Help! My crush asked me to hang out – how do I know if it’s a date?

  • This week we discuss what to do on a first date, if it is a first date (is it OK to hold hands? Kiss?!), and how to deal with exam stress
  • If you have difficult, embarrassing or awkward questions to ask about teen life, send them in anonymously, and ‘Friend of a Friend’ will do their best to help
Amalissa Hall |

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Stressed out and can't sleep? Take a deep breath...

Hi Friend

There’s this girl I like, and she asked me to go to her place and watch a movie, so I said yes. I think she likes me too, but I don’t know if this is a date or we’re just hanging out. We’re both 15. I’m excited but also kind of nervous.

Do you have any advice on what I should do so things go well?

Thanks, Maybe Dating

My best friend spilled all my secrets – how do I let her go?

Hi Maybe

Your crush invited you over to her home because she wants to spend time with you. You could have easily gone to a coffee shop, or met up as part of a group of people, but she asked you to hang out alone.

Don’t worry about whether or not it’s an “official date”; she definitely wants to get to know you better, otherwise, she wouldn’t have asked.

If you put too much pressure on it being a date, you’ll be too focused on doing the “right” thing, rather than being yourself. So, with that in mind, try to shake off the nerves, be relaxed, and go with the intention of hanging out and having fun.

What movie are you watching? If she hasn’t mentioned it, she may not have planned anything specific. Think of some suggestions in advance just in case, so you don’t waste too much time browsing Netflix.

Go for something that isn’t too demanding, so you can chat throughout. It’s better that you talk and enjoy your time together and don’t end up watching the movie, rather than watch the movie, have nothing to talk about and leave. Save the introspective or art house films for another occasion.

My friend and I flirt – but I have no idea what it means. Help!

So, you’re watching the film, and cosying up to each other – what next? Read her body language.

If she’s sitting super close to you or her hand is hovering near yours, she probably wants you to put your arm around her or hold her hand. Check to see how she reacts. If she’s smiling or nods, you’re in the clear. If she pulls away or says “no”, know to respect her boundaries.

The same goes for a kiss. If she leans in, you can go for it – if you also want to – but also don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.

Now importantly – hygiene. You want to smell fresh. Take a shower, use deodorant and cologne if you usually do, but don’t overdo it. Top tip is to wear clean socks! You know how hot, humid and rainy it can be, and the last thing you want to worry about is damp or stinky feet. Pack a fresh pair in your bag just in case.

Whatever the reason for the invite, be a good guest. Say hello to her parents and introduce yourself if they’re there. Offer to clean up after yourself. Don’t go empty-handed – bring some snacks to eat while you watch the film! Bonus points if you know she likes them.

Overall, just be considerate and respectful, of her, and her home. Have fun!

Friend of a Friend

My friend is jealous that I’m friends with her boyfriend – but there's nothing going on!

Hi Friend

I’ve got exams starting next week and I’m so unbelievably stressed. I’m stress-eating, not sleeping, and I spend every moment thinking about how I should be studying.

How can I keep calm?

Thanks, Frazzled

I am FREAKING OUT about my exams – any advice?

Hi Frazzled

Sorry to hear you’re so stressed. This is understandably an overwhelming time for you, but remember it is only temporary.

Do as much as you can to prepare for the exams, but also remember that a big part of that is taking care of yourself and making sure you’re physically and mentally OK. If you’re exhausted and burned out, it could affect how you perform.

If you’re panicking and you feel it is affecting you physically, focus on your breathing. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for one, then breathe out for five. Repeat until your breathing is steady, and you’ll feel calmer.

There are some practical things to consider, too.

I’m totally burned out and have no motivation to study – how can I change this?

Trying to think about everything you’re dealing with at once is difficult for anyone. Writing things down helps: create a to-do list, or mark things on your calendar so you have an idea of what you need to do every day.

If you find yourself worrying about something that is out of your control, you need to let that thought pass. Worrying is a waste of time, and you could use that energy instead to fuel your concentration.

Swap sugary snacks for fruits, veggies and nuts. If you find yourself distracted by hunger or boredom, or you’re procrastinating, drink some water and go for a walk instead.

Aim to wake up early, so you can take an hour in the morning to do what you need to do before getting into your studies. Take proper breaks between work. If you are stuck on something, instead of getting stressed out, stop for a bit and return to it later.

Am I OK? How to do a mental health check-up

Try doing one productive activity during the day like exercising, cleaning, or working on your hobbies to keep your brain stimulated. Then do a relaxing activity in the evening to unwind from the day.

Avoid working too late into the night. It’s better to get a good night’s sleep, then wake up early to start studying again, rather than staying up all night trying to do work.

Above all, always remember that, regardless of the outcome of these exams, the world will not end. You’ve got this.

Best of luck, Friend of a Friend

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