From a teen in Brazil: This is a non-life threatening or dangerous in any way problem, but I simply don’t know how I feel about someone and it’s been bugging me a lot. Basically I met someone who I very much admire, to the point where I want to be more like that person, I always find it enjoying to talk to him and am personally proud of knowing him and being his friend, despite the fact that I’m not sure whether he considers me a friend or not. I genuinely want to get to know him more and spend more time talking to him, despite not knowing how to go about that (but that’s another issue). I also highly value his opinion and advice, and I trust him a lot for some reason. I’m also overwhelmingly sure it’s not something romantic and I struggle to even find a word to describe what I feel towards him: admiration, respect, friendship?

That’s it, I don’t understand what I’m feeling and I’m far too inexperienced with this to come up with a word to explain it or understand it.

A: I think you defined it well. You admire and respect this person and see him as someone you’d like to know better. You don’t need to complicate it more than that. Not every attraction is romantic. Mutual admiration and respect are the basis of the very best friendships. Every now and then, people are lucky enough to run into a fascinating person like this guy who adds a new dimension to life and experiences. I encourage you to find a way to spend more time with him to get to know him better. Start small. Join in on an activity he is involved in. Ask for help with an assignment. Over time you will find out if your initial impression is correct.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie