I asked for a guy’s number in case I needed help with homework, and now it’s very awkward.

Slow down, says our elder — relationships need time to grow.

Dear EWC

So, today, at school, I started talking to this guy. He is fairly nice and he happens to be in all of my classes. So, I decided to ask him for his phone number via index card because I’m too shy to ask for it in person. I only asked for his phone number because I wanted to have it just in case I needed help with homework. But, he showed it to other people and a lot of people think I have a crush on him, and I don’t know if he thinks the same way or not. I’m pretty sure he does, too, though. I may or may not sit next to him tomorrow (depends on if we’re doing group work or not). If I do sit next to him, should I say anything? Even if we don’t sit next to him, should I say anything? I asked friends and they all said to wait a bit because me explaining it too soon might cause people to think I’m trying to cover up my crush. But I also don’t want to ruin a chance at a friendship. Just to clear things up: I don’t have a crush on him. I just wanted to be able to text someone about homework and stuff. Also, he never gave me a response, so I think he’s uncomfortable with giving me his phone number, which is okay. I just wanted to give it a shot. What is the appropriate response and how do I get my point across clearly?

KayKay replies

I’m sorry I was not able to get back to you sooner, so by now I imagine that you have already had a couple more classes with this boy. If it’s not too late, I would advise you against saying anything to him about how you feel. First of all, guys are a little slower to mature than girls and don’t always develop their interests in the opposite sex quite as early. When they finally do, they aren’t quick to act on these new feelings. A sure way to scare a boy away is to come on too strong, or have your friends start getting involved.

If you just want a friend to text about homework and to talk to, then do what you would do with another girl. Be friendly and make a point to say something to him each day. If you know of something he does, you can compliment him on it. You seem to think he’s like a train that you are going to miss if you don’t act in time. Relationships aren’t like trains, though. They take time to develop. Think of growing a plant from seed. Lots of attention but don’t force it. Let it grow in it’s own time.

I am an impatient sort, so I understand your eagerness to get to know him quickly. However, I really think you can let him know you think he’s nice by smiling, flirting a little, asking him questions about himself, and just generally being yourself. Let him have a chance to make the first move on his own terms. You don’t have to act on every feeling that you have. There’s always another train, anyway.

Letter #: 431287
Category: School

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