‘How do I avoid being led on in the future?’

The timing of this letter worked out well. It's from a college student, but it's a good letter to show the high schoolers who will be answering Love Letters tomorrow. I'll be showing them this column – and your comments – so try to be yourselves ... but also appropriate for teens.

Also, let's chat at 1 p.m.

Dear Meredith and LL Community,

I have a huge crush on a good friend. I sit by him in class, and months ago he started to bug me and drag my desk toward him and do all sorts of middle school worthy flirty business. We texted occasionally, but for hours each time. It was all there: eye contact, smiles in class, and numerous inside jokes, for months. Mutual friends said that he talked about me often when I wasn't around, and he'd stare at me and laugh at everything I did. We would take walks around campus together. Once I needed a ride home from a final. The test went overtime so I told him not to wait, but he waited for 15 minutes in the parking lot, and we spontaneously decided to get lunch and had a lot of fun. Something about spending time with him just felt so right.

Recently, a friend had a party where he got drunk. We watched a movie on the couch and he put his head on my shoulder. Then we went to a nearby park and he put his arm around my shoulders and gave me his sweatshirt when I was cold. He wrapped his arms around my waist, hugging me tightly. We talked there for hours. Later in the backseat, he put his head on my shoulder and held my hands between his. The next day, he told a mutual friend that he felt bad for leading me on, and that he liked me as a friend but nothing more. I know this seems trivial but I am genuinely confused. My intuition had been telling me for months that he liked me, and it has never been wrong before. What does it mean that he seemed genuine while drunk and not just beer-goggled-flirty? Was I wrong in judging his previous actions? How do I avoid being led on in the future? Is there any hope for us?

– A confused girl who would appreciate any advice


"Was I wrong in judging his previous actions?"

I wouldn't say you were wrong, but it would have been easier to ask him about his feelings. You've been thinking about this guy for months. If you have questions about someone's intentions, it's best to ask for answers.

"How do I avoid being led on in the future?"

See the answer to your first question. We've spent a lot of time debating actions vs. words in this column, and I always end up feeling like you can't have one without the other. You can try to interpret small actions – hands on shoulders, etc. – but you have to use words to figure out whether you want the same thing.

"Is there any hope for us?"

Again, I'm sending you back to answer No. 1. If you doubt your friend's story or have questions about what was said and how, just talk to your crush to get the answers you need. Otherwise you'll keep reading into the meaning of moving desks and hand touching. Let this letter be the last time you do that.

- Meredith

Readers? How can she get the answers she needs?