Just Want to Encourage Him a Little

Published: February 27, 2014
Dear TeenHealthFX,

Alright, so there's this guy (I bet you wish you had a nickel for every time you've heard that). It's pretty obvious to me and all of our friends that he's interested in me romantically. I really like him, too. We hang out and talk and walk together and he's always doing nice things for me (I mean, once he took time out of his day to make the nearly 30 min. drive to where I was and jump start my car and then took me home). And when we're together he makes every excuse to put his hand on my back or give me a hug or something (not in a perv-y way, though). But he won't ask me out. I don't know if his parents have a problem (they seem to like me, so if they do it must be either religion-oriented or something else) or he's just not allowed to date (which is odd since he's nearly 18 and hasn't said anything about that being the case). He's pretty shy, but we're both kind of old fashioned, so I could never in a million years be the one to ask him out. He must ask me--but he won't. This has been going on for about four months now. I want him to know that he's my only choice, but that if he doesn't get the nerve to commence a relationship, I won't wait forever (I mean, we're graduating soon. I have an entire life ahead of me to live and so does he!).I don't want to manipulate him. Maybe just encourage him a little. Do you have any advice or helpful tips?

Dear Just Want to Encourage Him a Little,

TeenHealthFX thinks a big part of the equation here is to understand why this young man is not allowed to date. There very well could be religious reasons or it could be a rule that his parents strongly believe in. In either case, the important issue is that is not a reflection on you. Your friend may not talk about it because he knows his peers might think it strange and he doesn’t want to expose himself to ridicule. You don’t have to ask him out but you could ask him about his background. It doesn’t have to be an interrogation but part of the process of getting to know someone better. 

You may want to ask yourself why you are you are in such a hurry to have the question about the relationship answered. It is clear, at worst, you have a good friend who has gone out of his way to help you in the past. As you said, “I have an entire life ahead of me to live and so does he.” You might want to consider if this is the right time in your life to get into a serious relationship. You both will be graduating high school this year and beginning new phases in your life. Sustaining a relationship after high school has its challenges and could hold you both back from pursuing some of your goals. 

Your best bet is to invest your time in getting to know this boy better and see where it goes from there. Forcing the issue now because you need an answer is not outright manipulation, but it does put pressure on him. Think about it.

Signed: TeenHealthFX