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Monday, August 8, 2016

Help, I need somebody, help, not just anybody...

Dear Bro Jo,

Hey Bro Jo, I need some help.

I'm part of a YSA ward that has ages 18-35 in it.

I'm friends with this guy who is really nice and I don't want to hurt his feelings, but he's starting to act like he likes me as more of a friend and I'm afraid he might have a crush on me.

There are two things wrong with that:

1) I'm preparing to go on a mission this Fall

2) I'm 20 and he's 32 and I'm not comfortable with that age gap.

Why do I think he has a crush on me?

He's been texting me more and more. I'm not much of a texter myself, so I don't usually reply, but he still texts a lot.

He told me I make him happy, and then gave me a (sideways one-armed after permission) hug.

He's also told me I'm the only reason he still comes to YSA ward.

He's started sitting next to me whenever I'm alone.

This has all been weirding me out.

But it's hard to tell if he has a crush on me or if he's just being himself.

This is a very affectionate guy who likes to let his friends know how much they mean to him. He also doesn't like seeing people alone, he likes to make people feel included so that could be why he sits next to me.

But I'm honestly afraid he might ask me out and I'd rather he didn't.

We're very different from each other, and while he is a friend and we hang out (in groups of friends) it's really only because he's a friend of a friend.

Ignoring age and mission, I'm not interested in him anyway.

I'm afraid to say anything to him, because if it is just him being himself I don't want to make our friendship awkward.

But I don't know what I'd say if he asked me out.

I'd like to keep him as a friend, and that's it.

Is this something I can ignore until he does ask me out?

Am I being paranoid?

I've been kind of avoiding him lately, because of awkwardness, but I feel bad about it because he's a friend. I fear that if he does have a crush on me, maybe it's because I've been sending the wrong signals.

I'm a very conversational person when people want to talk to me. Even if they're talking about something I don't care at all about, I act interested out of politeness.

I've been told I treat everybody like family, and I wonder if that makes him think I like him.

Any advice?

- Too Young Pre-Mi

Dear Pre Mi, 

Yes, I agree that he has a crush on you. 

And yes, in this instance I think you can ignore it as long as he doesn't do anything that you find to be too forward or that makes you too uncomfortable. 

If he does ask you out then I think you should tell him "thank you, no". 

If he needs more information, or you feel compelled to give it, be a good enough friend to tell him the truth. "I'm leaving on a mission soon, and even if I wasn't you're frankly too old for me. Further, while I think you're a nice guy, I just don’t have those kinds of feelings for you." 

And move on. 

If he drops you as a friend then you'll know that this whole time he was being nice because he wanted to date you, not because he thought of you as a pal or because he's just a friendly kind of guy. 

- Bro Jo

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