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Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.


I really, really like a certain guy, but he doesn't seem to be interested. How do I show him that I like him without appearing to be obsessed?
15 year old female from Canada


This is an age old dilemma. If I could answer this specifically I would be rich and famous! Here are some things for you to consider in your specific situation.

One thing that may work for you is to determine what common interests you share. You may want to ask him what his hobbies are, or ask someone who knows him well. If you share a common interest you may have something to talk about that leads into spending more time together. This is a good way to get to know someone better and explore other possibilities for the relationship. If you are both sports enthusiasts you may get together to watch a game, or attend an event together. If your interest is in star gazing, invite him over to look at the stars one evening, then see what develops.

In this day and age it is not unusual for females to take the initiative and ask guys they are interested in to go out. You may want to invite him to a group outing until you feel more secure in your relationship, or ask him to join you for a soda one day. You can work your way up to something more involved, or send him the signal that you are interested so that he initiates another meeting. Spending time together with a group is a safe way to get to know one another better while working on your relationship as friends.

You could also ask him for his phone number or tell him that you would like to talk with him, give him your number and ask him to call you. Sometimes it is easier to communicate at first by phone, rather than in person. As you get to know him better you will have more ideas about what things you like to talk about or do together. I remember being your age and spending hours on the phone everyday!

Of course, through the ages we have relied on our friends to match-make and send messages between us and our love interests, so I suppose that is not out of the question. It can create confusion and result in mixed messages, so if you choose this route, be careful to get the message straight! Then of course, you can write notes. When I was your age note-writing was a big deal, both between friends and potential mates. I am not sure what information was exchanged in all those notes, but at the time it was very important to me.

One other thing you may choose to do is just ask him out. This is easier to do for some people than others. Girls and guys alike share the fear of rejection that comes with making the first move, so you have to do what you are comfortable with. It is difficult for younger teens who don't drive to actually go on a date, so you may have to meet at the movie theater, arcade or wherever. You may be able to do this a few times without declaring the meeting an official date, which can relieve some of the pressure.

Whatever you decide to do, try to keep it simple. You may want to practice your speech before you actually say it to him. It helps to write it down and read over it until it flows smoothly. Practice with a friend or record it on tape and listen to it. Work on it until you get it right and feel comfortable saying it . . . then, go for it! Good luck!


LuAnn Pierce, MSW, CMSW
Author of Growing up Sane (in uncertain times)
Seminar Leader Growing Well Adjusted Kids
Editor-in-Cheif Person to Person: Strengthening Youth & Families
Telephone Counselor Affinity Counseling Center
Affinity Books & Resource Center: Your Source for Emotional Wellness


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