For ages I've been a pretty uptight person and have actively avoided relationships because I'm scared of getting hurt. I recently went on a trip with some people I didn't really know very well, and got to know this guy a whole lot better. Now I've developed a crush on him. My friends have advised me to just be myself and to flirt with him casually to find out whether he is interested in me. But - I'm not a flirty person and have no idea how to go about "flirting" with a guy. Since I'm so scared of getting hurt, I can't imagine telling him flat out that I like him. Also, I don't see him very often, so if we were to meet up, it would have to be planned. Is there any way I can let him know I like him, without having to figure out how to flirt or by telling him directly? Should I stoop to the junior high level and have my friends ask him for me? I've never been in a relationship and have no idea how to go about this whole process. Inexperienced Irena
Dear Inexperienced Irena
Flirting is just about confidence. By using your smile, laughing at his jokes or staring at him longer than you would at just a friend is all flirting really is. If he feels the same way about you he'll understand your communication toward him. First experiences with the opposite sex are very stressful and weigh on your self assurance. But your friends are right, just be you! Try going to meet him after school one day with a couple of girlfriends. Hang out for a while and talk to him. If you don't think that he can tell that you like him then you've got to find a way to be alone with him so you can talk to him. Here's a little secret; everyone is scared of getting hurt. There's no guarantee on feelings. Hopefully that will make you feel better knowing that he could be just as scared as you are.