by Ariana Squirrel

Hi guys! I got these, my first mails!!, around the end of June 2002. Even though the column isn't up until now (!!), I wrote the columns & sent them to their respective advice-askers-for within a few days of receiving them, & I'd do the same for you. thanks for respecting my ability to answer your questions on blind faith! Also, even though this is like a humor website the girls sounded serious, so I gave them the best answers I could think of. Sorry if you're not amused.


hey...i happened to surf into ur web...but wayz...since dis wuz the advice wuz jw if u could help me figure dis really love dis guy rite..n he says dat he loves me too..but um...he doesnt really wanna do ne thin yet..cuz of his last xgf..she really hurted him..well dats n other long would make out and all..and hold on to each other hang out..but still..i unno wuts goin on...he says he really loves can i tell if he really means it? but prob jus a love sick gurl...heh..hope u can help...theres been soo much goin on..but again...thanx tho

Dear Heather,

        In my long and industrious career as the wiser, older, more sophisticated friend (I have no actual credentials; I'm just seventeen!) I've seen problems like this time and time again. It all comes down to the difference between friends and significant others. You say this boy doesn't want to "do anything", but then you say you'd make out! That totally sounds like something to me. It seems like he wants all the benefits of a relationship (kissing, holding each other) without actually calling you "girlfriend", girlfriend!

        There's lots of possible reasons for this, and you probably know them better than I do. Maybe he has bad associations with the word (you say he had trouble with his ex), and it could just be some basic fear of commitment. Or maybe he feels it's just too close to his last relationship to start another one. There's no reason to believe he's behaving maliciously, or that he intends to hurt you. This doesn't mean you should condone his behavior! He could totally end up hurting you, even if he doesn't mean to.

        You guys may not want "a relationship" right now, but if you're kissing and holding and saying "I love you" on a regular basis, you've got to admit you have one. If he continues to refuse to admit it, you'll be missing out on a LOT of the benefits of relationships (e.g. telling all your friends, going on dates, appearing in public, celebrating anniversaries).

        You have a right to expect this boy to be your boyfriend. Still, it's okay to give him some time if he needs it. Tell him what you want, and give him a chance to give it to you. (It could help to set a time limit--say something like "I need to be able to tell people I'm your girlfriend within two weeks"--so you don't get into a "yes-I'll-leave-my-wife--but-after-the-holidays,-no,-after-the-summer" situation.) If he still can't give you what you need, you should probably move on.

Love, Ariana Squirrel


What do I say to a boy if i like him and he doesn't know?

Dear Kam,

     My advice to you will be different depending on whether the boy already knows you or not. But we'll look at it both ways.

(1) If you don't know the boy very well, except to know that you like him, the first thing you have to do is to try and become better friends with him. I'm not exactly the best person in the world to be giving advice about this--my solution in a similar situation was to give the boy a valentine and to tell him "I'm like, totally in love with you", and that didn't work out so well. But I'll tell you what my friend said to do (whose advice I basically ignored): Get involved with his life. Show interest in things that he likes. Basically, just get to know him better, and the relationship might develop on its own. It might take some time, but it'll be worth it.

(2) If you're already friends with this person, it can be just as tricky. If you develop a relationship from scratch knowing that you like him, that's different from realizing you like one of your friends. The boy probably already thinks of you in the "friend zone". My advice in this situation is to start dropping hints. Steer the conversation to love and relationships. When I was in this situation with a girl-friend of mine, I tried a relatively low-pressure way to bring the relationship to the Next Level: in a conversation about being depressed cause we were both single, I said "You know, if you asked me out, I would say yes." I was lucky that that was all she needed to ask me out: if she hadn't wanted to, it might have made our friendship weird. Still, a tactic like that doesn't make your friendship as weird as a confrontational confession of love, which is the type of thing I try to avoid.

Okay, that's what I suggest. Good luck! I hope it all works out swimmingly.

Love, Ariana Squirrel


What do I do if I want advice?

Dear Kale,

     Hmm. Well, your local newspaper probably has an advice columnist, but due to the volume of male, s/he likely will not get to your problem. You could try a smaller or more specialized publication with fewer other readers to compete with. (Before you write in, make sure you read a few columns and see if you agree with the kind of things that they've said in the past. If you don't think their advice is sound, don't go with it.)

     With any write-in advice, however, there are flaws. The major one, as I've mentioned, is that you can't be sure you'll get an answer to your query, and even if you do, it could be too late. A lot of situations are time-sensitive, especially in the fast-paced world of teen dating. Another flaw is that the columnist only knows as much about the situation as you tell them. It can be good that they are uninvolved--they are an unbiased third party, after all, and they won't let irrational emotions guide their decision. On the other hand, they will necessarily be biased by the information that you give them; you might be leaving out important parts of the story and not even know it.

     I think the best thing you can probably do to get advice is to ask a friend. Choose someone who is familiar with the situation and with you. A cool-headed friend will be able to help you more than a stranger ever could.

     Whatever you choose, don't do anything you're not comfortable with. Be true to yourself. Oh, and don't hurt yourself or anyone else (this includes animals!!!). And for really serious problems, seek professional help (counsellors, therapists, hotlines, authority figures such as teachers, parents or police, etc.)

Love, Ariana Squirrel