Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, my little brother's friends have a crush on me!"

Dear Carol,

My brother and his friends are all 14 and I'm 17. A couple of his friends are starting to get a crush on me, and I don't know what to do. I'm completely confused, because how do I turn down a 14-year-old?

- Younger Crush

Dear Younger Crush,

I'm not surprised that your brother's friends are attracted to you. I bet they consider you out of their league—and that's as it should be. If you want to, you can smile, laugh and enjoy a little playful flirting, but try not to lead them on or offer false hopes. If one of these boys actually does pique your interest? Sorry, but making a move would be inappropriate, though the age difference would mean less if you were both in your 20s. Finally, don't think of this as turning the boys down or rejecting them. Think of it as not taking advantage of their innocence. After all, what would you say about a 17-year-old guy who doesn't know how to "turn down" a 14-year-old girl? Nothing good. Bottom line? Draw the line. It's what you have to do.

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by GL | 8/1/2022