My dad and I never talk anymore. I feel that we're drifting apart, and I don't know what to do about it. How can I restore our relationship? —Allie, 16, Visalia, Calif.

It can be tough to talk to your dad about things that are important to you (like boys!) and the daily stress of being a teenage girl. He might not understand everything in your life right now — it's been awhile since he was in high school, and he was likely just as clueless about girls then as he is now!

But believe it or not, that's OK. Things are different from how they used to be, so it's even more important to put in the extra effort to spend time with your dad, even if it feels awkward. Sometimes men feel more comfortable talking while they're doing an activity, so try doing something together, like seeing a movie, playing soccer or even just watching TV.

The conversation will come more naturally that way, and if it doesn't, you can at least chat about the activity. ("What did you think of the movie, Dad?") Once he starts opening up to you, he'll be more inclined to ask you questions, which will get the conversation rolling.

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Recently I found out that my best guy friend has a crush on me. I like him a lot, but I have a crush on his friend. He asked my friend how I felt about him, and she told him that I don't feel the same way he does. Now he is ignoring my e-mails and he signs off whenever I go on IM. How can I get our friendship back to the way it used to be? —Katie, 15, Braintree, Mass.

It's totally understandable that you miss hanging out with your friend, Katie, but he's been dealt a pretty big blow to his self-esteem — and he's probably super-embarrassed about it! Getting the friendship back to the way it used to be is probably not something he's ready for right now. Plus, seeing you hit on his cute friend would just hurt him more.

It stinks, but the best thing you can do is give him some space for at least a week or two (that means on IM too!) to heal his broken ego. When the waiting period is over, a good way to test the grounds is during a group outing. Even if you and he don't talk directly, just being around each other is a low-key way to get over any leftover awkwardness.


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