Question: Should I confess to a boy I like at school?

Sally from The Dale asks:

Should I confess to a boy I like at school?

No. If he hasn’t been thinking about you in that way, you’re blindsiding him. Unprepared, he’s likely to fumble or just say no, because he can’t possibly say yes. You will likely have embarrassed him. If he’s not as kind as you hope, he might embarrass you, perhaps by telling everyone about it.

Instead, get to know him. Sit with him at lunch. Ask to walk with him. Talk. Find out about his interests, values, preferences, opinions. Share that information about yourself. See what you have in common.

If things seem to be going well, you can suggest meeting for coffee or more date-like get-togethers — or maybe he will. At these meetings, you can observe additional things about him. Is he kind? Does he judge people? Does he talk about others behind their backs (in which case you have to wonder what he’s saying about you)? Does he criticize you or offer unsolicited advice? Does he listen as much as he talks? Does he reflexively argue with everything you say? How does he treat people he might consider below him in status, like restaurant servers and store clerks? Do your friends think he’s nice? Does he appreciate your sense of humor?

If it turns out you’re not well suited, you’ll be spared the awkwardnessof taking back your declaration of affection. If he still seems good to you once you get to know him better, he’ll have had plenty of time to decide whether he likes you.

Remember: there are lots of guys out there. There’s more than one right one for you. Don’t hang on to someone because he seemed attractive at first. Eliminating someone who’s unsuitable is a win. Making a new friend is also a win, even if he’s not also a boyfriend.