Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 9:34 am | Fair 64º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Not Liking a Boy Who Likes Me, Cell Phone Blues, Parents Don’t Like Me

Question from Amy

So I met this really great guy. He’s sweet and kind but I’m not attracted to him ... and I don’t know what to do. I’m trying to be because I don’t want to hurt his feelings but I’m not.

He also does move fast with his choice of words. Like he says how he feels too much, which I guess comes off to me as a bit desperate. He was there for me when I went through a break up and he started getting feelings for me, and I like that support so I don’t want to lose him as a friend because I think he’s a great guy, but I’m just not feeling it.

What do I tell him???

Weezy

You tell him that you see him as a good friend but that is it. You do this as soon as possible.

Look, scientists have long attempted to learn and understand what exactly it is that causes one person to be romantically attracted to another person. They have no definitive answers. It’s an unknown. It can’t be explained.

You do not need to make any excuses. You should not attempt to force anything. That is not being fair to him. He deserves a girl who is completely into him. Yes, he is being nice to you. But bear in mind, he’s got an agenda. He wants something in return. He wants your love.

We all have agendas. That’s fine. But your agenda and his do not match up. He needs to know that, and you need to lift the burden of his feelings from your shoulders. Tell him your truth. Do it with grace and respect. Love is waiting elsewhere for both of you.

Here is more from Dear Hunter:

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Question from Jason

Is it normal if a 17 year old doesn’t have a cell phone?

Weezy

I’m not sure if “normal” is the right word. It’s not typical. It sounds like you are attempting to arm yourself with intel that you can use against your parents. But you are leaving out large chunks of your story.

If your parents have not yet bought you a cell phone and you swim within a sea of cell phone-wielding 17 year olds, then, yes, your situation, within this information-starved bubble, is not conventional. You are probably feeling like this is unfair. However, before we label your parents as unfit and abusive you do need to ask and answer a few questions.

Are your parents able to afford to a cell phone for you? Have you lost your cell phone privileges by violating your parents’ trust? Have you not yet shown enough responsibility to earn a cell phone? What is happening in your family that has brought about this result?

Always know that to change an unpleasant reality you must be willing to become a part of the solution. So let’s ask and answer more questions. How can you earn more trust? How can you make your own money? How can you afford your own cell phone and cell phone plan? Can you find a used cell phone on eBay?

Can you speak with your parents about what you would need to do in order to receive a cell phone? Lay out an argument with bullet points. Note how and when you will use your cell phone. Talk about how much safer you will feel and how much easier it will be for you to be reached by your parents. Be willing to share your passwords until you are 18 and paying for your own cell phone and plan. Hand your phone to your parents at 10 p.m. Get good grades. Help out around the house.

When you earn your perks and privileges you won’t take them for granted. You will feel much better about them, and you will understand that you need to enjoy them in a way that does not interfere with your life but rather enhances it.

More from Created By Brett:

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Question from Amber

I am having trouble with my parents. I love them but it feels like they wish I was dead. I’ve been trying to tell them that I feel they are not being good parents, but whenever I try to bring it up they won’t listen or they yell at me.

They barely talk to me and when they do it’s always with disapproval. I get no positive attention. My mom does her best to stay at least like 10 feet away, which I’m pretty sure isn’t normal for a mom to feel toward her child. Neither of them seem to actually be looking out for me but are more concerned for themselves.

They pulled me out of public school so they could spend more time with me, but since we live in, like, the middle of nowhere not only do I have no friends but they have been spending less time with me, and it’s like my existence angers them and drives them crazy. I don’t have to do anything wrong, I may just be next to my mom or be passing by and she gets mad because I’m too close to her.

My dad never pays attention to what I say. I’m always wrong. I can’t talk to them about anything. If I like a boy or found someone I want to be friends with, if I’m feeling ill or lonely, nothing. I’m not old enough to drive yet so I need them to take me places and they usually don’t.

How can I either ignore this or fix this? What should I do?

Weezy

My first piece of advice is that you really need to be in school. You and your parents are on each other’s last nerves. This happens even when teenagers are in school all day.

As a teen, your natural inclination is to form and fortify your sense of self. This involves establishing where your parents end and where you begin. Getting this essential job done will involve some defiance and some pushback. As you do this your parents may go on the defensive. They may feel hurt and express that hurt through anger. That then puts you on the defensive, and nobody is able to give anyone else some space to fail. You are all frayed and exposed. It’s just not a good recipe.

In addition, your parents may be going through issues of their own that could make it difficult for them to place your needs first. If you believe this may be the case, then I advise that you suggest family therapy because your problems may require professional help.

In addition, get yourself out of that house and around people your own age. Join clubs and activities. Give you and your parents a chance to miss each other. What you are currently doing is not working.

Start by suggesting that you go back to school. You should also approach your mom or your dad or both of them and say, “We need a relationship reboot. I love you and we are not treating each other with respect or kindness, and I want to know what I can do to improve how we are getting along.”

Since a certain amount of dysfunction has entrenched itself, they may come back at you with something offensive like, “Well, YOU need to improve your attitude!!” DO NOT let that throw you off. DO NOT let that escalate into another argument. Take a breath and say, “I know. I will do that. And what can we all do that will help?” Suggest the family therapy and continue talking.

You are always more capable than you realize of being a big part of the solution to any problem.

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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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