Author: Weston, Carol
Date published: February 1, 2012
WAITING FOR THE NEXT STAGE
This guy I've liked for a while asked me out We're really good friends, and of course I said yes. Ever since, though, things have been different. It's a lot more awkward. My friends say that's just the first stage of the relationship, but are they right? Is it going to start feeling more natural? I hope so. He seems so unsure and nervous. I'm his first girlfriend and he's my first boyfriend. We are both in ninth grade.
Dear Waiting for the Next Stage,
The jitteriness is normal, but it won't go away unless you both power through it Force yourself to make conversation, ask him caring questions and compliment him on little things. Don't feel as though you have to talk about the awkwardness itself. Just chat about school, friends, music, movies, vacation plans and whatever you used to talk about.
For Valentine's Day, my school's student council is selling flowers. I want to send a flower to this guy I like, but I dont know what to write down for a message. I want this to be the way he finds out I like him. I was talking to him earlier online, and he was trying to guess who I liked. He guessed himself, but I never told him "yes."
Dear Flower Power,
If you two are talking online about who you like, and he guessed himself, that's a good sign. As for your note, no need to go over the top. The fact that you're sending flowers speaks volumes. Maybe you can say "from your not-sosecret admirer," or even add your Initials.
I made this awesome new friend at the beginning of this year. She would invite me to movies, sleepovers or Just to hang out. Then she tried out for our school play, and she did great in it. She made so many new friends, and I was happy for her. Problem is, now we aren't as close any more. She talks to her other friends who were in the play and Ignores me. She also hangs out all the time with a new bestie, who has replaced me. She lsnt answering any of my texts and seems like she's annoyed by me. Help!
Ouch. It can be hard when friends make friends. Your best move is to keep reaching out to others and occasionally ask the actress girl to do something specific like, "Want to go see a movie on Saturday?" rather than sending tons of random texts. You'll keep making new friends all your life, and a few will remain friends forever.
I just broke up with the boy of my dreams. He had a winning smile and personality, but he was hanging out with his "gal friend" too much and wasnt defending me when his friends were being jerks. I decided to break up with him. I thought it would be easy, but it wasnt, because I kept feeling more and more attracted to him. I asked him back out, but he said no. I haven't talked to him now for four months, but I think I'm still in love! Should I move on or wait for him?
Dear Ex Love,
The boy of your dreams can be a nightmare if he's not there for you. Live in the now, and recognize that a guy whose friends were jerks to you might not be as wonderful as you thought Is it possible that you are in love with love more than with this boy? It's Valentine's season- look around and get yourself to smile at two new boys this week. It's time to move on.
My friend isnt eating. She doesnt want to get teachers involved, but my friends and I are all really concerned. She is denying she has a disorder but we all know she does. Today, my other friend and I finally realized we need to go to a teacher, so we did. But now I'm afraid our friend is going to get mad at us. I'm so confused.
Dear Really Concerned,
You did what you did out of concern. If her first reaction is anger, bravely say, "We dont want you to be mad, but we really care about you and we dont want you to be sick either." This is complicated territory and I hope your school has a guidance counselor who can help you, your friends and the teacher you told sort all this out.
AM I MENTAL?
I have a problem and I'm afraid to ask anyone about it because I feel like a freak, but I've looked online and still cant figure out what's wrong with me. Ever since I was little, I've felt grossed out by my body and grossed out looking at other people. I would rather be a nice clean table or appliance or something. I sometimes get angry at the objects in my room because they do not have to live like this. I'm really jealous of them, and I want so desperately not to live as a human any more. Do I belong In a mental hospital?
Dear Am I Mental?,
You do not belong In a mental hospital. Those who do are usually at risk of harming themselves or others. But your letter is unusual, and I think you should open up to a counselor about your dscornfort Ask yourself what part of being human feels uncomfortable to you- pee, poop, blood, love, anger? There are books and movies about people "leaving" their bodies Cfrom Metamorphosis to Freaky Friday) so you are not the only person to have thought about this My hope for you Is that you can untangle the ropes that are holding you back from enjoying a full, rich Cand, yes, occasionally messy) life.
Trust me when I say I'm happy with my life. But lately I have been thinking about death. It's depressing, but I'm afraid to die. My mom told me it's normal and that sooner or later I will stop thinking about it. Will I?
Most of us choose to make the most of our lives and not dwell on death. Its not that we're In denial, its Just that we strive to live In the now, build toward the future and be happy and social and productive. I'm with your mom: I believe Cand hope) you will soon get back to appreciating your life and thinking about how to make the most of it rather than worrying about mortality.
WHAT CAN I SAY?
My BFF has been down lately because her parents have been fighting a lot and are talking about getting a divorce. I want to give her advice and try to cheer her up, but I'm not sure what I can do.
Dear What Can I Say?,
its OK simply to say, "I wish I knew what to say." Or, "I'm so sorry your parents have been fighting That must be really hard." Once you acknowledge her pain and give her a chance to talk If she wants to, then its fine to talk about
I like this boy and he likes me back, but I have a twin sister who likes him, too. They went out over a year ago, and she thinks that they are going to go out again. She doesnt know that we are going to go out.
Dear Twin Trouble,
In the big picture, getting along with your twin is way more important than either of you going out with this boy. Isnt there someone else you like In your school or town? Ideally, you and your twin will pursue different interests Cand guys) so you can avoid this predicament in the future. It would be a shame If you get Into a pattern of competing for the same boy or, for instance, auditioning for the same part in a play or the same position on a team.
happier things, like what to wear to the Valentine party, whether to go to the concert or how totally cute you-knowwho looked in science class.
Ever since I was a little girl, I've always bitten my nails. It's been a really bad habit for many years and I want to stop. Everyone tells me to stop, but I can't find a solution.
Dear Nail Biter,
I had the same bad habit growing up. and I'm sorry to say that even now l sometimes nibble a little. I used to to bed with gloves on, and I also tried using yucky-tasting polish. What still works for me is to get regular manicures or polish my own nails. Treat yourself to a cute mani and try to kick your habit, but forgive yourself for being human. There are worse habits.
CANT TRUST MOM
I like my mom, but I cant trust her or talk to her about boys or anything important because she tells everyone. Is there any way to help me talk to her and make sure she doesn't tell anyone?
Dear Cant Trust Mom,
I am happy you want to talk to your mom, so dont give up on her yet Find a time when she is cairn and in a good mood (not in a hurry), and say, "Mom, I really want to be able to talk to you about stuff that is important to me, but I have to know that you wont get mad or tell anyone else. Like that one time when you told Aunt Linda about my crush, well, that was embarrassing. But I still want to talk to you." Letls hope she listens.
DELINQUENT AT 15?
Since about seventh grade, I have had problems with alcohol. I drink some whenever I get the chance, and I have only told a few of my closest friends. I think it runs in my family because my nana and aunt both drink a lot. I have also smoked a few times in the past even though I know it's wrong. I'm afraid to tell anyone really. What should I do?
Dear Delinquent at 15?,
I am really glad you told me because, as you know, this is a very destructive habit and Tm begging you to put the brakes on this. If you become a drinker, it makes it much, much harder to get work done, get into a good college and create the future you want Please give yourself a chance to live your life without this crippling addiction. Consider calling a help line like the Nineline at 1-800-999-9999, or visit Alcoholics Anonymous at aa.org.
I think I might have AIDS or HIV because I had unprotected sex. I'm going to get tested. If I get tested for HIV and I dont have it, does that mean I dont have AIDS?
Dear Worried Sick,
HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS, a disease that has no cure. Let's hope you dont test positive for HIV, but why oh why did you have unprotected sex? You may have gotten any number of diseases, from herpes to chlamydia. Or you may be pregnant T? to a doctor or a clinic like Planned Parenthood C1-800-230PLAN]. And next time, say yes to yourself by saying no to unprotected sex COf course my advice is to hold off on sex, protected or unprotected.)
FAT AND FRIENDLESS
People always call me fat and ugly. I feel like nobody likes me, and I don't even belong on earth. I know I'm overweight and I'm trying my hardest to lose weight and look better, but sometimes I just break down and start crying.
Dear Fat and Friendless,
I'm sorry things feel so hard right now, and I hope you can take pride in your schoolwork and In the skills you use after school. You do indeed belong on this earth and things will feel easier soon, when your classmates grow up a bit and become more mature. This will happenl Also, as you try to modify your habits, perhaps a parent or friend can provide some pep talks or company. Hang in there.
I have a huge crush on a celebrity. He's always on my mind. Is it possible for me to meet him? Also, is it possible for a non-famous person like me to date a famous person?
Dear Celeb Crush,
Possible? Yes. Probable? No. There are careers- like journalism, filmmaking or theater- that can bring you closer to the world of celebrity. But why do you crave this proximity to fame? It isn't all that it seems. The best advice I can give is to enjoy who you are and the people in your real life.
Carol Weston is the author of GWto/fc All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told you, The Diary of Melante Martin and 10 other booka visit carolweston.com or like facebook-corrVWriter CarolWeston. If you write Carol c/o Girls' Life, 4529 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD, 21214 and want a personal reply, be sure to Include a stamped envelope with your own address on It inside your letter.