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This is kind of inbetween friendship and love life

Question Posted Sunday November 28 2004, 3:15 am

I've always been a great admirer of your advice, and I thought you might be able to help me with a couple of problems. If not, then I'd at least like your thoughts on these situations.

I've had this crush on this girl for quite some time. It's gotten to the point where I'll buy stuff I don't really need, nor do I really want, just to talk to her. She always seems happy to see me and always gives me a big hug before I leave. The problem is I have no idea how old she is. I'm not the type of guy who judges people who date younger or older people, but it seems to worry my when I'm involved. I'm 20, what if she's only 15 or 16. She looks and kind of acts young, so I'm worried. What do you think the dating age limit should be for someone like myself?

The other problem. Earlier today, I saw scars and cuts on her rist. It doesn't look like something an accident would have caused. I know she can't really die from cuts on arm, but the scars aren't exactly good for her either. How should I go about asking her where they're from? Is it even my business to ask such a question? What if she obviously lies to me about the scars origins? Should I just drop it then or what?

What do you think?

[ Answer this question ]
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OneMan answered Sunday November 28 2004, 1:23 pm:
Oh, youre in quite a situation. Let me answer your first question first. Quite simply, if you're 20, then we are not allowed to make the "limits" on age. The law does that for us. You are viewed by the law as an adult, and if she's a minor, under 18 in most states, then the law would prohibit any type of intimate relationship between the two of you. I wonder if she works in a dept store or something of that nature. You state that you often buy things you dont need and Im wondering how that's applicable. if she does, simply ask, " I've been seeing you here for quite awhile, how long have you worked here". She may just tell you, " Since I was......" or give you the number of years. In most states, you have to be a certain age to work legally, and it may be quite easy to add the time she's been there to sixteen and that should be a good indicator.
As for the cuts. Its important that you realize that she COULD die from cuts on her wrist. That's a common misconception that people have now allowed to run rampant. I won't go into the specifics, but it IS possible. Make no mistake aboutn it. I can't comment on them, not having seen them, but I'll trust your judgement to know that they aren't "normal". Before you question her about them, you will have to earn her trust. I hate to tell you to be deceptive. But showing that you relate to what she MAY be feeling may be a big help. If nothing else, try and share some situation in which you found yourself depressed and felt that there was no hope. Maybe she will then take the cue and open up.
Good luck on everything. Please, if you have the opportunityand she IS a self mutilator. try to encourage her to seek professional assistance without sounding as if you're judgin her or "beating up" on her. DO write me again and let me know what happens. Thanks.

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