During adolescence, you become attracted to the opposite sex. And you’ll find yourself very interested in a person of that gender. You want to know more about him or her. After you’ve exhausted all the information available about that person from your guy friends, your girl friends, an older brother or sister, and/or a cousin or brother or sister of your best friend, the only remaining source of information on that person you find so interesting is, well, that person.
If you want to know more about that person, you have to ask. If you want to just be around that person because it feels good, you have to do more than just walk alongside. At some point, you need to begin a conversation with that person.
Of course, one way around all this talking is to text with someone instead. There are teens who have had romantic relationships that exist only in text messages. And it sure seems easier than putting yourself out there and facing possible rejection in person.
But if you ever want to have a relationship with someone IRL (that’s lingo for “in real life”), you’re going to have to actually talk to that person.
Therein lies the danger.
- What if that person doesn’t want to talk to you?
- What if that person doesn’t like you?
- And how are you to know if that person doesn’t like you?
Ask A Friend
Since before I was a teenager, one safe way to know how someone feels about you is to seek out his or her friends and ask, in a roundabout way, if that person might like you, even a little bit. Of course, you need to be very careful who you ask. Some people just blab all over that you are interested in so-and-so until everyone in the school knows. Not good. Some people might not tell you the truth, just to be mean. Also not good.
Befriend A Friend
The other thing you can do is spend time with a friend of that person. The goal is to talk to the friend, which isn’t so scary because you don’t really like the friend that way. And, in talking with that friend, maybe the person you really like will join in and now it will be the three of you talking together. Eventually, it will be easier to talk to the person you are interested in — just the two of you.
Of course, the most direct way of talking to the person you are interested in is to talk to that person. At first, you’ll want to find a way to talk that had nothing to do with your liking that person.
- If you have a class together, you could try to get in the same study group.
- If you don’t have a class together, you could try to find out if that person is part of a group or club you could join.
The goal is to casually be in contact with the other person. That way you will have the opportunity to be around them and talk without having to admit you really are interested. And, once you are actually talking to that person, you look for clues to whether or not that person likes you or at least doesn’t dislike you.
- How eager is the person is to talk to you?
- What sort of answers did he or she give?
- How often/long/intensely did he or she look at you?
- How long did he or she talk with you?
- Did he or she smile or look uncomfortable?
But even that could get confusing.
- If he keeps his answers short and constantly looks toward his friends, does that mean he likes you and is worried he’ll say something dumb to turn you away? Or does it mean he really doesn’t like you and is worried about what his friends will think about him talking to you?
- If she smiles and engages you in conversation, does that mean she’s just trying to be polite and get rid of you as quickly as possible? Or does she really like you and is enjoying your conversation?
It’s always easier to start out by asking simple questions like “How’s it going?” or “How’s your day been?” or comment on something that you have in common, like homework.
You can try having a short conversation while walking to class, so you can test out if that person wants to talk to you.
- If that person does want to talk to you, then you can always say something like “See you later.”
Learning how to talk to the opposite gender is something that takes practice and no small amount of courage. Sometimes, you’ll just get it wrong. You’ll think that person likes you and then find out he or she really doesn’t. You’ll think that person doesn’t like you and be shocked to find out he or she really does. Again, it takes practice.
At some point, you’ll have gathered up enough courage or had enough practice to simply ask the equivalent of “Do you like me?” Most people don’t ask that question straight out. Instead, they’ll ask things like “I’m going to the gym; do you want to come? Or “Do you want to come do homework in the library?” the more yes answers you get, the more you get to be with that person and the more opportunity you have to figure out how much they really like you.
Even though all of this sounds really confusing and seems like it would take up a lot of your time, you need to get used to it. How to approach and talk to girls or guys is important to teenagers. Talking is the first step in knowing if a person likes you.
To learn more about questions your teenagers are having, and how best you can answer them, be sure to read Dr. Jantz’s latest release, 40 Answers for Teens’ Top Questions.