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Freaked to tell your buds you're crushing on a geek?

 

Your friend Mallory is crushing on Brad, who scored the winning goal at last weekend’s soccer game. Elizabeth’s oohing and ahhing over Ryan, a Justin Beiber look-alike. As for you? You’ve avoided spilling your secret crush for weeks, but the pressure is on.

 

Will your friends flip when you ‘fess that you’ve got a thing for Jay—the tall, skinny, shy guy from your creative writing class? Mallory and Elizabeth have always called him “Jay Bird,” “Bird Boy” or just “Dork.”

 

But unlike them, you know that Jay is an amazing writer, a competitive dirt bike racer and can quote every line from Meet the Parents (your all-time favorite movie). He’s not into varsity sports or social stuff at school, so people think he’s a loner. But he’s totally not! Will your girls give him a chance? Or will your rep be wrecked when they learn you dig a dork?

 

Do friends let friends date dorks?

 

First off, don’t let your buds set limits on you—or the guys you like. It’s one thing if they’re concerned your new dude is a real dud (he holds the running record for most days in detention) or a total heartbreaker (he’s dumped his last six GFs like a bad habit).

 

But if he’s nice as pie (despite being branded a geek), your friends need to let you decide if he’s worthy of your adoration. Friends look out for each other—but friends also let friends crush on guys regardless of their social status.

 

Going public with your crush

 

If your friends only know your crush as “Geekmeister,” introductions are in order. Invite him to join you and your BFF at lunch or walk home with you guys after school. Start slowly, and keep it simple. Don’t invite him to the huge Valentine’s bash, where he doesn’t know a soul, and expect everything to be perfect. That’s a lot of pressure on both of you.

 

Instead, introduce him to your most accepting, laid-back bud. If they hit it off, she’ll be able to pass along a positive word to your other pals. Hopefully, word will spread faster than the story of him sitting on PB&J and then…never mind.

 

If your friends give your geeky love god a chance but still aren’t into him, let it go. Balance outings with the gals and time with your guy. Don’t force him on your friends. And don’t waste your time trying to persuade them to like him. The more you try to “sell your crush, the more suspicious your friends will probably become. If you have to continually tell people how great someone is, they might think you’re only trying to convince yourself.

 

As Jenna, 14, explains, “A relationship should be between a girl and a guy. Not a girl, a guy and her friends!” But you can’t go pushing your friends away just because they don’t think your guy is the catch of the season. Alienating your friends for your heartthrob is never a good idea—geek or no geek.

 

Do geeks rule?

 

As Julie, 12, says, “My friends think my crush is weird. Like, at a dance, he grabbed strings of the paper star decorations and wore them around his neck and danced around like a fool all night long. My friends made fun of him, but I like that he knows how to have a good time without worrying about what someone might say about him.”

 

It’s great to appreciate guys who don’t give a rat’s tail about what people think. They tend to do different, fun stuff. And who knows? You might find out you’d much rather spend Saturday afternoons sifting through classic records in thrift shops than doing the same old mall thing with the gang for the gazillionth weekend in a row.

 

Just remember, it’s not like you have to marry the guy or anything. Passing up the chance to hang with someone new (and nerdy) because you’re worried you won’t look cool is, well, totally uncool. Go ahead—ask your misunderstood crush to the homecoming dance. He just might be the next Joe Jonas….and he just might be your new beau!

BY SHARON SCHATZ ROSENTHAL ON 9/15/2010 7:01:00 AM

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