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Dear msX,
I have this friend who I'll call "Gina". Gina lives with her mother and stepfather. Her stepfather is really mean to her. He calls her names and swears at her and says she's worthless- all this usually when Gina's mother is not at home, which is often. The really bad problem is, Gina gets so depressed sometimes that she slits her wrists. Once I asked her not to do it anymore, but she still does when she gets really low. What can I do to help Gina?

Dear Gina's Friend,
You know what you have to do. You have to talk to a grownup. Right away. Don't waste any more time.

Gina has problems that she can't handle herself and you are not equipped to help her. Enlist a grownup ~ first tell your parents, if you can, and ask them to support you in reporting this. It is very likely that Gina's being abused, most likely by her stepfather, but possibly even by her mother. After you've told your parents, talk to someone at school. The best bet would be a guidance counselor, but any grownup you speak to at school is bound by law to investigate and report it.

I know this is a hard thing to do and feels like you're breaking a confidence, but, hon, do you want to wake up one morning and read about Gina in the newspaper? By giving this problem over to an adult, you are helping Gina and her family to get the help that they obviously need.

Have courage, you are doing the right thing.


Dear msX,
I'm 16 and I have never dated b-4. I had a fight w/friends and are down to only 1, and family problems. I just wish I had a guy friend to confide in someone to get me out of the house or just someone I can say hi to. I'm short and most guys just think I'm a little kid! Am I doing something wrong? Should I change my looks? What? Pleeeeeease tell me.

Dear Dateless,
Omigod! You say you're sixteen and you never dated? Tell me, when were you supposed to have started dating -- eight? Ten? Not everyone dates by the time they are sixteen. Believe it or not, there is no actual timetable for dating. Some people don't date until they're seventeen or eighteen. Some might not date at all in high school. And, it is rumored that there are still others (yikes) who don't date until they're twenty-one. So you're not even a bonafide late bloomer yet.

Getting you out of the house doesn't have to come about because of a date. If things are tense at home, and I gather they are, there are other options to give you a little breathing space. How about a part-time job or volunteering? Both would get you out of the house and into a world with new people. Working and meeting responsibilities makes a person look older more than changing your hair or make-up. It gives you poise and confidence that makes you look older and more interesting to other people. Give it a try, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Good luck,

Dear msX,
I can't find the right guy. Does this mean I am ugly?

Dear Lonely,
Sweetheart, even if you were the most grotesque individual in the entire world, there would be someone right for you. As mother used to say, "There is a pot for every cover" ~ meaning that no matter what you're like, inside or out, there is someone in this world to whom you will be a perfect fit. Now, finding this perfect fit is another story, that's not always instant or easy, but, rest assured, there is someone out there just for you.

Beauty, kiddo, is in the eye of the beholder. This is no b.s. One fellow's fat is another guy's voluptuous. One girl's hunk is another girl's hood. One woman's nose-like-a-beak is another's Grecian beauty. And so on and so on and so on. There is no accounting for what another person finds attractive.

Take heart. Many people get better looking as they get older. There is someone out there who's going to think you're adorable. Patience.


Dear msX,

I am 16 this year and got my menses at 1996. I think my breasts are still too small coz I am 5'5 in height and its not balanced. Is there anyway I can make it grow? Or should I put on more weight? I am 112lbs. Thank You



Hi J.,
This might be hard to believe, but big boobs are not all they're cracked up to be. Women who have big breasts often have problems that go along with this, such as backaches, posture problems, shoulder discomfort. And, it is not a given that all men like big-breasted women. So let's deal with what you've got.

I don't think you should look to gain weight unless you are seriously underweight. There is no guarantee that the weight would go to your boobs anyway, and, any extra fat you gain will be difficult to lose later. You can and should begin to exercise...good habits started early can stay with you for life. Bike your way to a cute tushy, Define those shoulder muscles. Shape up your legs. Find a sport that lets you be your physical best and firm it, shape it, work it out. Once the rest of your body is in good order, your breasts will fall into place.

To the gym, dear.


Dear msX,
I went out with this guy named Josh, then he dumped me. Now I've met someone else, but they live an hour away. I really like him but I still really like Josh. The other guy likes me to but I'll hardly ever see him. Josh lives 20-30 min away. Josh now has another girlfriend and the other guy likes me too, but he moves way to fast for me. I really need help. PLEASE!!!!!

Dear Likes Josh,
In order for a relationship to succeed, the liking must be reciprocated. Josh dumped you, so in this case, it isn't. And, you think that the other guy moves too fast and seem uneasy about him (trust your own good instincts!). So, that fellow doesn't qualify either. You have a lot of life in front of you. Why are you willing to make it an either/or choice from who's in front of you at the moment? There will be lots more people passing through your life in coming years and if you attach yourself to the man of the moment, they might just walk right by you. Let me put it this way, if I told you that all I had in my kitchen were sardines and canned ravioli, and you could have either one right now OR you could wait because I was expecting an enormous delivery of gourmet delicacies in a little while, what would you choose to do?

Think it over,


Dear msX,
I donít know what to do about my boyfriend. I donít know if Iím paranoid or what but, see he got this computer and will only go on line when Iím not around he wont read his mail in front of me and when I searched documents I found all these pics of girls. this one girl instant messaged him as soon as he signed on and then he told her he cant talk that I was there and she cut out in an instant. and that was the girl that send s him all these pics. then he has the nerve to put parental controls on me and I couldnít talk to anyone but 12 year olds. today we got in a fight cause I found a number in his pocket and he promised he wouldnít do that anymore. it was a girl he met on line. he flipped on me and hit me I donít know what I should do after that he tried really hard to be nice then he flipped out in me when I locked myself in the bathroom then he was nice then mean again I donít know what to do? we have been best friends for 7 years and together for 19mo. please help....

desperately yours


Dear Dreamrbear12,
He hit you? Leave this piece of crap immediately. You're setting yourself up for a cycle of abuse/apology/abuse. Don't you even think about getting used to it. Listen carefully. He is being secretive because he knows you'd be upset. You've already proved that to him. He's probably feeling a little flattered and also a little annoyed. He's probably thinking, "who is she to take away my fun and make me go through such lengths to hide it...I'll just tell her I won't do it again to shut her up." Right now, you're pain-in-the-butt quotient is low, he can afford to placate you. Besides, he's not even doing that. He's already gotten away with hitting you. No consequences for it, except listening to you bitch and moan a bit. I'd have told my parents. I'd have pressed charges. I'd have kicked his butt goodbye. He wants to do what he wants to do. And he is probably going to continue to do it. He may lie about it. You may find out. Then you can fight and cry and hassle and maybe he'll promise never to do it again. If you cry too hard or get him in a bad mood, he'll have to hit you. Then you'll cry, he'll apologize and promise. And, it'll happen again. And again. Basically he is lying so he doesn't have to deal with your reaction and he isn't going to stop anyway. Look at how much energy he's already invested in hiding it, so it obviously has become important to him. Once you become too much trouble to him, he's going to dump you for another victim. Do yourself a favor and dump him first.

Think about why you are willing to accept this treatment,


Dear msX,
I don't have a girlfriend and I want a girlfriend.

Dear Wants a Girlfriend,
I hear the Rolling Stones singing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" in the background. It's true. You can't. But, with patience and a little realistic action, you might find yourself connecting with the girl of your dreams. But, understand that no one's going to read your mind or knock on your door. You have to make it happen yourself.

How? By learning social skills, manners, developing a charm of your own. Women like guys who show them respect. Smile, be pleasant, practice kindness. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, as the saying goes. Find a hobby or activity that is co-ed and where you can bring your newly-developed charm and a smile. I've heard it said that many women are suckers for guys who can play an instrument or sing. Work on being the best you can be and, in time, you will find the girls flocking to you.

Charm is something that will serve you for the rest of your life, in social situations and in business. Practice being a caring and giving individual and you will be a magnet for the ladies.

You can do this - it is an investment in yourself.


Dear msX,
Where do you go to get backstage passes for both Days of our Lives, and Passions?

Dear Backstage,
I think this is a question that one or more of the regulars on the Today's Board can answer much better than I can. Why don't you post the question on the Today's board? I'm sure someone there has an answer to your question.


Dear msX,
Here is my problem. Me and one of my best friends went out for about a year and them I moved and we broke up. During that time me and him were sexually active. Well I came back and didnít think that me and him would start having sex again. Well we did. My period never starts on the same time but last month it started on the 5 and it hasnít started yet and I was wondering what should I do - wait until the end of the month to see if I start....or what??......I dunno what to do

Dear Had Sex and Worried,
You sound young. Hasn't anyone told you, in school or at home, that the only safe sex is no sex? Sex has consequences that kids are not always ready to deal with...pregnancy, sexually-transmitted diseases, the heartbreak of finding out that the one you've given yourself to isn't what he seemed...Lecture over.

Now onto dealing with this. I think you should get yourself a home pregnancy test. If it turns out that it's positive, you're going to have to tell your parents. Whatever decisions you, your boyfriend, and your family make should be discussed calmed when the initial shock is over. Maybe, with luck, you're not pregnant and this is just a good lesson. I hope so, because teen pregnancy is a huge lesson with consequences that can carry over for the rest of your life.

Take the test, if you haven't gotten your period yet. It's important that if you are, you get yourself some medical supervision. Do not wait.


Dear msX,
Can you still get your period and be pregnant?

Dear one,
This is a medical questions and I am not a doctor. But, some women do stain (have a tiny period) at the beginning of their pregnancy. If you think you might be pregnant, get a home pregnancy test or see a doctor right away. S/he will be able to answer all your questions. Or, go to the Planned Parenthood site and see if you can get some answers there.

Good luck,


Dear msX,
I went out w/ this guy for 6 months and we were really close except he was really possessive and got mad when I wanted to go out w/ my friends . We were still doing good though then all of a sudden he would stop returning my pages and phone calls. and saying that he was really caught up in work . He still said he loved me. I broke up with him though I still want him back. What should I do?

Dear Guys are Confusing,
Do you want to be playing these games with him in future years? You say he's possessive, that he doesn't like you seeing your friends. Is that what you want for your future? A guy who is so insecure that he needs to feel that you're either with him or alone? Does he think so little of himself that he really believes that your love won't withstand your comparing him with other people?

Run girl! I know you think you love him, but he sounds like he is trying to narrow your world. Possessiveness and love do not co-exist easily...wanting to own someone is not the same thing as loving someone. Trust is an issue here...I'd be insulted at his lack of trust. Stay broken up for your own good. You sound like a smart and social girl. Don't let anyone fence you in.

You know this is right or you wouldn't have broken up with him in the first place,


Dear msX,
I am 13 years old and in middle school. I have liked this guy for about 3 weeks now. He knows I like him and always sends me confusing feeling exp. we flirt then we donít). I am the only one he really teases with and I donít know what to do . Can you please HELP!!!

Dear Boy Trouble,
This is all part of becoming an adult. Just enjoy the flirting and don't read too much into it. At your age, the average relationship lasts under six weeks. It is all practice for future relationships. Little by little and slowly, teens start noticing those of the opposite sex. They flirt a little, then they go back to being kids. Growing up is hardly a one-way lane on a fast road. You take a few steps forward, some back. Don't rush it. You will like many other boys in your lifetime and many will like you. I promise.

You might want to document this first crush in a diary though. It helps to write your thoughts down and when you're old like me you can look back at these moments and smile. Just relax and enjoy.


Dear msX,
Over the summer this guy had a huge crush on me, but I didn't really like him. Then, as school started he met other girls and I began to like him. I really want to be friends with him, but he thinks that I bug him to much and he's getting sick of me and my friends. How can I try to be un-annoying?? Is there anything I can do to get him to like me even just as a friend??

Dear Annoying One,
The only way to stop being annoying is to get out of his face. You rejected him. He's moved on. Now you see that his life has gone on without you. He has friends. Other girls find him desirable. All of a sudden, you want him desperately. This guy is no fool. He knows that your interest stems from wanting what someone else has. Leave him alone. If he is going to reconsider, he knows your number. You're not going to be attractive to him pushing yourself in his face all the time. Maybe you stand a shot if you keep a low profile and see how the school year goes. Meanwhile distance yourself.

(You're very lucky that this guy is not taking advantage of you're throwing yourself at him. A less honorable fellow might lead you on and dump you just to get even. It happens.)

Hope it all works out the way it's supposed to,


Dear msX,
I am having major guy problems at the moment...I could really use some advice. First of all some background info....I'm 17 F (will be 18 in 11 days). During the summer, I met this guy on the internet...bad idea, I know...but we really hit it off. He only lives 3 hours from me...and we finally met about a month was great and we ended up getting pretty intimate (but, no we didn't have sex). I am still a virgin. I consider him my boyfriend and I swore to him that I would be faithful. I am still in love with him and would never want to hurt him or give up what we have together.

Now on to my current situation...I haven't seen the internet guy in a month....and I am missing him way too much. People NEED to be's like this force that drives us all. We talk on the net all the time and he calls me as much as he can (I feel bad about his phone bill). But, it's not enough....I am 18 and I need more than that...I need to go out and have fun and not be so committed to one person.

Well, last night...I cheated on my boyfriend. I think it's been coming for a long time. There's this guy in my class who has liked me for a long time. Ever since school started this year, we have been flirting like crazy...and I have to admit, I am interested in him too. Last night I went to a football game...and the two of us ended up in the front seat of a pickup truck. It was out in the dark parking lot while the game was still going on....I kissed him and we were VERY intimate (but once again, no sex). He does know about the internet guy. We both had a good time and I really like being with him. And he's HERE and the net guy is THERE.

So, now it's the day after and I am confused as hell. I am not going to tell the net guy, because he would be so crushed and hurt. And I still have strong feelings for him....but this net thing isn't working. I don't really know what to do...can anyone offer me some advice? I feel bad for BOTH guys....I want to be fair to them without hurting them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening

Dear Cheated,
You said it ~ I am 18 and I need more than that...I need to go out and have fun and not be so committed to one person. ~ That was being honest with yourself. Now you should be honest with your boyfriends. You're obviously not ready to be in a monogamous relationship. You're young and vibrant and want to live a little. You should not feel guilty about this. Just when you do have sex, make sure it is of the safe variety. Here's how I see it. You want intimacy on a sexual plane, but don't really want to choose a life partner yet. Your upbringing tells you if you're going to act on those feelings, you must be in love with someone you intend to stay with. But, your intellect tells you you're not ready to commit. And your body is telling you it's ready to have sex. That's why these years of early adulthood are so difficult. There are so many crossroads and which path should you choose. It's hard, it is, but making a commitment because you're horny is not the answer. I can't tell you which path is right for you, but perhaps I made you think a little and the answer will come to you. Don't be so hard on yourself, these feelings are normal. You don't have to call it love to justify it. I'd bet your guys are experiencing similar feelings, too. Being your age can be like being in a candy store with too many choices.

Gets better, kiddo.


Dear msX,
Okay no guy is noticing me yet in high school and I am getting nervous.

Dear Unnoticed,
What are you nervous about? Exactly how long have you been in high school, sweetie?

First of all, everyone comes into their own on their own schedule. Don't be in such a rush to get there. Second of all, if some fellow strikes your fancy, is there a reason why you can send a smile or sentence in his direction first in stead of waiting silently for him to read your mind? Traditionally, the burden of the hunt has been a male responsibility, but things have changed a bit in modern times. If you're worried, you can do something about it. Make an effort to show some teeth. Initiate conversations. Make it easy for a guy to approach you by sending him signals that his attention would be welcome. Try it.


Dear msX,
I donít have a big issue but I need very good advice!!!!!! Thereís this boy I like and heís really cute and he seems really nice!!!! But the problem is I donít even talk to him I donít even know if I have ever said one word to him in my life!!!!! At least not recently!!!!!! Also when I walk down the halls he always looks at me but I donít know if he is just looking at me cause he knows that I am staring or if it means he likes me back!!!! Can you give me advice to get him to talk to me or advice for me to get enough courage to talk to him with out looking like a jerk????

thanks ,

simply confused

Dear Simply Confused,
You can't like him because you don't know him yet if you've never spoken. You simply like the way he looks. This is okay, but don't confuse it with knowing anything about this guy. Looking is a part of early flirting. Sometimes it progresses to talking and sometimes it doesn't. Once you talk, he may turn out to be Prince Charming (as you believe he is) or he may turn out to be the biggest horse's butt in the world. You won't know until you get to speak with him, will you?


Dear msX,
I would like to know what is or could be better than just going to a movie with a girl. I'm 18 year old guy.

Dear 18 Year Old Guy,
If you really, really like this girl, nothing could be better! Just being in each other's company should be an exhilarating high!

If I'm not understanding your question, and you mean what kind of a day would be better, then I would think that if you really, really liked the girl, you might want to do something more interactive than a movie. Maybe post your question on one of the boards to get some ideas for really fun dates.

Good luck,


Dear msX,
Okay I met this guy at the mall and he gave me his #. Two days later he and I planned to meet again. and we did! It was fun. That night he asked me out. I said yes. The next day he calls from school "I love you and miss you" he says. I say the same! The next few days he calls briefly saying "how are you. Iíll call you right back" and then never calling back. I know that guys donít talk, but he usually does. Well anyway, I call him the other day(we've been going out for a week, but he lives in another town) and his bro says heís watching TV. He calls back when Iím not home and leaves a message. I call back two days later, now heís cooking. I donít know what to think. Does he want to dump me? Heís 17 and Iím only 14, so I donít know what heís thinking about. Hhelp me!



Dear My Boy,
t is most obvious that he is not yours. It was fun, but you are geographically undesirable. You are also jailbait. He had a life before you. He's probably realizing that it is inconvenient to see you or that he has more in common with friends his own age.

Don't make yourself crazy. Don't be in his face and call all the time. If he wants you, he knows the number. Maybe he's just waiting for you to grow up a little.


Dear msX,
I have this friend, Jesse. He's one of my very best friends, and I truly value the friendship we have. It all started February of this year, when our mutual friends decided to set us up. So ok, we went along with it. The first night we met, we really got along well. A little while later, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes. Even though I was having a very difficult time in my life, I put a happy smile on my face. Well, pressure arose, and I had to break up with him. He completely understood, and from that moment we started to build on our friendship. A couple months later, I heard from our mutual friend that he really liked me and I was the only girl that he can't get over. I pretty much ignored it because he was too good of a friend to be anything else. Time progressed, and he liked me more and more. He told me the other day that I was the most beautiful girl he has ever known of, and I am nearly perfect in his eyes. He tells our friends that he's completely devoted to me. I've been doing the same thing as before, pretending as though it wasn't true, cause I didn't want to think of him that way. Now I'm afraid to do anything around him. I'm afraid to talk about the guys that make me swoon--like I used to be able to do--or even act like myself. I'm so worried about hurting him or breaking his heart, that I'm completely tip-toeing around his heart. My friends say not to worry, cause they think he realizes that we're only friends, but I can't help but feel guilty. I can't pursue any kind of relationship with him because he's too good of a friend and I wouldn't want to lose that, and I can't keep pretending as though I don't notice that he's in love with me. What do I do???"

Dear Love and Friends,

You're very lucky to have such a devoted friend. For some reason though, girls sometimes get uncomfortable with guys who love them too much or too nicely. Maybe they don't think they deserve that kind of love and respect. Instead they gravitate to bad boys who treat them poorly and take them for granted. Luckily, most grow out of this, but this is pretty common in teenage girls, which makes one feel pretty sorry for teenage boys who are SNAGs (Sensitive New Age Guys).

You say you can talk to Jesse. Tell him that you can't reciprocate the feelings, but you value him as a friend. That should assuage your conscience. Don't throw away a friendship so easily.

Good luck,


Dear msX,
My newly ex-boyfriend and I had been going out for 11 months when he told me just a few days ago that he could no longer be in a relationship because he needed time being single. He said the relationship was too serious for him but the odd thing is that the relationship had maintained its initial intensity since our second month dating. I miss him sooo much and he still calls every night and tells me how he still loves and cares for me. The problem is I don't know whether I should nurse my feelings for him or whether I should try to rid myself of them. I just can't see myself with anyone else. I feel so empty without him. What should I do? Please help me! I really need advice, thank you.

Dear Love or Hate,
There is only one thing you can do...maybe two. Time is a great healer. If you're patient and go about your life without him, maybe the gap will be filled by someone new or maybe after a separation you'll reunite. No crystal ball here, but I think that you will survive whatever the outcome may be.

I might tell him that while you value your connection to him, you find it painful to speak to him so often. Tell what you wrote here and that you don't want to speak to him until a little time has passed. Give yourself and him a month to go cold turkey, cool off, and agree to speak when it's over. If nothing has changed, then you have to decide if you can stand being teased like this. A little time apart is never a bad idea.






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