Dear Miss Emily:

I can’t sleep or eat lately. I can’t stop thinking about a man who lives up the road from me. He always stops and talk to me, and I know he doesn’t have a girlfriend. He runs the local youth club and I meet him there too. He is very attractive, and I am mad about him. My sister says he is old enough to be my father. Please don’t tell me I am stupid or that this is just a teenage crush. I know it is true love. Should I let him know my true feelings?
Hopelessly In Love

------------------------Miss Emily’s advice-------------------

Dear Hopelessly:

I would never tell you that your feelings are just a teenage crush, because people of all ages can feel the way you do.  But there are things you must consider.  In the United States (I don’t know what the age limit is in the U K), guys who have relationships with girls under 18, subject themselves to prosecution if certain sexual activities take place. Prosecution is common when the man is, as your sister said "old enough to be your father." In his case, he would be foolish to act on any attraction he might have for you, because he would risk his job, reputation and, possibly go to jail.  Stopping and talking to you does not mean he is interested in you, although I am not ruling that out.  So what I’m trying to tell you is that acting on your feelings could initiate a relationship that could backfire for both of you.  If this man is smart, he would tell you that he is flattered by your feelings for him, but he is obligated to keep a safe distance.  If you are at the age of consent, you could let him know how you feel about him, but be prepared for rejection, causing extreme blushing!  The embarrassment of it could keep you from ever going to the youth club, or have a pressing desire to move out of the neighborhood; unless you have nerves of steel.  To repeat, underage?  Keep your lips zipped, and suffer in silence.  A good movie to watch (this is about an English, female teacher who has a sexual relationship with a student) is: Notes On A Scandal. She’s married, but that’s not the point.  She is sent to prison.  Ouch!