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
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
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