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Monday, November 7, 2011

A Collection of Boys

Dear Bro Jo,

I have a bit of a problem on my hands. This problem stems from the fact that I am farrrrr more comfortable with guys than I am with girls. So most of my close friends tend to be....well...guys. Ive gotta say you're COMPLETELY right about they whole guys and girls cant just be friends thing.

Don't worry, I won't overwhelm you with ALL my stories...I will stick with just a few specific problems.

One of my friends has been liking me for awhile now...everyone knows it...nobody likes it. They all say he gets too close to me. And he does. The sad thing is most times I don't even notice it because I don't have a bubble space. It's weird. But whenever i do notice I back away a little. Before this wasn't much of a problem, he'd stand or sit close...but that was it. Now he's starting to try and grab my hand and put his arm around me. I'm not going to lie...I think that I might have feelings for him back, and I'm not sure what to do with the situation.

Second thing I would really love your advice on is about my other friend. Me and him kind of had a "thing" (not boyfriend and girlfriend..cuz im only 16..but we like eachother and have held hands and stuff). Anyway he is completely in love with me and wants to marry me after his mission. He's 18 and more ready for such a serious relationship than little 16 year old me.

The biggest issue I have with him though, is that I can't trust all. He lies to me all the time and has told my secrets to people. He wants to talk to me about the whole trust issue I have with him, he says he doesn't understand why I would not trust him since he's always been so honest with me. Well...there's a lie right there. But we do have a time that we are going to set aside to walk around my backyard and discuss this.

And the third thing (this is the last one im going to ask your advice on...promise) is a little bit different. See there is this guy who is trying to get better friends..but nobody in the church is really reaching out to him because he never talks and usually bolts out the door the moment any activity ends. Well I decided it would be a good thing for me to befriend him and get him included in my group of friends. He's a really cool guy and it would be beneficial for EVERYONE.

 So I started emailing him and have invited him to 2 different things (one he came to, one he didnt) the one he came to he seemed to have a really good time. My problem is, I'm the one always emailing/texting/inviting first. He's super shy so I kind of have to. He seems to be appreciating it and always shoots me huge smiles whenever he sees me. But with every other situation with any boy im HUGE on the thing where the guys have to make the first moves....and Im afraid that me making the first moves in this case might eventually scare him away. your do i make friends with this guy without freaking him out or giving him the wrong idea?

I wish I could say this was half the drama im going through...but that would be a lie. Even though I verbally tell the boys that I just want to be friends...and do everything I can to show them I'm only interested in friendship...sigh...this can't be normal for a 16 year old.

- Drowning in drama

Dear Drama,

Not only is it normal, I feel like I've answered this exact letter before . . .

For a girl who says she understands what I mean when I say "Guys Can't Stay 'Just Close Friends' with Girls", you sure have seemed to step in it.

Let's try this:

Guy #1 - The Grabby Guy. Guys are dumb. Except for the fact that we like girls. Okay . . . maybe that's what makes us act dumb . . .

What I mean is this: you can't HINT to a guy, you've got to tell him, straight out. Best not to embarrass him in front of his friends, but you need to tell him "I'm not your girlfriend, and I'm not your property. If you want to hold my hand while we're out on a Casual Group Date, then that's one thing, but if we're not on a date than lay off. Keep your hands and arms to yourself". Be Nice, but Be Blunt and Be Clear.

Guy #2 - The Liar. Again, communication is the key, and this guy is bad news. Tell him that trust is earned, not given, and he's lied so much that he doesn't have your trust. When he gets argumentative and defensive (the typical fallback positions of the liar) tell him to be quiet and listen, or you're leaving. If he wont shut up, leave. (The dude clearly doesn't respect you. He thinks you're dumb. That's one of the reasons he lies so much; he thinks you'll believe him. It's probably also a control thing.) When he's ready to listen (whether it's then or later) tell him that he's going to have to be honest with you, all the time, for quite a while before you'll totally trust him again. And let him know that if he doesn't care to do that, then there really is no point in talking to each other anymore.

I don't think a walk in your backyard is a good idea. It's too alone, and too difficult to walk away from a guy that's at your house. And don't set an appointment either. Have this talk the very next time you see the guy; preferably in a relatively public place.

Guy #3 - The Loner. How do you make friends with a guy without having him think you like him? News flash: you can't. All guys think that any girl that's extra nice to them finds them attractive. That's because if we put that kind of effort into a girl it would be because we found her attractive, and we pretty much assume you think like we do. Which isn't the case, of course. We just think it is. That's also why all of your "Guy Friends" hate the boy. Because you're bringing him into the group they all think you like him the same way they like you. Ergo he's competition (weirdo or not) and so they hate him.

And who knows. Maybe you do. You do seem to collect boys. It's like they provide you some kind of sense of security.

Look. Be nice to the new kid, but stop stalking him and stop acting like you're desperate to be his girlfriend. You can't argue someone into conversion and you can't push someone into being friendly and social.

Communication is the key. I bet you'd find that there's a lot less drama in your life if you took a deep breath and did a little more listening and a lot less talking.

Oh . . . and stop hanging out with these boys all the time! Get yourself at least one good girl friend. Perhaps the way to do that is to teach the boys to go on Casual Group Dates if they want to spend time with you. Then, while you're out, talk to the girls that the other guys bring.

Have fun,

- Bro Jo

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