Q: I am a 15-year-old girl who has trouble with boys. I've liked boys before, but they never like me back. Is there something wrong with me? I did have one boy like me, and we went out last year for about two months. But now boys are back to not liking me.
I like this one boy who used to sit in front of me. He would talk to me, and I thought he liked me back. I wrote him a letter telling him how I felt. After that he stopped talking to me. So I wrote him another letter, telling him how I felt about him not talking to me.
But now our seats have been moved. During class he sits there and flirts with me. I'm so confused. What can I do so I won't be so confused? Please help me.
A: You may be having trouble figuring out the difference between a boy being friendly to you and a boy showing interest in you as a girlfriend. It's not always easy to tell, especially if you're just beginning to be friendly with one another.
You may have concluded too quickly that the boy you like felt the same way about you because he was being friendly. Then you surprised him by your letter and the strength of your feelings. He may have stopped talking to you because he didn't feel the same way.
However, he is showing some interest in you, so I'd suggest working on a friendship with him. If he starts liking you, it will become clearer over time. He may start seeking you out more, commenting on what he likes about you, or clearly enjoying your company. Then, you can suggest a date or seeing him outside of school rather than writing a letter.
Q: I am an eighth grader. My boyfriend is a 10th grader. He's never made me do anything, but sex has come up. I really like him, but every time we go out, I am worried something will happen. What should I do? Please help.
A: You must be afraid you'll be tempted to do what your boyfriend wants to please him even if you're not feeling ready. Otherwise, you'd be less worried on dates as you'd trust yourself say no. Have you considered talking about your worries with him? He would then know to check with you before getting more physically involved.
If you sense he is trying to push you to meet his needs, and wouldn't slow down if you talked with him, then you may need to consider seeing him less frequently or not at all.
Otherwise, you may later regret becoming intimate with him.
BDr. Sokal is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist practicing in Baltimore. If you have a question, send it to Kids Ask, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore 21278.