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Teen Dating Issues/This girl I like has past relationship problems


QUESTION: Hello, I'm 16 and I'm in my junior year. I met a girl who I had happened to go to school with in 7th grade this summer. At first, I was just excited to see her. Now, somehow, I've come to REALLY REALLY like this girl. She is literally everything I could ever want in a girl. Although I've let her know how I feel and she says she feels the same way in return, she says she can't forget about how she was hurt in her last relationship. She says she wants to be completely over it before she is in another relationship again, which I can understand but it's so hard for me to because I fell for her so hard. I think about her all the time now. Also, her last boyfriend took her virginity (another reason she is insecure about being in another relationship). Not that I need/want sex from her, I am worried I will be incompetent when the time comes because she is more experienced than me and is expecting more from me (I am a virgin.)

In short, I want advice on how to control thinking about her and sex when it happens. Your response would be appreciated.

ANSWER: Ethan, what are your ages? I need to know that (birthdays would be helpful) so that I can know if my advice is legal advice or just relationship advice.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: We're both 16. My birthday is 7/13/99 and hers is in August, she was also born in 1999.

ANSWER: Ok. I was confused. I thought you were 16 and she was in 7th grade. Now I realize you met her when you were both in 7th grade.

Girls her age who say they can't "get over the hurt" from a previous relationship are generally (and I really stress the generally part) making excuses. It sounds to me like she's wanting to stay friends with you and can't come out and say it, especially now that you've fallen hard for her. So, as hard as YOU have fallen is a "dramatic" as she is being about why she can't be with you. In other words, it takes a BIG reason to not enter a relationship when faced with BIG emotions.

That's not all bad. It doesn't mean she's lying. It just means she's young, inexperienced in the art of truthfulness, and a bit weak.

The manly thing to do is to simply accept her choice and give her some space - but unless she's shared with you the details of her heartbreak, don't "feed" that animal. Don't act like you buy the big drama of her supposed heartbreak, but also don't disclaim it. If she was comfortable enough to tell you she was hurt, she would be comfortable enough to say what he did. Did he terrorize her? abuse her? lie repeatedly? embarrass her in front of her friends and family to where she can never show her face again? Or did the relationship simply, naturally end, as almost ALL relationships at that age do? Because if the relationship simply didn't work out, there's no devastation. The only thing she hast to get over is a normal break up.

I don't mean to sound callous, but I'm a girl, and we girls CAN BE a bit dramatic. Also, we can be weenies when it comes to being honest with a boy. You don't know how hard it is to be friends with a boy only to have him fall for you, and then you've got to say, "I like you, but I don't feel romantically toward you." It's actually pretty easy to type, but for some reason, those are super hard words to say.

So don't blame her. She's human. And don't push her; she's given you her answer.

How do you stop thinking about her? Time is the great healer, but in the meantime, busy yourself with things you enjoy. When you start thinking about her, STOP!! Take out a family photo album, and find pictures of someone NOT romantic to take your mind off her. Uncle Ed, maybe? Aunt Bertha and her 14 cats? You'll get over her soon.

Also, in the meantime, stay friends with her, but don't spend time with her. That will only drag out the pain. But ALWAYS be kind and polite. Never let YOUR pain become a reason for her to mistrust you.

Who knows? Maybe someday she WILL get "over it" and want a relationship with you. That must be totally up to her. If that happens, contact me again, and I'll eat my words. I'll also advise you on the other part of your questions I didn't address this time.

Good luck!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: OK, I will put the thinking about her less into practice. Last thing though, whenever we do hang out (after going out to eat, a walk to the park, etc.) I give her a hug and she hugs me for a long time like she doesn't wanna let go, and she also has called me babe before and sends me hearts and kiss emojis (I have reciprocated the actact because I figured she wouldn't mind) What should I make of this?

It is at this point that I would sit her down and explain that she's sending mixed signals and that you need clarification. Babe is a term reserved for romantic relationships (most of the time). Next time she calls you that, ask her how SHE sees the word. She may say that she calls everyone Babe.

But the long hug is another thing altogether. I would definitely, DEFINITELY say, "You say you aren't ready for a relationship, but then you give out these hugs that confuse me. I care for you, so if you aren't ready to date me, please be considerate of my emotions. If we are just friends, let's keep it cool."

That MAY piss her off. That's ok. She could be exploring how to have the best of both worlds with her crossover behavior, but that's NOT the fair thing to do. So, if she gets a little mad, that's HER fault for not being able to make up her mind and stringing you along, not yours. You can't cave in here.

Let me know how it goes.


Teen Dating Issues

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Suzi Zimmerman


I am a teacher and I write books on teen dating, self-esteem, and values. I can answer questions on making healthy choices, self-improvement, liking yourself, relationships and friendships, goal-setting, values, and how to handle making difficult choices.


Today 1 in 5 sexually active people has HPV (linked to cancer and genital warts) and 1 in 4 has Herpes. 90% of girls who do NOT use condoms become pregnant each year, and AIDS cases are on the rise. Those who do not have sex will not have to deal with these issues, nor will 99% of those who use condoms correctly and consistently. In short, abstain from sex or use condoms - and use them correctly. Parents of adolescent and teen girls should research Gardasil, a vaccine against many forms of HPV. You may not think your daughter will be sexually active, but this will also offer her certain health protection in the event of rape - or should she become sexually active.

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