AskNelly: How Can I Find Out My Crush's Sexual Orientation?

Hi Nelly,

I'm a girl who met a boy when I first arrived in New York, and I haven't been able to get him off my mind. We talk casually but haven't seen each other in a while. I do not know how to ask him about his sexuality without insinuating that I really, really like him. From conversations we've had, he's implied not that he was straight, but that he was "not gay." (Everything in me believes that he is, in fact, gay, but I truly can't tell for sure.) I do NOT want to force him to share anything he isn't comfortable with. I do not want to rush him, and I want him to continue to feel comfortable around me, even if we can only be friends.

Please help me,

A Hopeless Romantic


Dear Hopeless Romantic,

That’s definitely a lot! Crushes getting mixed up with sexuality can be a tangled, difficult thing—though it also seems like you have a lot of respect for this boy, and are trying to do what you can to consider his feelings while also having feelings for him.

My first piece of advice would be to hang out with him more, if you haven’t seen him in awhile. Hanging out with friends can be enjoyable anyway, but this might also shed some light on a) what his sexuality might be, and b) whether he seems to have feelings for you that lean more towards romance than friendship. This can also give you a chance to get to know him a little better, and see how that influences your feelings for him—do they fade, or stay the same?

If it seems like he might have feelings for you, you can go ahead and ask him out! Even if he doesn’t, it sounds like you want to stay friends with him regardless. Asking someone out doesn’t have to ruin a friendship, and can sometimes (weirdly enough) make it stronger in the long run. If he does want to go out with you, problem solved—and if not, you still gain what sounds like a great friend.

One way or another, by hanging out with this guy, it sounds like you’ll gain either a strong friendship or score a date with a guy you really like—so hey, win-win! What happens next is up to you, and what you feel you’re emotionally up for—but whatever happens, it sounds like you’ve got a really great person in your life, regardless. Best of luck with everything, and hope this goes well!



Dear Nelly,

I think I'm running out of money on my meal plan and I don't know how to ask my parents for money for food. We don't have a lot of money and I feel a lot of guilt over asking this. How do I start that conversation?

Best regards,


Dear Broke,

First, you should calculate how much money is on your meal plan. See how many meals you can afford to buy. If you have some extra dining dollars or NewCard Cash, there are a few restaurants/vendors around campus that will accept them. Check out this list to see some of your dining options. Luckily, we are pretty close to Winter break! So you only have to make it to the end of the semester. I recommend asking your parents for breakfast supplies because that’s typically the cheapest meal of the day and stocking up on some ramen, then use the rest of your dining dollars on lunch/dinner. And don’t forget The TNS Food Pantry!  Good luck!

Love, Nelly