her he likes her. They have broken up now, but I have a hunch that my friend might get back together with her. I have not yet told the girl about my feelings, but one side of me says the window of opportunity is here. What should I do?

  • GOI have recently gotten turned down by a girl that I asked out. And this isn't just a crush. I really love her. And when I think about how she doesn't like me the same way, I get really depressed and I actually cry sometimes. It seems like the only way I can be happy is if I can have this girl. Can you help me?

  • GOI like this girl. She is fun to be around, and she looks real fine. The only problem is that she's black, and I'm white. I know race doesn't matter, but I don't think she will go out with a white boy. We are good friends, and I'm glad that we are, but I kind of want more.

  • GOI have a crush on this girl in school. I think she almost feels the same way about me. The only problem is that her mom doesn't like her to hang around boys. Her mom is like an overprotective parent. I really want she and I to become friends, but her mom doesn't approve. What should I do?

  • GOI know this may sound kinda stupid, but I think I'm in love with my French teacher. I always enjoyed my French lessons, and always got down to doing great work. But ever since the residential trip to France, I've seen my teacher in a new light. Is this normal? How can I deal with it?

  • GOI can't stop thinking about my best guy friend. I think I might be crushing on him, but I'm not sure. If I am, should I tell him? We have been friends since the 5th grade, and now we are going in to 8th. I don't want to lose this friendship. He sometimes shows off in front of me. All of my friends say he likes me and we would be perfect together. At times I sometimes believe them, but other times I don't. Should I ask him out?

  • GOI really like this guy and he found out about it! He told my friend that he knew about it because my face turned red when I talked to him. How am I supposed to act around him? I've kinda been avoiding him.

  • GO"I love this TV show. It is animated, but not a comedy. I love it so much that I have a crush on one of the characters. I have even daydreamed myself into half-believing he's out there somewhere. He is smart, kind, and polite. All of the boys I know are ignorant, rude horrors who curse and like rap music and steal locks off of lockers. I can't love anyone like that. Please help!"

  • GOI really like this kid. I met him over a chat room and he is ten. Is he telling the truth or am I in danger? He had no profile.

  • GOI think that I may have a big crush on this guy that also happens to be my best friend. If I tell him that I like him, he might not like me back or might not want to be my friend anymore, and I'm too shy anyway. What do I do?

  • GO"There is this girl that I like, but she and this guy are boyfriend and girlfriend. How do I make her like ME so it's she and I who are boyfriend and girlfriend? She's already my friend, but just a friend."

  • GO"I like one of the most popular boys in our grade, yet I'm not one of the 'preps.' Do u guys have any idea how I could get his attention?"

  • GO"There are these two boys at school who both have a mega crush on me but I don't like either one. How do I break it to them that I don't like them?"

  • GOThree's a crowd! Many of you wrote in for advice on what to do if you and your friend like the same person.

  • GO"There is this girl. I like her. I think she feels the same way about me. How do I know if she likes me? Once I know that she likes me, how do I tell her that I like her?"

  • GO"I have this guy who acts so weird when I'm around. I don't know whether he likes me or not. I like him but I don't know how to tell him. So what must I do?"


Dear IML,
There are these two boys at school who both have a mega crush on me but I don't like either one. How do I break it to them that I don't like them?
--Amanda, 13

An expert responds:
From Faye Terrebonne Arco, M.Ed., Drug Prevention School Safety Specialist, PPS - School Counseling

Hi Amanda,
Crushes can be difficult and delicate to handle. It sounds like you don't want to hurt these guys, but you want to let them know that you don't feel about them the way they feel about you. Sometimes, time takes care of these things. If you wait, maybe the boys will fall for someone else. If you're not comfortable waiting, maybe you could find an opportunity to speak to each one of the boys alone. Let each one know that you value him as a friend and that you appreciate his friendship. You don't have to say anything else unless you choose to. Remember that one day you may have a crush on a boy who doesn't return your feelings. Think about how you would like to be treated in that situation and use the same compassion and patience with this one. Kindness, confidentiality, and time may help you out of this sticky situation.
Best of luck, Amanda.

The IML Mentors respond:

Dear Amanda,
Your situation is very common. Well, maybe you could do it in a nice way. I don't think you want to hurt anybody's feelings. For example, you could tell both of them that they are very nice people but you would rather stay friends. It's important that you get a truthful message across but again, you can do this in a nice way. Don't make up an excuse and lie to them because they'll eventually find out and will be hurt even more.
--Audom, IML Mentor

Hey Amanda,
There are a lot of approaches you can take to this situation. The first is to just outright tell them, but that can sometimes be hurtful even though it's the truth. Another way is to tell them that you're not looking to be in a relationship but you'd love to be friends. That way they can continue to be friends with you without expecting anything more. That can always be a good move because it widens your spectrum of friends. It all depends on the approach you want to take. The best model is to think about how you would want to be told and then apply it to the boys.
--Mikey, IML Mentor

Dear Amanda,
I had a similar situation in 6th grade! I am going to give you the same advice my mom gave to me. It is very hard for guys to admit that they have a crush on you, so be nice, let them both down gently. Maybe you could tell them that although they are really nice guys, you would like to remain just friends. Don't end at this though. The guys will feel let down and probably embarrassed, so make it a point to say 'Hi' when you see them. Maybe you'll find some great new friends in these guys. Good Luck,
--Cyntianna, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
I like this boy. But my friend does too. What do I do?
--Kelly, 9

Dear IML,
Me and this girl Amanda like the same boy. What should I do?
--Tara

Dear IML,
There is this guy and I like him, but I don't know if he likes me. And the other problem is that my best friend likes him and I don't want her to hate me. She is having a party and he is going to be there. What do I do?
--Jamie, 11

An expert responds:
From Josephine Schiff, MSW, LCSW, school social worker in Union City, NJ public schools

Dear Kelly, Tara, and Jamie,
Do you ever watch the Olympics on TV? Athletes compete against each other, and if they win, they get a medal and everyone applauds for them. Except in your case, there's no medal, but there is a boy. And you and your friends are involved in the "Who-will-he-like" Olympics! But there's no winner here. You may lose a girlfriend and/or a boy who might have been a good friend, too. In the schools where I work, many girls go through the same thing. BUT, if the boy ever does make his 'decision,' then the girl's interest is over. "OK, the boy likes me....now what?" Meanwhile, good friendships are broken. This competition will NOT decide who you are and how special you are. You ARE special!!! It's up to you to decide how to believe this. Fighting over a boy does not determine your worth!

From Nyla Rogers, M.F.T.:

Dear Kelly, Tara, and Jamie,
Consider getting to know the person that you have a crush on and try to become friends. I think that friendship is the most important thing in a relationship. Sometimes somebody may be cute to you, but may not be the right friend for you. Have your friends get to know him too and then consider asking him who HE wants to be with. Perhaps all three of you can be friends and let it happen from there.

The IML Mentors respond:

Hey Kelly, Tara, and Jamie,
I totally understand what you guys are going through because the same thing has happened to me twice. The first time I learned the hard way, by trying to "be better" than my friend to win the person I liked over to my side. But believe me, that is the WRONG thing to do. I almost ruined my friendship over a girl. I learned from that mistake and the second time it happened, I knew what to do. Always put your friendship first, because that friend of yours has been with you, and having someone come between you two isn't worth it.
--Jaron, IML Mentor

Get more info in IML's section on When Friends Fight.

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Dear IML,
Hello. There is this girl. I like her. I think she feels the same way about me. How do I know if she likes me? Once I know that she likes me, how do I tell her that I like her?
--Justin, 11

The IML Mentors respond:

Hey Justin,
We all have these times where we get stuck wondering if the person we like, likes us back. The best thing to do is keep treating her like a friend and don't get too weird around her, because she'll notice. Hang out with her a lot and if it seems like she's enjoying your time together, then something is right! Take it slowly and just get to know her, and then just tell her you like her because by that time you'll know her well. The best way to tell her you like her is just to say it straight. Good Luck!
--Jaron, IML Mentor

Dear Justin,
Crushes are very complicated! There's never any right or wrong way to go about your situation. If you want to find out if she likes you, maybe you can try having a friend talk to her. You can always ask her yourself if she likes anyone at the moment. Girls can be very confusing, though, when it comes to talking about whom they secretly like. I remember my friends and I refused to tell our guy friends who we had crushes on, especially if we were talking to the ones we really liked. So if you find out that she "doesn't like anyone," don't be discouraged, she might be really shy. If she says that she likes you, there are a few ways to let her know you like her too. You can call her, write her a letter, have a friend tell her, or tell her in person. It's your call-go with what you feel the most comfortable with. If she likes you, you can't really go wrong with how you let her find out. I hope it works out for you!
--Jenna, IML Mentor

Dear Justin,
If you're close to any of her friends (girls particularly), ask them if she's asked about you. Ask them their opinions on how they think she feels about you. If you're still not sure about this girl, watch how she acts towards you. Is she super friendly towards you? Is she always around you during class, at recess, or when walking home from school? If so, maybe she is interested in you. In that case, you should show her that you like her too, and offer to do nice things for her. You could also ask her if she would like to hang out with you and a group of friends somewhere. If she says, 'yes,' when you do hang out, show her some attention by talking to her a lot. In the end, you'll know where the two of you stand (if she likes you or not, and in what way). If it doesn't work out, then it wasn't meant to be.
--Tiffany, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
I have this guy who acts so weird when I'm around. I don't know whether he likes me or not. I like him but I don't know how to tell him. So what must I do?
-- Rebecca, 12

Dear IML,
I want the cutest boy in my class. However, I'm pretty popular. I just need advice on boys. Thank you if you answer this question.
--Abby, 13

The IML Mentors respond:

If someone likes me, I want her to flatter me occasionally, though I do not want her to be someone she is not. On the other hand, if I was trying to get someone to notice me, I would not feel very comfortable doing the same. I would just try to be extremely cordial, and courteous, which will get the person's attention.
--Jay, IML Mentor

Boys are very complicated but the most important thing to remember is to have confidence. Put the situation in perspective and follow your gut instinct. If you feel like he likes you and you like him, then go for it. What's the worst that can happen? I know that it's uncomfortable, but I promise he is just as nervous as you are.
--Lindsey, IML Mentor

Read how other kids are getting their crushes to notice them in
You Said It.

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