I’m a high school girl in love with a female classmate

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a 15-year-old high school girl. I’m currently in love with someone: a girl in my class.

She’s been talking to me since the entrance ceremony, and we have exchanged LINE addresses. She’s super pretty, funny, smart and amazing.

We’re both biologically female, so there’s no way she would accept me if I told her I liked her.

When I asked her if it was possible to love another girl, she said no but it is possible to like one. Her words gave me a glimmer of hope.

Actually, there was a girl I liked when I was in junior high school, and when I told her how I felt about her, things got ugly for a while. The experience has left a scar on my heart, and I don’t know if it’s OK for me to say how I feel.

I’m wondering if I should confess my feelings and tell her that I want to be like a boyfriend to her. I want her to keep her close to me, smiling.

—E, Hyogo Prefecture

Dear Ms. E:

Sometimes those of the same biological sex fascinate and attract us. I don’t think there’s anything wrong or strange about that.

I think it’s OK to just be what you are now, without thinking or worrying about whether you can be her stand-in boyfriend in the future. You should accept your feelings about her being “pretty, funny, smart and amazing” and just stay happy.

Whether you tell her that you want to be like a boyfriend to her or not, be sure to follow your heart.

While there are some people who can understand such feelings, there are others who may not and think it strange. If you don’t come to terms with this, you might find yourself facing problems.

Even if you don’t specifically confess, “I want to be like a boyfriend to you,” you can still be close and see her as a friendly and nice person, while at the same time keeping a reasonable distance from her. There might be a relationship where you and she are equally comfortable with a certain level of intimacy, without getting too close and suffocating.

I think it would be nice to have a relationship with her that is deeper than friendship but less serious than lovers.

—Junko Umihara, psychiatrist