I am a boy who likes a boy but I don’t know if he likes me. I’m way too scared to ask if he feels the same way. I don’t even know if he’s gay! How do I ask? Do I ask? I’m very embarrassed.

~Awkward in Anderson

Dear Awkward,

First and foremost, try to breathe. The oxygen supply has been cut a bit short by all your hyperventilating.

With that said, evaluate your approach. Screaming “I’m in love with your being,” may scare away other potentials – not just the love muffin in your current view. Since there really is no way to tell if he’s gay – sorry to disappoint your hopes of relying on your “gaydar” – two options remain.

There is, of course, the indirect route. Ask some friends – hopefully you have some mutuals, and they may be able to provide a quick answer and subsequently lower your blood pressure.

Facebook can be a reliable source to search his single status as well as orientation. It also gives you a chance to find your mutual Facebook friends, a sure litmus test of love.

If all else fails, you can “stalk,” though this is not recommended. I am not suggesting you fog up his window or obtain a ladder or night vision goggles. You can observe him in public spots such as the coffee shop. Order some cheese fries – it may be a long one – and bring friends. Eating cheese fries alone is just sad.

Find out what clubs he is in and so long as it’s not ice hockey, or something with potential for bodily harm, give it a go. You wouldn’t be the first to learn how to use a pottery wheel because of a love interest.

However, the indirect route is painfully time consuming and may not be all that fruitful. The direct tactic can be a much more exhilarating ride. You want to catch him without a posse or bodyguard. Be casual.

Bring breath mints and avoid sweat or anything that may exude unwanted scent. Try a conversation starter – ask about the class or even comment on the subpar literary discourse.

Remember that misery loves company, and if he’s into you, he will agree with just about any social commentary, analysis, life motto or asinine comment.

If he bites, that is elicits a human response, then proceed with confidence.

Ask if he likes the Little Theatre – who doesn’t – and did he hear that such and such movie has just come out.

But alas, you had your friend “cancel” and don’t wish to fly solo. Wait, could he come along? Would he like to go with you? You’d be so grateful not to waste the ticket.

Keep it simple. Stay calm. After all, he’s just a boy, and boys will come and go.

If all else fails, it’s not the end of your world – you can always take up that pottery class.

Got a question about relationships, love or sex? E-mail Robyn Tanner for real answers to your real questions at ctfeats@hotmail.com.

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