Should I text him first?
Girls' Life magazine|October/November 2021
Dear Carol
CAROL WESTON

SHOULD I TEXT HIM FIRST?

I met this guy at a football game and we exchanged phone numbers. The only problem is he told me he would text me first, but he never did. Should I text him first, and if so, what should I say?

Dear Should I Text Him First?,

If this took place weeks ago, let it go. If this was last week and you’re feeling bold, try, “Hey ___, that game was great, wasn’t it? Happy Halloween!” And see what happens. Maybe nothing. Or maybe he’ll text back and you two will end up checking out a haunted house together. If Halloween has already passed or is too far in the future, just write, “Hey, how’s it going?” or something else light and casual. He’ll probably get that the subtext is: Thinking of you.

PERIOD PROBLEM

My best friend keeps talking about when we are going to get our periods. She’s pretty excited, but I’m dreading the whole thing. Also, if one of us starts first, will that be awkward?

Dear Period Problem, It won’t be awkward unless one of you makes it awkward. Getting your period is a sign of physical maturity, but it doesn’t change anyone’s personality or goals or crushes or talents or anything—so don’t let it. Full disclosure: I sometimes felt a little left out and resentful when one girl acted as if I were less mature emotionally simply because (for a year or two) I was less mature physically. But no biggie. As for dreading menstruation, no need. It may seem complicated at first, but liners and pads are easy-peasy, and when the time is right, switching to tampons or menstrual cups is something millions of young women figure out. (No practicing before you have your period, though.) Soon this will all feel less daunting, I promise. For now, next time she brings up the subject, change the channel. Say, “I have no news on that front, but you know what? I just read this great book/heard this great song/watched this great movie…” You get the idea. She’s not the only one in charge of conversation.

CONFUSED ABOUT CRUSH

I have a crush on this guy, and recently one of my close friends told him I had a crush on him (I allowed her to). He didn’t have the reaction I was expecting. He told her he didn’t believe her and thought it was a prank. What does that mean? A few people think he said that because he likes me. I want to ask him about what he said, but I’m too nervous.

Dear Confused About Crush,

Ah, girls and friends and crushes. OK, instead of asking him exactly what he said and getting to the very bottom of that conversation, how about trying to talk more with him one-on-one? And don’t talk about your feelings—at least not yet. Just smile and flirt and laugh and ask questions. Soon it will be clear to both of you (without a go-between) if sparks are or aren’t flying. In short, rather than decoding a conversation in the past, try finding a way to hang out more in the future.

FRIEND HAS A SECRET

My friend’s parents are getting divorced. She hasn’t told anyone else because she knows I can keep a secret…but I’m worried I might slip. We’ve been hanging out like normal, but I feel like she’s bottling it all up, and that can’t be good. Her parents didn’t tell her much—basically they’ve just been arguing, and her dad bought his own house. None of this is serious, but I still want to help without coming across as nosy.

Dear Friend Has A Secret,

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