Dear Ms. Emily,

This guy and I are in our senior year at high school, and we are 18. I've known him for almost four years now, and since the day we met we've argued. He always finds a way to start an argument, and he knows how to make me angry. I've tried asking him why he does this, but he just says that he doesn't do it, or that he likes to tease me because it's fun. When were alone, we actually have really good in-dept conversations and he is nice to me,  but when he is with his friends, male or female, he ignores me and is a jerk. I've tried ignoring him, but a few days later he starts talking to me. Also, now some of his friends who I hardly even know, are speaking to me as if we're all good friends. Lastly, this guy who hangs out on the same group as this guy I'm talking about, told me that the guy who argues with me likes me, but these two guys are not close so I'm not sure.  Can you please explain this to me?

----------------------------Miss Emily's advice------------------------


It's unfortunate, but some people, especially at this age, are socially inept when it comes to the opposite sex. And although this guy is nice to you when you two are talking, alone, his behavior in all other respects is off-putting. He may like you, but if he's incapable of showing it in an earnest way, I think you'd better forget about having a relationship beyond what you have, and continue to ignore his bad behavior in public, or call him on it! You could tell him "your teasing is a sign of insecurity, and I'd take a look at that" but, if you say that, be prepared for him to get extremely defensive. However, it could also end that mode of discourse. Unfortunately, despite his good qualities (and I'm sure they exist), you cannot fix him. For now, I'd direct my energies at those who have fewer hang-ups.