Teen talk: Liking a boy is OK; texting dirty messages to boyfriend on phone isn't

04/30/2013 12:00 AM

04/29/2013 3:41 PM

DEAR KELLY: Help. My friend told the guy that I like that I liked him. I told her not to, and then they had to hang out all day at this retreat thing so she said that when he asked who I like, she told him.

I was definitely more embarrassed that he knew than mad at her for telling him. Now I feel really awkward around him and I don't know what to say when we're together. I asked her what he said when she told him and she said that he just said, "Cool."

I always blow it once a guy knows I like him because I don't know what to say or how to act and so I just avoid talking to him. I'm such a basket case and I think I'm hopeless in situations like this. Should I text him or try to talk to him when it's not face to face or should I just wait to see what he says to me first?

We've been friends for awhile and sit at the same lunch table, but I'm afraid it will be weird now. Please help!

– Embarrassed and Nervous at 15 Years Old

DEAR E and N: At the risk of trivializing your problem, I want to let you know how totally normal your issue is. Most adults can relate to the same feeling they had when they were teenagers and didn't know what to say to the person they thought was a hottie. You are not hopeless and you are so normal for feeling this way. Guys and girls both feel the same, and those crazy butterflies that take over your body when you see him are common.

The next time you are at school and see "the guy," repeat after me: "I will just be myself." Continue repeating that until you feel yourself calm down and you can breathe. Sometimes we can psyche ourselves out instead of talking ourselves up.

Whatever you do, don't avoid him or treat him like he's not there. Shyness is often misinterpreted and people can mistake it for aloofness, disinterest or conceitedness.

Maybe texting him with just a "what's up" would be a good icebreaker to having conversation. If he texts back, you can have a playful and lighthearted talk about whatever. Don't go serious on him or bring up what your friend told him unless he brings it up first. Just by opening up and having easy and comfortable conversations, you might find yourself a little more relaxed the next time you see him.

Being friends is a great start. Be sure not to lose that. Just try to treat him like a friend and not any different. Remember, he's just a guy and he's human just like you. Concentrate on staying friends and getting to know each other better.

There is no better way to start a relationship of any kind than by going slow and being friends first.

DEAR KELLY: My boyfriend's mom took his cellphone and read our dirty texts to each other. Now I'm so embarrassed and don't know what she's going to do. He's lost his phone now and I think she hates me.

Should I be mad that she read our private conversation?

– Uh-Oh!

DEAR UH-OH!: Major blunder. I agree.

Life lesson 101: Never put anything in writing you don't want your own mother to read.

Hopefully this is a lesson you don't forget because it's an important one to learn and can actually help you out as an adult. With so much social networking in the lives of young people, learning this lesson now can prove to be very helpful as you get older and are faced with similar situations.

Call his mom on the phone or ask if you can come over to apologize. Let her know that you are sorry and you hope you can regain her trust over time. Be mature about how you handle it.

If she doesn't want to talk, write her a note and apologize. Recognize that you made a big mistake and you are sorry if she is disappointed in both of you. Ask her if there is anything you can do to make the situation better.

Don't be mad that she read the texts. I'm guessing she pays the cellphone bill so she can check his phone if she wants. Stop trying to shift the blame. If you want to have private conversations, have them face to face, not in writing.

Own up to what you did. Take accountability. Learn from the lesson. Be smarter next time.

Write to Kelly Richardson at Teen Talk, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15880, Sacramento, CA 95852, or email krichardson@sacbee.com.


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