Q: I recently developed a crush on this guy I’ve known for 12 years—basically ever since elementary school. We text and talk to each other all the time at school, but he has a girlfriend. And some of my friends have told me that he knows that I like him, and he told them he feels bad because he thinks I’m “nice.” What should I do? High School graduation is coming up, and we’re going to different colleges so I may never see him again. Should I tell him my feelings?
I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to your question, so I can only tell you what I would do in your shoes. As tempting as it is to tell all, I think you’d be wise not to bear your feelings to him. Two reasons: 1) If he already has a girlfriend, it’s clear that he doesn’t feel the same way about you, and 2) Telling him that you have feelings for him will only make any future correspondence you have really awkward. (I know you aren’t sure if you’ll see him again, but if you confess your adoration and it becomes awkward between you, Murphy’s Law would dictate that you will, in fact, run into him again-at exactly the most inopportune time!)
I think we girls feel the need to “confess our love” for one of two reasons. The most common reason is that we’ve watched too many sappy chick flicks, where the girl finally gets the nerve to say how she feels, and the formerly reluctant beau comes quickly around and sweeps the heroine off her feet in a divine moment of cataclysmic love. Unfortunately, in real life it rarely (emphasis on rarely) works that way. Reason number two: We’ve bought into the world’s philosophy that bearing all is “good for the soul,” like it’s a sin to keep your feelings to yourself or something. Actually, bearing all is often just really embarrassing, awkward and unnecessary. Sometimes it’s better for the soul to keep its mouth shut!
Bottom line, I think it’s best for you to keep your feelings close to your heart this time. That way, even if he never clues in on your amazing personality and heart-stopping beauty, at least you can carry on with life with your dignity intact. Plus, if you keep your feelings to yourself for now, you’ll stay mysterious to him, and someday he may, in fact, realize what he’s lost and come looking.
But if you do decide that you can’t bear the thought of him leaving without sharing how you feel, best of luck to ya, sister!