Straight Talk Advice

Nov 11, 2009

He’s just not that into you

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: I’ve had a crush on “Kaz” since last year. We’re both freshmen. You could say I’m pretty obsessed over him. He’s really sweet, and doesn’t seem to mind that I like hanging around him. We’ve even talked about intimate stuff such as depressing situations in my life, and his family’s divorce. The problem is, the only way we talk is if I start the conversation first — otherwise he won’t notice I’m there. Plus, he doesn’t seem as cheerful as when he is talking to his other friends. Sometimes I wonder if he makes up excuses to cut the conversation off, such as, “I have a massive headache today (he got hit in the head recently),” “I’m not feeling well (he’d been out a couple of days),” “I have homework (books in hand),” or “I need to talk to someone (runs off)”. They sound logical, but the girls in my class tell me to let him go because he’s a jerk to me. What do you think? — Irvine, CA

Emily 17, Sacramento, CA Ask me a question

Let him go. Comparing this situation to others I’ve seen, he isn't interested romantically, he’s just trying to be nice. It is excellent to notice that he becomes less cheerful around you. That alone is a good reason to back off. The thing with obsessions (I’ve been there too), is you don’t notice anybody else and miss out on other great people. At your age you should explore different personalities to see who you click with.

Laura 23, Fair Oaks, CA Ask me a question

Rule of thumb: If you have to ask, he’s not interested. If a guy likes you, you would know. Since he keeps finding excuses to duck out, it sounds like he just doesn't want to be mean. This may sound counter-intuitive, but your best chance of having something work out in the future is to move on. Obsession is unattractive and ruins things.

Nicole 20, Arcata, CA Ask me a question

Learn that if a guy wants you, he’ll get you. If he doesn’t ask to be with you in the next week, get over it and look elsewhere.

Maureen 17, Redding, CA Ask me a question

Hate to break it to you, but it’s called a crush for a reason and we’ve all been there. But you can enjoy a crush, too. It can be fun to see someone and “fantasize” about him. Just don't expect anything.

Geoff 24, Redding, CA Ask me a question

At that age, I was pretty immature about communicating feelings to the opposite sex. If that’s him, maybe share your feelings by email or letter, while letting him know that being friends is also cool. But be prepared for an immature reaction.

Diana 16, Stockton, CA Ask me a question

I really liked this upperclassman and we were always hanging out, flirting and laughing. I wanted to see if something was there so I confided my feelings in a letter. Now I really regret doing that versus speaking to him, because had I spoken to him, he would have at least said something to me, instead I got absolutely no response. Now it’s hard even being friends it feels so awkward. In the future, I’d let the guy make the first moves. I put myself in a vulnerable situation and it really hurt.

DEAR IRVINE: Welcome to the club. Moving through unrequited love is part of growing up and bursting the fantasy bubble is your first big step. But Kaz is not being a “jerk”. He’s being extremely kind about saying ‘no thanks’. Don’t fall for dissing him to make yourself feel better. Tips for moving on completely: cut your hair, clean, travel, rearrange furniture, exercise, meditate, pray, create something, begin a new activity, find a new love interest, consider Tennyson: “’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Editor’s Web Note: This column is dedicated to all who have ever had a broken heart. — Lauren

  1. By Dan Brunson, age , from Carmichael, CA on 11/11/2009

    It doesn’t sound to me like he’s being a jerk. It sounds like the opposite.  You have a crush on him, but he’s not nearly as interested in you (which is not his fault) and he’s trying to politely send you that message.  There’s no “good” way to tell someone you’re not interested in them without them feeling hurt, but it sounds like he’s trying to do the best he can.  Nearly everybody goes through rejection at some time or another. I know that I have, and some girls have not been very nice about it. I once read an article that said that “lost love” is by far the most common topic of hit songs going back to the 1930’s and continuing to today because it’s something nearly everybody identifies with.  My sister still can’t get over being rejected by her boyfriend six months ago.  She still keeps his picture up in our room and is depressed and hard to be around.  I think that as hard as it may be, you have to get over it and move on.


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  2. By Paulina Colossian, age , from New York, NY on 11/13/2009

    The wisest advice I ever got:  step back and WATCH how this guy treats you over a period of time.  Do not justify his behavior or let him off the hook in any way, just the cold, hard facts.  Just notice how he really truly treats you.  It sounds like you’ve already done this and the scoreboard isn’t looking too good. If you need to do a “Plus” and “Minus” list, so you can see which side wins. How does he make you feel about yourself?  Rejected?  Insecure?  Worthless?  Hopeless?  Desperate?  Don’t mentally cut him any slack.  You already know the answer to your dilemma.  You’ve already invested a year of your real life (365 days!+) imagining some type of relationship with this guy who isn’t there for you, even as a good friend would be.

    “He sounds like an illusion.  Illusions are dangerous people.  They have no flaws.” 

    This quote is from the movie remake of “Sabrina” (Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear version).  In the movie, an older, wiser co-worker notices how stuck Sabrina is on someone who doesn’t even know she’s alive and can’t connect with a real guy who likes her and wants to get to know her.  Please don’t be a “Sabrina”!

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  3. By Jennifer, age , from Santa Rosa, CA on 11/17/2009

    Minor point: the phrase “‘Tis better to have loved and lost/ Than never to have loved at all” referred to the loss of a platonic, same-sex former school friend, not a romantic partner.

    Major point: the writer was not Shakespeare; it was Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The poem is called “In Memoriam A.H.H.” but commonly called just “In Memoriam.”

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  4. By Lauren Forcella, age , from Fair Oaks, CA on 11/17/2009

    Whoops! My apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson—and my dear readers. Thank you, Jennifer, for the correction. You are right on both points.

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