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Ask Jono: I Like Someone! Um... Now What

Ask Jono: I Like Someone! Um... Now What

Dear Jono,

Your advice is THE BEST EVER. Like the best. If I had to give people a single reason to join SparkNotes, it will probably be you. Seriously.

So I hope you're in a good mood now, because you are going to be hit by a teenage girl's problems. Ready? Ok!

There is a person of the male species (better than saying "there's this guy") who I've liked for quite sometime. Now I hate being called endearing terms like "sweetheart" and "honey" and now that he knows I exist, and we've been friends for a while, he has started to call me these terms. All of friends have been saying that he likes me and I agree because during some classes when I try to put my hand near his, he also tries to put it closer to mine. So we've acknowledged, silently, that we like each other. Now is the bit where I'm confused. What do I do now? I'm very conservative and stuff, so I really don't know what to do. Go on a date? I don't even go out with my friends. Call each other boyfriend/ girlfriend? Ok, but what do we do then? HAAALP!

Confused crushee.

Woah, slow down. Your brain is jumping all over the place here. I know you're just trying to connect the dots that compose this situation, but you're adding in a bunch of dots that aren't necessarily even there, and you're drawing a big jumble of yarn when the picture was actually supposed to be a duck. Before we deal with that, though, I want to let you know that you don't have to put up with pet names. A lot of the girls who write in here seem not to like them, which is 100% cool, but a lot of guys get their cues on how to act from movies and TV shows in which everyone uses them. If a guy is constantly calling you Sweetface and Honey Bunches of Oats and Literal Human Baby, you can laughingly—not angrily—remind him that your name is (Your Name). Do not actually tell him that your name is Parentheses, Your Name, Parentheses unless you had some really oddball parents.

Once you've dealt with this pet name problem, you have three options on how to proceed. One of them is a TOTALLY NEW SUGGESTION for me to make, so I hope you feel duly honored.

1.) Wait for him to step up.
I don't think I've ever advised this, because I'm usually trying to get you all to realize that the average high school boy is terrified you'll bite off his head like a praying mantis if he so much as approaches you. For the record, though, when I seek outside female advice, just to make sure I'm not advising anything too insane, the girls I ask often recommend this in a tone of voice like I just asked them if water is wet.

That said, the girls I ask for advice are not you, because that would lead to a very circular and confusing advice column, and your impression on whether or not this will work is what matters here. After all, your only sign is some subtle hand movement, and you initiated it. Maybe he'll never move this forward, because you are a girl and he is a boy and therefore you are a mystery. But if you like this suggestion the best, then just keep up the slight flirty stuff until he knows you're definitely interested. Make casual physical contact, smile at him, look over at him more often (note: you should also be smiling somewhat when you do this, because if you keep staring at him with a totally deadpan expression, this will not diminish his concern that you plan to eat his head). In theory, he will eventually complete his mental bingo card of things that need to happen before he's sure you like him, and he will ask you out or something. If this is taking too long, you have other options.

2.) Do something with mutual friends.
You said you don't even go out with your friends, but you have to do something with this guy in a non-school setting. I get that trying to do something with just the two of you can be nerve-wracking, so this is a kind of middle ground between public (sharing classes) and private (an Actual OMG Date). I'd say that you should invite him to some group event yourself, but if the idea of that makes you go "Nyyeergh" and crawl under the bed, then I guess you can have some mutual friend invite him (as long as he's aware that you'll be there). The point is just to get him in a setting where you two can get comfortable having fun with friends and then eventually gravitate towards each other and spend some time together.

This is not the perfect solution, though, because things can go wrong with it. Maybe you spend hours preparing, and you even bake him a beautiful cake, and then he doesn't come and you end up eating the entire cake by yourself and sobbing uncontrollably. Maybe he shows up but you two never find the time to talk. The strengths of this plan are also its weaknesses, in that he doesn't know it's a date. He might ignore the invitation because he doesn't even know what it means.

3.) Invite him to something extremely casual.
A lot of people seem to think a date has to be, you know, a date. Like you go to dinner and a movie, and you have to meet the person's parents, and generally have a very official and miserable time. This is the last thing you should do.

You sound pretty nervous about all this, but if you are comfortable with him, it doesn't have to be a big deal, and you shouldn't think of it as one. Do you sometimes go somewhere to study and have coffee? Do you ever go bowling? Just take those situations—ones where you'll have something to do that isn't staring blankly at each other—and integrate him into them. In the case of studying somewhere, for example, just mention that you'll be studying (whatever your mutual subject is) and would he like to do that also, at Busy Non-Intimate Coffee Shop? That way, it's not a date (even though it is), it's just you mentioning your plans, and he can involve himself or not. You will have to say actual words to him on this semi-date, though, so don't just roll up and sit across from him and go "UHHH" and then lapse into silence. Here are some conversation tips once written by a man of great poise and attractiveness.

Last but not least, don't worry about calling him anything (except, you know, his name). Don't worry about when you're officially boyfriend and girlfriend. Labels are irrelevant here. Labels, schmabels. And if you're going crazy worrying about all this, go at your own pace, and don't rush it. Rush, schmush. You both like each other, and now all you have to do is find a way to spend some time together and see where this goes.

Topics: Life
Tags: dating, crushes, advice, ask jono

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