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"He doesn't act like my boyfriend"

This guy at my school asked me out except that actually, it was through a mutual friend because he was shy. And now, nothing is happening. It's exactly the same as when we were just friends. We don't hug, we don't hold hands, we don't even sit together on the bus. I'm afraid that if I try to, he'll get embarrassed or I'll be invading his space. He's my first boyfriend.

24 Feb 2005
Name: Unfortunate Situation
Age: 13

Dear Unfortunate Situation,

Well first boyfriends are tough no matter which way you toss the dice, but especially so when they’re painfully shy. And it seems your guy is definitely more than a little timid!

You’re absolutely right that if you move too fast he may get scared or feel like you’re invading his space, but at the same time, he is now supposed to be more than your friend and he’s sure not acting like it!

Without coming on too strong or overrunning his space, little by little start doing a few girlfriend-type things. Maybe write him cute little notes during the day and slip them into his locker for him to find later. Or make a plan to meet at one of your lockers between classes so you can see each other throughout the day? And why not ask him if it would be okay if once in a while you two sat together on the bus? By asking, you’re being respectful of his time and space. He’ll appreciate this, and hopefully, he’ll be glad you took the initiative!

Little by little, things will start to get better and things will become more natural and easy-going. Just remember, all relationships take work. It’s all part of the process!

Good luck!

Dear Dilemma
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