Rasaen, 12, wrote to us that there's a girl he's liked for three years. The problem is that she's his best friend, and he doesn't know how to tell her without possibly hurting the friendship.
Candice, 10, asked us: "There's this guy I really like, but I don't want to tell him, because I don't want him to treat me like a nobody if he doesn't like me, and I don't want to be the biggest dork ever. What should I do?"
'Fessing up to a crush can be terrifying. But it can hurt to keep your feelings inside, and hurt even more to not know what could happen if your crush knew how you felt. Every person and every situation is unique, but there are some basic things to consider when you're trying to decide whether or not to spill the beans:
DON'T feel you have to confess your crush. Believe it or not, crushes don't actually have to lead to anything. Maybe you already know that nothing will ever happen with your crush, but it still makes you feel happy, or helps you look forward to being somewhere because you know you'll see him or her. If you're okay with that, then great! A crush might help you understand what you like and admire in other people. It can also become a special secret you share with a friend. Others might put pressure on you to face your crush, but in the end, these feelings belong to you and nobody else. Only you can decide what you want to happen -- or not happen -- with your crush.
DON'T nurse a crush forever. If a serious crush goes on and on for weeks, months, or even years, it could be turning into an obsession. It might also be taking up much more time and energy than you can spare, or keeping you from noticing someone who really cares about you. If you know for a fact that your crush doesn't like you back, it's probably time to get over it. If you don't know how your crush feels about you, the sooner you find out, the sooner you can get on with your life!
DON'T confess your crush in a group situation. If you have to strike out with your crush, it's easier to do it without an audience, right? There's another reason to avoid groups when you want to confess a crush, though. People don't always act the same way around others as they do when they're alone. You might go up to your crush when he or she is surrounded by friends, spill your guts, and get the cold shoulder. It's possible, though, that your crush would have acted differently if she or he hadn't been feeling self-conscious or peer pressure because of other people present. The same goes the other way, where your crush is alone, but you're the one surrounded by friends. If you feel ready to talk about your feelings with your crush, it makes sense to try to do it one-on-one, so both of you can talk honestly without worrying about what people around you might say or think.
DON'T spend too much time trying to figure out what your crush thinks of you. This can be more difficult than unlocking the secrets of the universe. If you're frustrated because your crush acts one way one day, then a different way the next, you're not alone. Everybody is different, so what you might think is the cold shoulder might just be your crush feeling embarrassed about his or her feelings about you. You can make yourself crazy trying to "read" your crush, and even more crazy if you ask around and hear different things from different people. The only way you're going to know for sure is to ask him or her directly.
DON'T admit your crush anonymously. Sending an anonymous letter or e-mail is tempting, right? The problem with this plan, however, is that it can easily backfire. What happens if your crush gets your letter but think it's from someone else? Ouch! If you feel that writing to your crush is safer and less scary than confessing face-to-face, go for it-but don't forget to sign your name!
DO think twice before you send a friend to be your messenger. Asking your friend to talk to your crush may seem like a good idea, and some of the time it works out. But your friend may do or say things that you wish he didn't, or she might become a little too involved in the operation-which can of course lead to a fight. It might also make your crush think you're too scared or too shy to admit your feelings directly, which may influence how he or she ultimately feels about you.
DO try to get to know your crush. Okay, so your crush is a total hottie-but do you really know his or her personality? If you're crushing on someone who's basically a stranger, try to be his or her friend first. Maybe you'll find out that this person is not for you, but hopefully, you'll get to know him or her and realize your instincts were right. Besides, being friends will make it easier to confess your feelings!
DO be brave and honest. If these are qualities you like in another person, then make sure they're part of who you are, too. Try to talk to your crush in person, and bring up your feelings as part of a normal conversation-rather than blurting out "I have a crush on you!" and then waiting for a reaction. It might help if there's a school event coming up, like a dance or a concert, so you can ask your crush to the dance or to sit next to you. Whatever you say, try to be truthful, and always be yourself. If you act different or try to put on fake personality, then you might have to keep acting like that whenever you're around your crush!
D.J., 11, told us about his plan, which sounds like a great idea. He wrote a note to the girl he really likes, so now he wants to talk to her about it. To get ready, he's been practicing what he wants to say in a mirror, like: "Did you read my letter? I'm glad you did, mostly because I wanted to know if you have feelings for me, too." By giving his crush time to digest the information, and giving himself time to build up his confidence, he's making the whole confession thing much easier on both of them.
Next: Ouch! Denied!