Monday, May 21 , 2018, 11:12 pm | Fair 59º


Louise Palanker: Walkward Courtship Maneuvering, Middle School Fears, Teasing about Love

Question from Ariel

Basically, what happened was that we got out of work super late and my coworker, who is also my friend, wanted to walk me all the way to my house. He lives on the other side of town, and I know that guys like to be protective of girls, but I said no. We wound up arguing about this for over an hour.

One issue is that I live on my own in a not-so-nice neighborhood with lots of roommates, and I don’t want to feel judged by him. But I think I hurt his ego or whatever guys have. But I do like taking care of myself.

The next day at work I could just feel that he was annoyed and was avoiding me. We’re both so stubborn so I’m kinda getting the feeling this is gonna go on for a while. I just want to know if I’m wrong. I know there are bigger problems in the world but I can’t get this out of my mind.


You hurt more than his ego. You hurt his heart. He likes you romantically, and he is feeling that if you liked him back you might have let him walk you home.

Offering to walk a girl home is usually more than that. It’s not just about the chivalry. It’s a courtship maneuver. It has been since the dawn of girls and guys and homes.

If you do not like the guy that way, well then things can get a bit awkward at your doorway when you don’t invite him in or if he goes in for a kiss while you duck for your keys. So yes, when a girl says no to this suggestion, the guy will feel rejected.

Here is the bottom line: This did not require an hour of conversation. He offered to walk you home. You said, “No thanks. I’m good.” That should have been it. At this point, you make your exit with a smile and say, “Bye. See you tomorrow.” DO NOT allow a guy to make you feel that you owe him more time with you.

HOWEVER, the twist here is that I think that you DO like him. So, have a conversation. Tell him your truth. Your communication is clouded by fears, insecurities and assumptions. Clear that up.

If you would like to spend social time with this guy, then suggest coffee or yogurt and a walk. Maybe not all the way home. Explain your living situation. Tell him it makes you feel insecure. He likes you. He will set your mind at ease and you two can take your friendship from there.

We discussed this question on our most recent podcast, Journals Out Loud:

(Journals Out Loud video)

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Question from Leona

Hello! So I’m going into middle school. It’s a big change and I am really scared. Most of my nervousness comes from the movies I watch (which is a bad example). There’s so much drama between the girls about guys, outfits, grades, etc.

In elementary school, everyone is kind and loving. I’m a straight-A student and don’t care what others think of me. Will that change? I’m not alone. I have parents and friends who are here for me. I’m just really scared and need all the advice I can get. Thank you!


I think you are going to be just fine. Kids in middle school are certainly at their most cruel, so if someone throws some shade your way, brush it off as best you can. Know that this is not about you. It’s about your age group. Keep smiling. Don’t engage with drama. Talk to your parents and your friends. Hear their stories. You are not in this alone.

Also, bear in mind that in order to make a movie interesting there must be a protagonist, an antagonist and some conflict or tension. It’s usually exaggerated and it is not real life. Everyone going into middle school is scared so make it your mission to help put others at ease. Become a beacon of acceptance. That is how you will shine.

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Question from Sierra

Hi! I know two guys who like me. One admitted it to me and the other one people just say he likes me. People tease me and say I like them, but I don’t and it’s causing a lot of weird (not horrible) drama. It’s mostly the second one. What should I do?


Let it blow over. There is a reason why most songs and movies contain a love story. We are fascinated by romance! Both fictional and real. People cry at films. They cry at weddings. They cry at Facebook relationship status updates.

Love is the most interesting gossip topic of all time. Forever and always. People are just going to talk. It may be about you today. It will be about someone else tomorrow. You may even find yourself being one of the people doing the talking. Who can blame you? Love is fascinating.

When you find yourself being teased about matters of the heart just smile, laugh it off, change the topic or say, “I’m not interested in dating anyone right now.” Or say, “Hey, give me a minute to consider my options!”

Don’t try to shut down the topic by proclaiming, “Oh, that guy? Yuck!” That will get back to the boy and hurt someone’s feelings.

If you make this not a big deal it will become not a big deal.

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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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