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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 5:33 am | Fair 46º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Confessing Affection, Feeling Sex Pressure, Fight Rules

Question from Julia

Should I tell him that I like him or not? If I tell him how should I say it? I’m thinking “Hey, how’s your day been?” His answer ... “So I just want to tell you that I really really like you.” Then I’m worried what will happen next.

Also, I would like to talk to him alone, so like at lunch or playtime or after school?

Weezy

With great risk can come great reward or great disappointment. There are no shortcuts or easy pathways to confessing affection. You just have to either do it or not do it. If you decide to do it, you will be worried about what happens next until you hear his answer.

But the best way to know what he is thinking is to tell him what you are thinking. And doesn’t he deserve to know the truth about your friendship? You now have feelings for him. That will change the way you interact and he should have a chance to know and understand your feelings and behaviors.

My advice is that you find a good place and time, and then you just blurt it out as you have so wisely outlined. You may not get a clear answer. You may wind up hurt, but he will know your truth and he will have a chance to think about it.

As you two continue to grow up together, he will remember that at this moment in his childhood a girl told him that she cared for him. That means a ton. He may not be ready to return your feelings. He may never be ready. He may give you a big smile and tell you that he likes you back.

You won’t know until you say what’s on your mind and then, no matter how he responds, you will know that you are a person who does brave things.

(Josh Tryhane video)

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Question from Ashley

So I started dating this guy. I’ve never had a boyfriend or dated before, so he’s special to me. He was in a bad mood last night, so I asked him what was wrong. He told me he was texting one of his best friends yesterday but couldn’t get back to her cause we were on only our second date. So when he told her that, she replied with “did you guys have sex?”

When he told me I immediately felt disrespected, and I asked him what he said. He told me that he also felt like his friend’s comment was disrespectful to both of us, but he simply didn’t respond. I was annoyed at him for not standing up for us. His friend was rude and disrespectful, and he just didn’t say anything.

I already told him that I didn’t like that he didn’t do anything, but he told me he didn’t understand what made her say that and that he didn’t expect that from a friend of seven years. He said he’ll talk to her, but I already don’t have a good impression of her and I don’t think I’d like her if I ever were to meet her.

Am I overreacting? Cause we both don’t drive yet and we spend a lot of time at his house, which is nice, but I totally wouldn’t like for people to misunderstand our behavior. Sex is no way near my head at this moment, and I know those aren’t his intentions with me. I just want to create memories, get to know him and grow with him.

Weezy

You will be able to do all of the above. You are not overreacting. You get to feel everything you are feeling and, based on the jarring nature of that question, your feelings would be shared by most of us. The whole scenario is pretty layered, and so I would like to highlight some elements for you.

Your boyfriend was texting a female friend who asked him a blunt and rude and none-of-her-business question. It’s also a very loaded question, and here’s why: The concept of two people potentially having sex is pretty new to you guys. Kids your age have not yet figured out the acceptable norms and mores associated with discussing our sexual choices — not this girl and not your boyfriend.

So far, in this story, you are the only person who is behaving appropriately. Let me digress further with these points:

» Your boyfriend should not have shared any of this with you. He may have seen this as an opportunity to float the concept of sex. He was wrong. Among reasons for sex becoming a discussion topic for the two of you, “Because a Friend Asked” is a not a good one.

» Guys and girls tend to be very different regarding perceptions of their sexual histories. Guys are more prone to fabricating a sex life when they do not yet have one. Girls can feel shamed if they do and mocked if they don’t. Knowing that people will talk no matter what you do or say should empower you to do what is right and best for you.

» Your boyfriend’s guy friends are certainly going to ask these types of questions, and he should be a gentleman about it and say, “Hey now. That’s personal.” Which bring us to, exactly why is a girl asking this question?

» It may have popped out of her mouth or off her fingers because she likes him and she is jealous. Maybe. I don’t know. But it’s a possibility. Don’t go nuts interrogating him about that concept. Don’t just decide to hate her. You don’t know her. He is dating you, not her. He wants to be with you.

» Don’t get overly concerned about your “reputation” or what other people are saying. As alluded to in my second point, no matter what you do, folks are going to wonder if you and the person you are dating have been sexually intimate. Why? Because folks are nosy and folks think about sex. That’s all. Let them think whatever they are going to think. You can tell a close friend or two that you two are not ready for that. You can discuss it with your mom if you choose to do that. You can talk to your boyfriend about all of this, but it really is between the two of you.

» You should be clear with your boyfriend about why this situation has really bothered you. Share how you would have preferred him to have answered this girl’s question: “Not your business.” She probably feels close enough to him to ask that question. She will learn through this experience that we all need to be really cautious when asking questions of this nature. Posing them via text is especially treacherous. And your boyfriend will learn that protecting you and your feelings is a big part of being in a loving and committed relationship. You will do the same for him.

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Question from Rachel

So my boyfriend and I are in a fight. Here is some background info, Jack is a family friend who I’ve known since birth. We are now 16 and 18. A bit before my boyfriend and I started dating, I had to sleep over at Jack’s family’s house. I slept in his bed with him because he is like a brother to me and I didn’t want to sleep on the floor. He was very cuddly in his sleep and I had to keep pushing him away.

I told my boyfriend about all of this and he hasn’t liked him ever since. These are excerpts from our current fight:

Boyfriend: Is it that hard to send me a quick message saying “hey babe I’m going over to Jack’s to watch his soccer game?”

Me: I’m sorry. It slipped my mind. I just forgot to mention it.

More texts and then ...

Me: You obviously don’t want to talk but I would like to know you’re OK.

Boyfriend: You don’t care about if I’m OK or not. I know exactly what you’re doing. You were upset because you think I don’t want to hang out with you and you’re punishing me. All I wanted is an afternoon to myself and in return you didn’t message me all day and you went over to Jack’s even though you knew I wasn’t that comfortable with him because of what’s happened. You didn’t because you were trying to make me feel bad. I’m sick of the mind games. I can’t deal with this anymore.

Me: That’s all completely incorrect and none of that is what’s actually going on. How can you just decide that?

Boyfriend: What’s the truth then?

Me: I don’t care if you want time to yourself. I get that. That’s completely fine. I’m not “punishing you.” I wouldn’t do that; it’s extremely childish and not like me at all. Yes I thought you didn’t want to hang, and that’s why I said I wouldn’t be coming over to give you space, not because I was upset about it, just because I wanted to respect what you wanted. I didn’t intentionally not message you all day. I was busy, that’s it. I was enjoying my time at work and with my family. It had nothing to do with “punishing you.” I didn’t decide to go to the Greens’ house or the game either. Mum wanted to go and I was with her so I didn’t do it to piss you off or whatever. I’m not that sort of person. I’d like to think I’m actually much better than that, and I’m sad you don’t think more of me. Also, I talked to Jack maybe twice, once when I came in and said hi to everyone, not just him. The rest of the like 10 minutes he was there at the house, I was washing the dog in their tub because we just got back from the beach. He had left by the time I finished. I spent time chatting and hanging out with Mum, Melissa and Deb. The second time I spoke to Jack was on the way out when I said goodbye to everyone, not just him. That’s the truth.

I want to know if I am in the wrong or not. Please help!!

Weezy

I don’t have good news. I am seeing red flags here. This guy is using passive aggressive language and projection. He’s accusing you of “punishing” him and of mind games. He’s punishing you. His texts are loaded with mind games.

A relationship with this type of person can get really twisted really quickly, and you will spend a lot of time attempting to untwist his “logic,” and defend your own actions, as illustrated in your text exchange. This won’t get better, it will get worse.

To back up just for a quick moment, you should not be sleeping in a bed with any male friend. You guys are not little kids. Humans are complicated creatures. Your parents should know better.

Don’t even sleep in the same room with Jack anymore. Even sisters and brothers should have separate rooms by the time puberty hits. Hormones have kicked in and Jack is going to dream about the stuff boys dream about and you should not be within arm’s reach while he does it.

Back to your boyfriend. He sent you a text that reads, “Is it that hard to send me a text ...?” That is sarcasm and passive aggression. The boyfriend you deserve would have been more like, “Hey, what’s up? I missed you.” Your guy wrote, “You don’t care if I’m OK.” He could have said, “I’m feeling upset. Can we talk?”

Texting is for fun and information. It is not for heightened emotions. Once the conversation gets heated, you need to speak with each other. If he is feeling jealous and upset about how you were spending your time, then he needed to talk with you about it.

Once you find yourself having to over-explain your day to a romantic partner, you really need to think about the health of your relationship. You need to trust each other and you need to communicate with each other using productive, kind and loving language. I am not seeing that from him.

Of course I am just seeing a snippet of your communications. Talk to him in person about all of this. If he continues to twist everything and accuse you and paint himself as the victim, then it really is time for you to move on. You deserve trust, truth, love and kindness.

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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 also hosts a weekly video podcast called Things I Found Online, and 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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