DEAR ABBY: I'm a 14-year-old girl and I have a boy best friend who is also 14. I liked him the moment I met him, which was exactly a year ago. He says it's the same for him.
We established that we both liked each other months ago, but we're still only friends. The reason is his parents have a rule that he can't have a girlfriend or go on dates until he's 16. He's the only one I want, but we have to wait until he can ask me out.
For now we are best friends, but it's hard not to want to hold his hand and kiss him and stuff like that. He doesn't like his parents' rule just as much as I don't, and he totally doesn't want to wait, but he will. It's also very hard to not tell him how much my feelings have grown, because I'm afraid he will react strangely if I tell him I think I might love him. What should I do? -- TEEN IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR TEEN: If your intuition is telling you not to be the first to say, "I love you," then listen to it and you may be pleasantly surprised one day to hear him say it to you first. As to the fact that his parents are strict, you really don't have much choice other than to respect their rules.
That said, younger teens aren't usually restricted from having any social contact at all. Before they start dating one-on-one, they usually get together in groups for movies, sporting events, school dances, etc. This should give the two of you opportunities to see each other outside of school. While this may not be the answer you're looking for, for the time being, it may be an acceptable compromise.