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Confusing Relationship

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From the U.S.: I am a 16 year old male and a sophomore in high school. I am a part of a team that is an after school activity. It is structured somewhat similarly to a debate club. The activity includes people from each class (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, Senior).

There is a female who is two years older than I am who is rather fond of me. However, it is a very odd fondness. It is almost certainly nothing romantic as she has a boyfriend, but she treats me differently than other team members. She has openly stated on multiple occasions that I am her favorite member of the team. She also gets really excited when she sees me.

The other day, she was quite ecstatic when I got a SnapChat (you know the social media app). I will often get random hugs from her as well. There is only one other person that gets her random hugs on the team, but he is not treated quite the same way. It isn’t that we’re super great friends either since I have only known her since last year. We are friends, but not super close.

She is relatively attractive, but I do not have any strong romantic feelings towards her. I have never seen this kind of behavior exhibited, ever. I really would like an explanation for this phenomenon. I just don’t know what to think or what to do. By the way, if you are familiar with Myers-Briggs, she is an INFP and I am an INTJ, if that helps at all.

Confusing Relationship

Answered by on -


Relationships can serve many different purposes. It could be that this young woman values your contributions in the club and finds you intellectually stimulating in a way that she doesn’t get from other people. It could be that she sees you as a “little brother”, not in a dismissive way but as someone younger she wants to encourage and mentor. Or your confusion could be a result of your personality differences. As you know, INFPs tend to be passionate about whatever they are excited about. She may not know how to show that interest without being confusing. Meanwhile, INTJs tend to be overly analytical. So you may be over-thinking this whole thing.

The most direct way to figure it out is to ask her. Yes, I know. That’s hard to do. But surely it is no more difficult than being confused about what she means and what she wants from you.

Just keep it light. You might find a private moment and say something like, “I really admire how much you bring to our club and I’m glad to be your friend. But sometimes I find how you treat me a little confusing, especially since you are a senior.” Then be willing to listen. See where it goes. I have a guess that she doesn’t have any idea that she is making you uncomfortable. Be prepared to reassure her that you aren’t looking for romance; that you just want to better understand what she has in mind.

You have another half year of school before she graduates. You’d probably like that time to be as comfortable as possible. Good communication is the route to being easy with each other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Confusing Relationship

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Confusing Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 3, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 11 Mar 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.