These questions were submitted anonymously and are published anonymously. The columnist is anonymous as well. Stay tuned for updates on where to anonymously send in your questions for future Observer issues.
How do you know if someone likes you?
This is a vague yet important question! Everyone has been faced with this question — probably more than once in our lives. There are two ways to get an answer. First, you need to look at the signs that they are giving you. Are they giving gifts to you? Reaching out to touch you in some way? Are they spending a lot of time with you? Are they always complimenting you? Are they going out of their way to do things for you? There are five love languages: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and lastly, Receiving Gifts. Now, if they are overwhelmingly showing any of these signs, there’s a high chance the person likes you. The second road of actions you can cruise on is… to simply ask them if they like you! Yes, I know, it is a very awkward situation. But honestly, both situations are awkward. In the first, you are analyzing every move they take and every word they speak. In the second, you are risking open rejection, which might seem like the worst case scenario, but it truly isn’t. The worst case scenario is that they do like you and you did nothing about it.
My best friend just recently broke up with a guy. It hurt her really badly. Now she is going from guy to guy. I don’t want her reputation to get ruined. Should I talk to her about it or just leave her be?
I think if you haven’t already, you should first talk to her about her feelings towards the breakup. I can tell that you’re a very caring friend, but I think it’s better to focus on caring about her emotional state rather than her reputation. Contrary to popular belief, one can always better their reputation. Trying to secure one’s emotional or mental health is a lot harder to do, and the repercussions of not taking care of this matter first can be very damaging. Therefore, I don’t think you should “just leave her be.” I think you need to show your support by being a shoulder to lean on, and simply by talking things out with her.
My boyfriend is a great guy. He has a good head on his shoulders, comes from a good home, and is well educated. He has been my only boyfriend. My parents think I should venture out before I get serious with him, but I think he is the one. What should I do?
Look, at the end of the day, it is your life. That’s not to say that support from your family is not important — it most definitely is! Your parents most definitely want what is best for you, but still, the person walking down the aisle on your wedding day, is you! You need to listen to your heart and your intuition. If you seriously think he is the one, you must communicate that to your parents. Don’t tread lightly, tell them your feelings for him! Tell them why you think he, and no one else, could be the one! Don’t just tell them, decree that he is the one! Confidence will be your best friend when confronting them about venturing out.
Many of my close friends have entered serious relationships in the past year. I feel that many of them devote nearly all of their free time to their relationships and barely put any effort into our friendship. Should I try salvaging the friendships or move on to new friends?
You should definitely try to salvage your friendships! You must communicate how you feel about the situation. Find time, although it may be hard, to spend a day with them. During this time, be honest and talk to them about how you feel. Now, if the problem continues after the discussion, then I would take some time to seriously think about who you want to surround yourself with. You should always want to be around positivity.
I’m part of some clubs and I’ve met people I like, but how do I become friends with them outside of club meetings and events?
It’s a refreshing feeling to like the people you are (kind of) forced to be around! That’s an amazing thing! Maybe plan something simple to do after your club event. Before the event or meeting ends, ask the people you are fond of to go out for dinner afterwards! Or you could simply just text the people because I’m sure that if you get along during the club meetings and events, then you all will get along over the phone.
I have a single room for the first time this year, and it’s going to be a busy semester. I’m worried I won’t see my friends as much. How do I keep from feeling isolated?
First, I am so happy that you are asking this question because it shows that you understand that being isolated is NOT A GOOD THING! You do not want to feel isolated because you could quite literally lose your mind with your busy schedule of dorms, classes, eating, studying, and then dorms, classes, etc. In order for you to not be consumed by school duties and by your single room, create a schedule. In this schedule, include your classes, homework time, work if you have it, time to eat, time for friends, and also schedule alone time! As I’m sure this sounds extremely overwhelming, the YU guidance department has a student assistant director who comes to Stern once a week to help with students’ time management. Here is the YU Counseling Center’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to be closer to my parents, but I’m a pretty private person, and I have a hard time opening up to them about my feelings and my daily life. What can I do to help my relationship with them?
As previously mentioned, there are five languages through which people show their love and appreciation for others. The languages are: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and, lastly, Receiving Gifts. It seems like your parent’s love language is words of affirmation, or simply just communication with words. But that might not be your language. Therefore, you need to figure out your language/s and once you have decided, you must tell them how you show your love. You need to express that they will have to translate your love language. For example, say your love language is “Quality Time.” You need to express to them that by you all spending time together, you feel close to them.