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Hi Guys,

I’m 14 and broke up with a guy about 6 weeks ago. We had been good friends for a year or so and we both liked each other for quite a while before we started going out. We only dated a few months, and we broke up because he said that I was flirty with other guys. He also said he is really stressed about his schedule since he is juggling school, homework, and sports. This makes it difficult to see each other.

Since we broke up he has been texting me almost everyday, but then sometimes he ignores me at school, especially around his football friends. Usually he starts texting me as soon as he finishes practice. There are other times that he talks to me or hugs me at school. I have asked him if he is over me and he says he isn’t. He has told me by text that he still misses me, but then a few days later he’ll tell me that I am not faithful because I flirt with others boys in class. He says that his football friends tell him everything.  He seems to know who is interested in me, and tells me the names of the boys.

Recently, the subject of Homecoming Dance came up. I asked him if he was going with anyone, and he said probably not. I’ve been hinting that I’m interested, but he hasn’t done anything about it. He then told me that a friend of his wants to ask me to Homecoming. He said that he wasn’t going to interfere with his friend’s plan since he knows that his friend wouldn’t do that to him. He said that if I wanted to go with his friend, it would be okay. Then he said, “I guess it would.”  I told him (by text) that I wanted to go with him, and I told him that I liked him. I didn’t get a response last night. I am so confused.

Does he still like me and just is trying to deal with his confusion and hurt feelings? Does he really want me to go to the dance with this other guy? Is this just a test to see how I feel about him? Help!!!! :[

Anne

Dear Anne,

Thanks for your question.

One thing’s for certain: If you go to the dance with this other guy you can kiss any chance you might have with your ex-boyfriend goodbye. So let’s start off by saying: Do not go to the dance unless you go with your ex.

Now let’s back up and start from the beginning. We think your ex-boyfriend still likes you, and probably never really wanted to break up with you in the first place. If he’s around your age it’s likely he’s just beginning to explore the world of girls and dating. This makes sense to us because his inexperience is causing him to be jealous. And instead of talking about how he feels with you, he’s placing the blame on you, calling you unfaithful and a flirt.

One word of caution Anne: You don’t want to be with someone who tries to control your every move. So if the two of you DO get back together, make sure you still have the freedom to be yourself, and hang out with the people you want to hang out with. This doesn’t mean you get a free pass to do whatever you feel like doing; it just means you don’t want to be with someone who stifles you.

Another complication here is how easily he’s influenced by his football friends. Of course this is pretty typical for teenagers. It’s the rare individual who can walk his own walk, even under the watchful eyes of his peers. In fact for many young people, the most important part of their lives is being accepted and liked by their peer group. This would explain why he acts differently when he’s at school and even more differently around his football buddies. And this is all part of the overall picture that tells us he’s insecure and very unsure of himself. (It doesn’t matter how he acts outwardly. Inside he’s confused, hurt, and unsure of himself.)

So how do we solve this problem? Let’s look at several issues, questions, and scenarios that you are facing.

1. If you go with his friend to the dance he’ll be crushed, and it’s unlikely he’ll ever go out with you again.

2. Even if he goes with you to the dance, he might feel uncomfortable about it because he knows his friend is also into you. And once again, being part of that peer group (The football guys) might take precedence over being with you.

3. How can you find out if he really wants to go out with you again without completely putting yourself at risk for rejection?

4. If the two of you go back out together, who’s to say he won’t start accusing you of “cheating” again?

The best case scenario is: You let him know how you feel and hopefully he’ll step up to the plate and ask you to the dance. If this doesn’t happen the next possibility is to ask HIM to the dance. We know this isn’t typically how things are done—and this certainly puts you in a precarious position of being hurt—but you will get an actual answer, and won’t be left wondering. Finally, you could also let him know you still like him and then leave the ball in his court. Meaning tell him you’d like to be with him again, but once you have that conversation, stop the casual flirting and texting until he really shows that he’s serious about going out with you again.

Finally we just want to say that part of what’s going on is par for the course for young people your age. We’re not saying that your feelings aren’t real. They are! But we are saying that young people, especially boys, are pretty fickle at this age. And even if you play this exactly right it still might not work out because of your respective ages.

We hope this at least gives you some insight into your situation. Leave us a comment and keep us posted.

Good luck,

THE GUYS

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