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Bridging the gap.

Troubled waters in your sea of love, mate?

This guy in my class constantly flirts with girls. He puts his arm around them or holds their hands while he tells them jokes. When he was like that with me, I thought he liked me. Then, I realized he is this way with everybody. Is he a flirt or a jerk?

BILL: Can't a guy be a flirt without being a jerk? We all want to be the center of someone's world; this guy wants to be the center of everyone's. Sort of goes against the law of gravity, doesn't it? The poet Matthew Arnold wrote that we all desire "not to be loved, but to be loved alone." I guess Matthew Arnold would call this flirt a jerk.

DAVE: It doesn't take a poet to see that a guy trying to be all things to all girls may have a difficult time narrowing his focus. I don't think this guy is a jerk...yet. However, if you do ever go out with Prince Charming Everything That Moves, what are the chances he'll curb his flirtatious nature? His jokes can't be that funny.

My BF is scared his friends will tease him if he shows he cares about me. Is there anything I can do to make him more comfortable?

BILL: There's a big river of life between being a boy and being a guy, and the bridge across the river is the ability to tell a girl you care about her. Sounds like your BF is on the bridge and thinking about turning back. Give him some time.

DAVE: I need Cliffs Notes to follow Bill's references to 19th-century British poets and analogies about life. Are you the bridge or the river?! Perhaps we should rename the column "Guys Q&A with Dave and The Bard." Hey, I'm game--I can analogize with the best of 'em. OK, entering a relationship is like diving into an empty pool. You just have to hope someone fills the pool with water before you land. If you two are on the same level, great. If not, scrape your flat-as-a-pancake heart off the bottom of the deep end and find yourself another diving board.

I really want a BF. But it seems all the decent guys are taken, and I don't want to go out with a total jerk. Am I being too picky?

BILL: Not wanting to be with a jerk is smart, not picky. But the decent guys who are taken might become free next week. And the total jerk might turn out to be a pretty nice guy once you get to know him. Don't push too hard just to have a BF. If you get in a relationship with Mr. Wrong, you might not see Mr. Right went he comes along.

DAVE: What would Ginger on Gilligan's Island do? Did she go out with Mr. Howell (married), the Skipper (out of shape and too old), Gilligan (come on, Ginger and Gilligan?) or the Professor (geek)? Nope, she waited. It's a good rule to live by. Just don't wear the same dress for six years.

My BF dumped me. Well, actually, he told his friends to dump me. What's up with that?

BILL: Cold! Maybe your friends could tell his friends to give him a few tips on how to break up like a man: 1) Tell the truth, 2) do it in person, 3) wish the girl the best.

DAVE: I've heard of the Phone Break Up, the E-mail Blow Off and the Instant Message Good-bye, but never the Proxy Friend Dump. Some-times, it is best to view dating as an ongoing live-and-learn experiment. Put this one in the loss column, and move on with the knowledge that the next guy can't possibly be this weak.

There is this cute guy, and I like him. He's in ninth grade, and I'm in seventh. Is he too old for me?

BILL: Uh...yeah! He is in high school, and you are in middle school. These are two different planets. Enjoy your planet with your planeteers, not with an alien from the planet High School!

DAVE: Let's approach this with an easy mathematical formula: your age + his age = x. Can you divide the answer by 2 and get your age within 12 months? If not, you're dating the wrong guy or dozing off during math class.
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Title Annotation:identifying flirtation
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2000
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