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A U G U S T '99

Dear msX,
I am soo not feeling good about myself? I have low confidence, low self-esteem, no ego, nothing! Any ideas how to feel better?

My dear Depressed,
I know an instant cure for depression, but you won't believe how good it works until you actually try it out. It's called volunteering. It can be done formally, like when you sign up to be a tutor, a candy-striper, or a helper in an animal shelter. Or, it can be done on a more informal level, you can be on the lookout for people in need of help.....and jump in and offer your assistance. Check into joining a walk-a-thon or a campaign to save the dolphins. It will not only lift your spirits, it will put you out in the world with other people, too.

One reason volunteering works for depression is when you reach out to help someone less fortunate than yourself, you begin to appreciate all of your own gifts and blessings. Sharing yourself with others will validate your self-esteem when you see how appreciated you can be. And, you will connect with folks who are generally good folk...that is, people who give of themselves are generally good and honest people, the kind of people you'd want to include in your life, the kind of people who are good for you. As you meet others, you will see a reflection of yourself in their eyes... it will be one of a generous and caring individual who has a great deal to offer the rest of the world.

Do it, hon, and good luck!

Dear msX,
How do you get from flit to girlfriend? I like a guy who lives next door to an older friend of mine. He is 8 years older and really cute . Last time I saw him we went down to his apartment and looked at videos until we fell asleep, then we moved into the bedroom and cuddled and kissed and slept some until the next day! No sex!

We watched some more TV and ate breakfast then he drove me home! He said "Well you know where I live" and thats about it!

When will I see him again? Should I just come and knock on his door? What if he has girlfriends over? I donít know how serious he is or what to do next! Iíve never had a boyfriend before and I'm 18.

How do I go from flirt to girlfriend? Please give me an answer!

Dear Flirt,
Going into an apartment, much less a bedroom, with a guy you hardly know is dangerous. This is not the way to become his girlfriend. His saying "you know where I live" speaks volumes, sweetie. I would be sooooooooo insulted. He is using you. What that says is, "if you want to see me, you make the move, but I can't be bothered." Maybe you didn't have sex this time (you sound disappointed), but this guy knows he could have you with very little effort. He didn't have to do anything at all to get you into his apartment! He probably thinks you are this way with EVERYONE. The way to become a girlfriend is to get to know someone before you go off to a bedroom with them. Let him show you some respect by picking you up at your house, taking you out, talking to you, before you do any cuddling. There is an old saying with a lot of truth in it...."Why buy the cow, when you can have the milk for free?


Dear msX,
A long time ago I was going with this guy who was part Mexican and half black. I really like him alot so much that we had a physical relationship together. Things kinda faded out between us. And now every time I see him we are both scared to say anything to each other. I would like to know how do I start a conversation with him because I know he still wants me and I want him just as much.
Need to know

Dear Need to know,
What does his being Mexican and Black have to do with anything? If you want him or want to know if he wants you, then just start talking. There is no other way you're going to find out. But, what is it you REALLY want to know? If he's sexually interested in you or if he really likes you as a person? It could be both, of course, but since he isn't talking, my guess would be that his interest is strictly physical. If he liked you as a person, he'd have made a move to converse with you already. Or, maybe he feels your interest in him is predicated on his being bi-racial, an exotic, maybe even forbidden fruit for you. Maybe this offends him a little more than his attraction to you can make up for.

Talk to's the only way you're going to find out.

Dear msX,
I am having a problem with my friend. It is just that she is trying to escape from reality by pretending she wants to be someone else and I don't think what she is telling me about what she feels is true that she thinks she is another person. I don't think she is ( or has a double personality) but she wants to be another person from the 18 hundreds and it is freaking me out.
Freaked Out Friend

Dear Freaked Out Friend,

I am not sure how serious your friend's problem is. My guess, and it is only a guess, is that her wish to be someone from another time is just a silly fancy that she shared with you. Once she saw how it freaked you out, it became a game to her. Maybe you should humor her or not show how freaked you are and eventually she will lose interest in shocking you.

If you think that it is more than this, is there someone in either of your lives you can confide in who would be able to assess the situation more objectively? Maybe let someone else in on the fantasy, someone older perhaps, and see what their take on it is. In any case, her fantasy really doesn't hurt you, does it? If it becomes a danger, the you will know you have to act fast and tell someone, like a parent or counselor.

Take it easy,

Dear msX,
Hi, my problem is that the other night me and my friend went over to one of our guy friends dorm room and our boyfriends said they didn't want us going so we asked "Well, do you trust us?" My bf said yes but her bf didn't say anything. See, thing is she cheated on him like 4 years ago, and then after that her bf said "I trust you, but I don't trust your guy friend" then her bf keep going on about not going and my bf started saying that he didn't want me to go because of the same reason. My question is: isn't part of not trusting them, the same as not trusting us? I have never given my bf any reason to doubt me before so I don't know what's wrong with him. Please get back to me.

Dear Dumbfounded,
People bring all sorts of history into their present relationships. Obviously, these guys are carrying around a heavy distrust of females that was there before they even met you or your girlfriend. You sound like you already know this. And you are absolutely right...they're saying they trust you, but not the other guys is the same thing as not trusting you. Sounds like very insecure guys to me. It also sounds like you have a very healthy sense of self and good instincts.

No one has a right to tell you who to visit. A girlfriend or a wife (or a husband, for that matter) is not property. Possessiveness like this is not healthy in a relationship. Make it clear that if he wants to remain your boyfriend, you expect to be treated with trust and respect in the future. Assert yourself now, do not let his insecurities choose who you are friendly with. It will set a very dangerous precedent, if you do.

Take care,

Dear msX,
Iím a 15 year old girl with a question you probably hear everyday. You see me and this guy Seth were friends for about 4 months and were together for 5 months. We had the best relationship. We did everything together and we got along great. Then summer came along. I went on vacation and so did he. We never got to see each other anymore yet we still were in love. We began fighting over stupid things and started treating each other horrible. Finally we decided it would be better to just be friends.

It was the hardest thing I had to do in my entire life. My heart was broken. After about a week I was ok but still a little sad. Since we were both home for once we decided to get together as friends. At first things were going well but then we ended up kissing and all the feeling came back. One thing lead to another and we ended up fooling around a lot. But we never had sex or anything but we did come close.

Anyway we're planning on getting back together after the summers over. We just don't think its fair to each other to be together when we can't see each other much. The other thing is that heís changing schools in the fall so we won't be going to the same school anymore. Iím afraid that our relationship won't work if we're not in the same school but another part of me thinks that our relationship can survive anything.

So what do you think I should do? First of all is it wrong for us to be fooling around when we're not going out even if we're getting back together? And do you think we should get back together even if heís changing schools?
Write back when you get this. Thanks.

Hi Nesly,

There are two schools of thought: One, the absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder/familiarity breeds contempt-contingent, feels that people always feel more affection for what is not in their life at the moment and less for that which is. So, perhaps, you and your fellow find yourselves liking each other more after these separations. You long for him when he's not there, probably more than the relationship warrants, simply because he's not available.

Then there is the out-of-sight, out-of-mind/love-the-one-you're-with philosophy. I kind of see you and your fellow in this category. If you're together and it's easy, then it works, but if you're apart, there is no loyalty holding the two of you together. You're young now. There really shouldn't be any reason for you to tie yourself to someone who is out of your school and social circles when you're only fifteen.

And, hon, be careful about the almost wouldn't want yourself tied to someone by a pregnancy, would you? Or, find that he's given you some STD that he's picked up while you were apart. Boys that age are horny, hon. If you're there and you're willing, chances are he will profess his love at that moment, but once school starts, where will you be in his life?
At fifteen, safe sex is NO sex,

Dear msX,
I like this one guy, who is very sweet and nice and I think that he likes me to. The problem is he's a year younger than me and I'm afraid that if I go out with him my friends will start to leave me out. What should I do?
Older Woman

Dear Older Woman,
Right now that one year means something only because you are still in school, where people are divided along their age lines. One year's difference is hardly noticeable once you are out of school. It is only in school that we can tell the difference between the sophomores and the seniors. Actually, I admire your openness to consider a younger fellow. When one confines their choices to one group, they are playing on a very narrow field. Looking beyond that field will serve you well and bring many more interesting folk into your life as you get older. If your friends object...well, you don't have to spend every minute with either your friends or this boy and you don't have to make a choice. I'd say get to know him. Maybe your friends will see right away what you see in him and if they don't, you don't have to mix them together. Caring about what your school friends think is also something that will, just like age differences, disappear once you graduate.

Best of luck,

Dear msX,
OK- here's my problem:
There's a really cute teddy bear boy in my school. He's soo cute. I like him soo much but it's like I don't even exist to him. What should I do? Ask him? Leave him alone? I try to get him to like me by like hanging out with him and friends but it's like I'm invisible. Please help!
Likes the Teddy Bear Boy

Dear Likes the Teddy Bear Boy,

There could be a lot of reasons the TBB doesn't notice you, none having much to do with you. Maybe he's not ready to like girls yet. Maybe he likes someone else and all his attention is focused there. Maybe he's just not into girls at all. Whatever it is, all you can do is try to strike up a friendship with him, and if that fails, move on. There are lots of Teddy Bear Boys in this world.

Move on.




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