It has always been known, and countless stories and movies prove this, that the fine gentleman is the one who gallantly confesses his admiration for the beautiful maiden. Love stories have always begun with the guy making the first move—which leads to the more disturbing misconception that all girls can actually do is wait.
Today, we know that this pattern was only strictly adhered to by inhabitants of some faraway land in some unknown time period. We also know through everyday reality that it is also possible for girls to like boys first, and hence be faced with the dilemma of either having to wait for some chance of Cupid's arrow hitting him while looking at her; or actually initiating something herself.
'Fessing up to a girl can put a boy in a big mess. So you can just imagine the hoopla when it's the other way around, what with all the still existing prejudices of today. Lucky for you, you can always count on Candy to break the rules with better ones. So get comfortable and start reading.
- Carry yourself well.
The actual admission of liking a boy is only half of the game. Unfortunately, the other half entails a lot of work. Here's a tip: Relax. Take your time. You've got to think right to do it right. Before the scary thoughts of fear and rejection storm you out of your wits, get a grip on yourself and on those butterflies in your stomach. You don't want to be fainting in front of him.
First, make sure you're absolutely certain you want to tell him you like him—and that it's not something you'll regret or worse, something your friends or his friends just told you to do. Trash the idea that you're a girl actually making the first move.
"I like it when she carries herself well. Madating pero not mayabang," confesses Jason (18, DLSU) when asked what attracts him to a girl. All of the guys I've asked claim that it's the way a girl carries herself that gets their attention (and I agree completely). So even if at this point, you start fearing that things could get weird between you two, you've gotta stay cool. This could increase the chances of getting your desired response. Maybe you're not really expecting anything grand in return but you don't want him breaking into a snicker once you tell him. Don't act too intense but don't slack around either. Just continue being yourself and be cool about it.
- Make sure of your friendship.
You must have some reason better than the fact that he's a heartthrob to go through all this trouble. If you do have a great reason, both of you should be friends at the very least. Build on that friendship. "There's got to be respect," advises Jino (17, LSGH). You don't want him making fun of you after you've told him your feelings—that's probably the most terrible thing that could happen. Respect will prevent him from letting his ego get the best of both him and you.
A wise person told me once that when you're ready to take the next step, make sure of how stable your friendship with him is first. "If you know him well, then you're aware of what friendship you have, will have, and could have." It's bound to get weird if you let it. By weird, I mean being so conscious to the point that you would rather not be around one another. So establish something more than just acquaintance. Have fun with him. Hang out. Talk. If you know he'll be there whenever you need him, then you're sure he won't be playing a disappearing act on you when you tell him your feelings. Then you can start closing in.
- Get close.
There's this issue about men not being sensitive enough. Truth is guys are sensitive too. Only, the male version of this so-called virtue is not always evident. Guys are as keen to these things as girls are. More often than not, we pretend to be dense if only to keep things from getting weird. And yes, we do like affection too. That explains why no guy has ever gotten together with a snow queen. We want to be cared for just as badly.
"She starts to understand who I am...[She's] always there," confides Miki (19, ADMU). It makes sense to be there for him if you want him to be there for you, too. So start listening. Boy talk isn't really that bad. Soon enough, he'll be shifting gears from telling you all about that hot babe from his fave show to confiding his feelings. And then...
- Go a little extra.
Here's the point where you can actually start hinting. Once you guys get close, slowly let the message out. Hint by doing extra sweet things. Go the extra mile but not too far to give yourself away. "I want her to be herself ...not trying hard. She can go out with me more often than other people," tells Gino (18, ADMU) Go watch a movie together, have meals together, accompany him on his errands, and you don't even have to pay the bill. Just subtly let him know that you're there for him without forcing the issue. Sooner or later, he'll begin wondering about you. Keep it up and you'll have him where you want him.
And if the timing's perfect, seize the day and sweep him of his feet. "On my sixteenth birthday, she threw a surprise party for me... I cried," continues Gino (18, ADMU). Do things you won't normally do with your other guy friends yet make sure it's subtle enough so you can back out just in case things go wrong. (Actually if you get really good at this "game", you won't even have to profess your feelings. You just might find him on your doorstep telling you that you've got him hooked.)
- Tell him.
If you must, you must. If you're still convinced that it's you who has to 'fess up first, then go ahead! If he's really as nice as you think he is, then the worst thing that could happen is a dent on your ego. (And hence, you will now understand why all guys fear rejection.)
Remember to keep it simple. Grand production numbers can still fail and if they do, you'll find yourself with twice the disappointment. So cancel that reservation at that fancy restaurant and meet him at the park instead. Drop the Shakespearean sonnet and opt for the simple yet sweet confession. Just be sensitive about your opportunities. For example, if you can't seem to get him to stay put and listen then it could either be the wrong time, so postpone for later or he could have sensed your imminent divulgence and is attempting to preempt it. If this happens, then rethink your decision and go back to number one. If on the other hand you find yourself in the car with him, your favorite song playing on the radio, then pop the question, err...statement and let the sparks fly. Good luck!
This article originally appeared in the August 2001 issue of Candy Magazine.