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"I can't tell if I really like him"

I have a problem when it comes to relationships Ė I like to be liked and in them. I recently came out of a long relationship and jumped directly into another one which blew up in my face. Two months later and I have a problem again. I have this guy friend and I flirt with him a lot. I tend to flirt with a lot of people but my friends specifically chose him to tease me about.

Now I am starting to think that I may have a thing for him and I think he may have a thing for me but heís really shy about that sort of stuff. When we are in groups we joke around a lot. He is nervous about talking about me to others (so I have heard.) I donít know if this is because he likes me, if I bother him, or what the deal is. When itís just me and him, heís quieter and I never know what to say.

Firstly I don't know if he likes me. Second, I'm too unsure of myself to know if I like him or if this attraction is simply because heís fun to be around and my friends tend to push me towards him. You can see my dilemma. I am absolutely lost on how to handle this situation. Help?

14 June 2006
Name: Jennie
Age: 16

Dear Jennie,

You yourself say you tend to move too quickly from one relationship to the next, so rather than worry so much about whether this guy you may or may not likes you back, why not just let things flow naturally and see what happens?

Hereís the thing Ė relationships are great, but only when weíre in them for the right reasons. Being in a relationship simply for the sake of having someone there isnít fun or healthy. People do it for different reasons: Because they donít want to be alone, because theyíre bored, because by being with someone else they donít have to get to know or spend time with themselves. But when it comes down to it, the only reason we should be with someone is because we want to Ė because we love them (or really like them!) and want to build a relationship them.

From what Iím hearing from you, the reason you think you like this guy is because your friends are pushing you in that direction. Itís definitely a lot of fun to have a crush, and oftentimes friends influence who we like, but donít just crush for the sake of crushing. Whatís more important here is that you actually like this guy Ė so give it some time and figure that out.

Donít push your relationship with him down a path it normally wouldnít go Ė keep hanging out with him, have fun with him, flirt. Feel it out. The more you hang with him, see how you feel based on YOUR feelings (and not what your friends think). And if youíre truly into him, then go for it! But if not, maybe the lesson to be learned here is that you can be single (and have fun doing it) and this particular guy is just meant to be your friend.

Good luck!

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