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Dear Alice: I’m an 8th grader. I went into Field season for the high school I am going to go to. I was a Color guard performer (I still am. This is all background info) and I was sad and in tears because I missed my older brother. And then this guy who I didn’t know me at all came and sat with me (An 8th grader in the Band). After that we sort of just hung out at practices and stuck together at Comps. Then Field season ended. I didn’t see him at all, but we texted A LOT! He called me beautiful, pretty, cute and said I had beautiful eyes and he asked me ‘How I would treat my boyfriend?’ and ‘What I would like to do on a first date?’ and stuff like that. Then things got confusing, cause he apparently liked me AND my friend but couldn’t decide (My friend turned him down later) and I felt so heartbroken and confused. I have never been in a relationship or have a Boyfriend yet. So it’s really frustrating not knowing where I stand with him. I honestly think he likes me back... But I don’t know! and It doesn’t help the other girl has a boyfriend... A few days ago (On Friday and Saturday) I had a Music to Midnight fundraiser where we practiced till Midnight and stayed the night if we wanted. I practiced with band and Color guard. Guard performed our show for the Band and then we got all set up in the Band room and stayed up. When we got there a guy I knew from Band asked me “So are you going to bed?“ I replied ”No, I’m staying up” He replied “Oh the 8th grader is going to stay up?” he asked,, in a somewhat teasing tone. I remarked saying I could and would stay up. Later I saw a few boys from the Band (I knew all of them) playing cards on the floor. I decided to join them. The guy from earlier was standing and observing them. He was standing to my right After awhile I started muttering Egyptian gods’ names under my breathe (I am obsessed with Egyptian Mythology!) and it turned out another one of the guys (let’s call him Guy #2) likes Egyptian mythology as well. We kept talking about it all night and the first guy asked me weird questions like “If I could would I take a time machine back to Egypt” Guy #2 and I where looking up books we had about Egypt to compare and I showed him I had one on hieroglyphs. (I am a really big Geek if you can tell) and the first guy had come to stand by us for some reason. “You are learning Hieroglyphs?” Guy #2 asked, I nodded “A little, I can only write some names” I said, the first guy goes “Wow, That’s impressive” This made me smile. I showed them two names. Then the band director turned the lights out and we all moved into the hallway to still play in the light. Guy #2 sat next to me and the first guy across from me. I had told the first guy I was pretty mature for my age and I was confused on the rules for a game and my friend from guard (Who had joined us. He is a freshman) remarked on how I was being slow, (I am actually quite intelligent) the first boy remarks “Well she is way more mature than you are” and my friend made that comment twice and the guy defended me the same way twice! He kept intentionally making me laugh. One of the guys whom was a friend from the Band with asked me how old I was exactly. I replied saying “I’m 13” the first guy goes “13?? You don’t look 13!” I look older than I really am. We kept playing all night and he kept making me laugh and Guy #2 and I kept talking about Egypt and the first guy kept making conversation with me. I went to bed before the guys. The next morning I woke up and was still in my sleeping bag. The first guy walked around my area (I was near a corner) and said Good morning to someone and then said “Good Morning Insert name here” I sat up and he said “You where out pretty fast” What does that mean? I told him and Guy #2 if they wanted to play cards or hangout to wake me up. (But in a way did that mean he watched me fall asleep) and I couldn’t find my jacket and it was cold outside (Where they where serving breakfast) and another one of the guys lent me his jacket and I got breakfast. When I came back in The first guy gave me a weird look, I took the jacket off. I think I might be leaning towards starting to like the guy but I still like the 8th grader. What sucks though... Is that the guy is sophomore, Is that to old for me? Please help me! -Heartbroken and Confused in California

Dear Heartbroken and Confused in California: Ok, I’m going to tackle your questions one at a time. No, a sophomore is not too old for you if you feel he is safe for you and you both enjoy being together. Honestly, two years is not that big of a deal once you enter high school. I have several friends who date or dated freshman as juniors and seniors. I think that you have a great emotional connection with Guy #1, you enjoy his compliments a lot, and he makes you laugh, which is very important. But he did try to hit up your friend even though she has a boyfriend and was still talking to you. That to me is kind of a yellow flag. It isn’t a fully red flag because I’m not sure if he really pushed any relationship with her, but it should still cause you to slow down and ask if he has the right morals for you. And to question your friend as well since she is flirting with someone when she already has a boyfriend. Now to Guy #2. I think that you have a good intellectual connection with this guy. He seems to be interested in the same activities as you are, which is great for building a deeper friendship/relationship later on. I think that you simply haven’t known him long enough to make a decision yet. Did you get his number? Try to text him and get to know him more. It may sound like I’m pushing this guy more than the first one, but I think you should just know both of them more before you decide on anything drastic. And it may benefit you to talk up the second guy. The first guy might become jealous and make the move you’ve been waiting for, or he might be flighty and make the decision for you by moving on. At the end of the day, however, it all comes down to how you feel. Who do you have more fun with? Who do you feel the most comfortable and yourself with? The person who sticks out farthest in your mind to these questions is the person you should try to pursue a deeper relationship with. -Lots of Love, Alice