Falling in Like

“Falling in Like,” New Era, Mar. 1990, 27

Special Issue:
Surviving—and Thriving—in the 90s

Falling in Like

So, you’ve got your eye on a certain “someone” that you’re dying to get to know better, but you don’t quite know how. Here are a few dos and don’ts.


  • Convince yourself that it’s a friendship you’re interested in. That’ll take some of the pressure off. If you think you’re trying to start the most incredibly exciting romance in history, you’ll spend a lot of self-conscious time sweating and stammering and very little time actually getting to know the person.

  • Smile at them! So they caught you staring. Instead of blushing and looking away, give them a warm, sincere grin.

  • Plan a group activity that your new friend can participate in without feeling the pressure of a date. Invite him or her to come to a church dance or to a community event with you and a group of friends.

  • Sit by them if you have the courage and there’s an empty seat next to theirs in class, in an assembly, in the library, or on the bus.

  • Learn something about their interests or hobbies so that you’ll have something intelligent to say to them when the situation arises.

  • Compliment them. When you’re interested in someone, you think that everything you say is magnified 100 times. You think, “She really looks great today, but if I tell her she’ll think I’m madly in love with her.” It doesn’t work like that. It never hurts to brighten someone’s day.


  • Make silly phone calls. This calling and hanging up stuff will never get you anywhere—with them or their parents.

  • Embarrass them. Loud comments about them in front of friends, starting rumors, or even large notes or signs can cause humiliation rather than heart throb.

  • Tease them mercilessly. For some reason, boys especially have a tendency to tease people they really like. It may get attention, but probably not the kind you’re after.

  • Let yourself think that all the happiness you’ll ever feel on this earth depends on acceptance or rejection from this person. Whether that person likes or dislikes you does not affect the kind of person you are.

  • Try to act “too cool.” Sometimes you try so hard not to let the person know you like them that you actually seem to dislike them. Don’t be afraid to be as friendly to them as you would to anyone else. Just don’t go overboard.

  • Become obsessed. Cruising by their house five times a day or writing their name 500 times on a piece of paper is a little excessive. You’ve got much better things to do. The amount of time you spend daydreaming over someone will have very little to do with how much they like you in return. It will most likely only get you behind in your schoolwork.

Survival Tips

  • Ease pressure by emphasizing friendship.

Photography by Philip Shurtleff