By Stephanie Lynn
My Parents Have Split Up
Ok, so my parents split up about 2 years ago but still aren't divorced. It has come to the point where I have to go to court with them. I try to tell my parents how I feel but they just don't listen. My mom listens to me and is totally against divorce. My dad on the other hand is just trying to get his way. I know he loves me and all, but adults just don't think sometimes. What do I do?
Ever watch The Parent Trap? I did just this week. (It happened to be the old Hayley Mills version, not the Lindsay Lohan remake.) Anyway, real life is not like the movies, at least not in this situation. There isn't much you can do, I mean, apart from trying to help your parents see how their actions affect you and your siblings, if you have any. But if they don't listen, then just focus on learning what you can from their mistakes. You too will probably face a difficult time in your future marriage. Learn what it takes to succeed where they have failed. Above all, don't be angry with them - they're probably trying the best they can, even if it doesn't seem like it. I have a good friend going through a 2+ year divorce process. It really sucks for the kids. Ask yourself what it will take on your part to be in that 50% of couples who don't get divorced. Finally, if you pray, pray for your parents, especially your father, that he'll wake up and smell the coffee.
Yes, I do pray. My entire youth group at church prays for my family. Thanks for the advice. You really know how to help someone in need.
This a tough time. Believe me, I know, but you have to go through it. If they ask you where you want to live, don't worry about whose feelings you are going to hurt (meaning your parents). Go with what your heart says because you can't stop how your parents feel. And be sure to talk to them about how you feel.
We wish you the best, and remember, you'll survive, though it's going to be a tough time.
I understand how hard this must be, and it's awful that parents put their children through these things, but even so, once all of this is over, you will need to feel comfortable with whom you're with and the life you have, so you will need to choose whom you want to live with, because the judge will ask you. I'm so sorry you're going through this. If you need anything, we're all be here for you.
Make them listen. Sit them down together and have a family conference. Tell them how you feel and that you don't like them ignoring you like they have been. This split-up is not only hurting them, but you also. You count too and you want your voice heard. Sometimes you have to use force. I don't mean physical force, but get their attention to where they have to listen to you and what you have to say.
Every Time I Chicken Out
Okay, I live by this snowball stand, and there's this really cute dude that works there. Every time I get the nerve to go ask him for his number, I chicken out. I take a lot of risks, and I'm normally not scared to do anything, but I just don't know why I can't ask him. I need advice!
You're pretty much psyching yourself out over this. I understand where you're coming from though. You need to assure yourself that whatever happens will happen for a reason. Don't be afraid to do anything that will make you happy. (As long as it's not illegal, haha.) Take the initiative. Trust me, whether you walk away glad you asked or regretful, you'll be proud that you were brave enough to do it.
How Can I Be Less Shy?
I get really shy around guys. There is this guy I really like, and he doesn't like shy girls. He asked me out the other day, and I don't want to make a fool of myself and be too shy. What can I do to be more open and less shy and nervous around guys?
You know, the only reason he asked you out was because he likes you. Whether he likes shy girls or not, he likes you! If he asked you out just to see how you are, and he doesn't like it, then what's the point of liking him, really? If a guy doesn't like you for who you are, then he's not worth it. Simple as that.
My Guy Drinks and Smokes Weed
My guy drinks and smokes weed. He doesn't do it on daily basis ... but he still does it ... and when he does he loses track of what he's doing. He flirts a lot with other girls, but he tells me that he loves me ... that the other girls aren't important. I don't know how to distinguish the truth from a lie any more =(
Here's the deal. I'm really against drugs and drinking. I'm not sure how you feel about it, but I can tell you what I think. Most people who are on drugs tell their girlfriends that they only do it on certain occasions. I'm not saying your guy is like this, but it's a possibility. The fact is, a lot of times they do it on more than just a few occasions. If you're uncomfortable with him doing drugs, tell him that you're worried about what he does when he's on them or when he's drinking, and that it would make you feel a lot better if he would just stop. If he doesn't stop with just a suggestion, then just tell him that you care about him a lot, that you're worried about this jeopardizing your relationship, and that it's either you or the drugs and drinking. If he loves you like he says he does, then he'll stop.
There shouldn't be any "other girls", whether they matter or not. However, if you're not concerned with his drug and drinking habits, and you're only worried about the lies, then I'm not exactly sure what to tell you. It kind of seems to me like he doesn't really want a girlfriend. It sounds like he wants to just have fun and mess around with whatever and whomever he can.
If a guy flirts with other girls, you always have to question love. But honestly, if he didn't love you, wouldn't he just be with one of those other girls?? I am noticing another thing, though I know you didn't ask advice about this, but if a guy's on drugs or he drinks, don't you think you deserve better? People who do those things don't know what they're doing to themselves, and you should be careful. I'm not going to be like a mother and preach to you about it, but stop and take a look for a minute. Is he really worth it? That's a bad thing to get caught up into. With peer pressure you could find yourself doing things you never thought you would possibly ever consider. Just be careful is all I'm saying.
Stop, Breathe, Think, Listen, Yes or No, Make Mistakes and Let Life Go.
First off, I think you are far too young to be involved in a serious relationship. I'll be blunt with you and say this: If you picture your life in 10 years with a drug addicted, alcoholic flirt, then stay with him; otherwise, get out and never look back. You don't need to interpret anything. You need to get away from him, because not only is he on the wrong track, but he'll drag you down with him.
Okay, obviously what he is doing bothers you, no matter if he does it on a daily basis or if he does it every once in a while. You need to talk to him about it. Tell him it bothers you, and try to come to an agreement that he shouldn't smoke or drink at all (which would be helping him also). I know everyone says that you should accept people for who they are and you shouldn't try to change them, and you should be happy with them because that's what makes them unique. But it's not entirely about that. If he really loves and respects you, then he'll take some initiative on your request.
Wish you the best,
Annul Our Relationship!
Can you clear up the meaning of this to me? Is it possible to "annul" a relationship? I had a long-distance relationship for about three weeks before I got dumped on Myspace. (I know, huh, what a jerk!) He wrote in the message "It would have been fine if you lived near me. Let's act as if we never met." How deep! What if I do see him again? (I still go to the city where he lives, not necessarily to visit him.) Does the "we" in "act as if we never met" include his friends that are also my friends? What does it mean when he wrote "Let's act if we never met?" Advice? Thanks very much. I greatly appreciate it :)
There's no such thing as an "annulled relationship". [This is not a marriage.] And if a guy says that kind of thing to you he so isn't worth your time. Long distance relationships are no fun ... at all. First of all, if he says "act as if we've never met", then do what he says, but don't lose friends over it. If he wants to talk to you, then tell him that he needs to apologize, but don't go out with guys like that - they break your heart and treat you badly most of the time. Keep the friends you've got out of it. He can't tell you who you can and can't be friends with!!
Have Fun and Live It Up!
The Spark is Gone
I have this boyfriend. We've been together for as long as I can remember. I love him and I know he loves me, but we came to a breakup. Then we went back 5 weeks ago, but I'm starting to feel scared. He hardly calls me. He doesn't reply back to my messages, and most of all he never gives me sweet names or even says "I love you". So I'm asking for advice on what I should do, and most of all, how come I don't feel the spark anymore??
Nine times out of ten, if it didn't work the first time, it won't work the second time. If you don't feel the spark, maybe he doesn't either, and he doesn't know how to tell you, so he's withdrawing himself from your life so you forget about him or dump him. Call him and ask him what's going on. Tell him how you're feeling about the relationship, and let him know! You might not feel that spark because he's not around like he used to be or because you're not wanting what you have right now, and you're seeking the excitement of something new. Meet some new guys and get to know them. Most of all, live it up. It's your life!
My 3D IM BF
I have a BF on the internet. I love him a lot. I met him on this site called IMVU. It's a 3D avatar chat. But my parents don't like me dating online. They don't even know that I have a BF on the internet at the moment. But I love him so much, and I'm afraid my parents might find out. What should I do?
Net dating is a stressful thing, especially if you think you're in love. If you don't know this guy outside of the net it can get a little scary!! Remember, it's a computer and you don't know what's on the other end!! Your parents love you, and if you explain things to them they will accept it because it makes you happy!!! I tell my mom everything because we have a trust relationship, and it's a good thing to have. So try talking to your mom about it first, and then if it works out, talk to your dad. Explain how you feel, and you never know ... They might want to get to know the boy too!!!
12 and Feeling Pressure
I have a boyfriend, but my ex-boyfriend is his cousin, and my ex broke up with me, so his cousin asked me out 'cuz I was with him before, and so I said yes. Now my ex wants to get back with me. He is 16, and I told him not right now 'cuz I'm too young. But he said, "No, it's ok. I love you." I love him, but I don't know what to do.
Sounds like a mess!! Ugh, girly!! But listen here - it's not that hard. Remember this ... your heart is your compass, but your smarts are your map. You can't use one without needing the other. You're 12 years old. If a guy loves you he will wait till you're ready to date him. Love = Respect, and he needs to respect that you think you're too young. Have fun getting to know other guys. 'Cause you have your whole life ahead of you - lots of time to worry about guys. So relax and have fun!!!!!!
Am I His Fall-Back Girl?
I've been dating my boyfriend for 10 months now, and I truly love him, but he doesn't see it. He thinks I'm cheating on him, but I'm not. Well, here's the problem. Every time we break up, he goes back with his ex. Then when they break up, he comes back to me. I think, when it comes to this situation, I'm a total dummie, 'cause I take him right back - more than 5 times. And he's intent on playing my heart and my head. But I love him so much - like crazy!! And a lot of girls like him a whole lot. It's like I can't have my boyfriend to myself. What do I do?
A guy dates his ex, and it doesn't work, then he runs back to you. It sounds like either 1) you're a fall-back girl, or 2) he doesn't know what he wants. If a guy doesn't know what he wants he isn't worth your time. And no girl should ever be a fall-back girl! You're too precious for that. Ask yourself this: Are you dating him because you love him? Or because all the other girls want him and you can have him? If you honestly want my advice, I would tell you to see how it works out this time. If he goes back to that ex, just drop him. He isn't worth words from your mouth or the time from your day. I know it's going to hurt, but you'll make it through, I promise!
I totally agree with Mia. It's either situation #1 or #2. Willingness to be with someone who isn't sure he wants you = low self-esteem. And low self-esteem is a bad habit, one you don't want to get into now or ever. Value yourself enough to only want someone you really care about and who really values you. Wait for the best, only accept the best, and be the best yourself, and you'll get the best. Accept the unfaithful, the confused, or those who treat you as second choice, and you'll get someone not very special.
♥ Stephanie Lynn
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My BF Wants Me to Run Away with Him
My boyfriend is awesome and he loves me. He doesn't want his family treating him badly, so he wants me to run away, but most of all he wants me to leave everything to go with him. I truly love him, but I don't want to run away with him. He might break up with me if I don't run away. I'm so confused. What do I do?
I think you know that at 14 you cannot run away with your boyfriend. Running away never (I repeat, NEVER) ends well. As harsh as this sounds, you'll go through this and several more relationships over the next few years. Step back and look at the big picture, the long-term.
If he really wants you, he won't break up with you and he won't run away ... at least not for very long. He may be unhappy at home, but hopefully he's smart enough not to make a big mistake. Regardless of what he decides, your only chance at a relationship is here, in your own home, in your own home town. Stay put, and let whatever happens play out. A couple years from now you'll be soo glad you did.
Please let me know how it all works out.
♥ Stephanie Lynn
First off, I'm just going to say "Been There, Done That". Not a great
idea. Running away from your problems is NEVER the answer. Everything in
life is meant to be faced head on. I mean, first think about the things
that could happen. You're only 14 years old. How would you make a living
once you've run away with him? How would you ever grow up and have a
life if you're always hiding?
I know at that age it may sound like a fairy tale running away with someone you love, but the truth is that fairy tales aren't true. If your boyfriend loves you he would NEVER dump you! Never, ever, ever, so if he does dump you, then he really didn't love you in the first place.
You need to sit down and talk about his home situation and why you won't leave. If the situation at his house isn't what it should be, you need to talk to him about telling someone about it, like a school counselor, psychologist, or family counselor. Let him work out with an adult the best thing to do about his situation. Just remember, this won't be the only time things like this will happen in your life, but you have to learn from the past if you can.
Best Of Luck,
Will You Still Love Me After High School?
I've been dating my boyfriend for 7 months now, and I love him to death and all, but last weekend he told me that some chick was flirting with him, so me being me, I got jealous and pissed. Was I right acting like that?
Well, moving on, we're both juniors in high school, and he tells me that he's scared what will happen to both of us after high school. I mean I don't know what to tell him, because honestly I don't know what will happen either. And all this "after high school thing" is making us fight all the time. What should I do??
Give him some credit. He told you about her. He wanted you to know SHE flirted with HIM, not him with her. He wasn't in the wrong. It may be hard because he is yours and you are afraid to lose him, but is it his fault someone came up to him? Hey, think of it as a compliment that someone else thinks you have good taste!
When it comes to the fact you are juniors, let the "after high school thing" come later. Finish your junior year off happy and take your senior year as it comes. If you guys are still together next year, then think about applying to the same schools and going from there, but don't let what will happen over a year from now ruin the present. Senior year is supposed to be fun - don't let something that can be settled in time ruin it. This will be your last summer as a kid before you turn 18 and will have to worry about other things.
Drama Escalates Out of Hand - Now They're Talking Guns
Ok, well, this kid and I were dating on and off for 2 years. He played me so many times, but every time I took him back. I promised myself the next time I wouldn't be a fool, and I would leave him and never take him back because all he did was hurt me and make me cry constantly.
One day it was raining really, really hard, and I was trying to be nice because I knew something was going wrong in our relationship, and I wanted to try to make it better. So I brought him some food after practice, and I figured we would sit down and just talk to find out why everything was going wrong. That's when I found out I wasn't the only girl in his life - there was someone else.
So I left him. Not once did I go back to him. Yeah, I thought about it, but I didn't. Then one day he called me to tell me he missed me and that he loved me. I knew right then and there I was falling for him again.
But I pulled myself together and found a new man, one who cared and who would never cheat. I fell in love with that boy since the first time I looked into his light brown eyes. Once my old bf found out that I'd moved on, that's when he wanted me back. That's when he realized how much he really did love me. But it was already too late. I was too far gone.
I tried my best to stay true and not to go back to him because all of his words. When he realized I really did move on and I wasn't coming back he flipped. When he saw my new bf Ronnie kiss me in the hall, he couldn't take it, and he jumped him. Ronnie had 10 stitches on his eyebrow, 2 teeth knocked out, and a concussion. Ever since then I don't know how to handle all the fighting they do. It stopped for a little while, but just recently it started again. How do I get them to just stop fighting? All the drama is driving me crazy. It's to the point where they're talking about guns. Now I would do all I can to prevent that, but sometimes I feel what I do just isn't enough.
Wow, this is really serious. One, you need to tell an adult, like a school guidance counselor, or a teacher, or even your parents.
Two, you need to let your ex know you don't want to be with him. He is trying to impress you. He wants you to think that if he wins against your boyfriend then you will take him back, but if your ex is violent, then it could lead to an abusive relationship later. So don't let him back in your life for your own safety.
Also, talk to your current boyfriend about backing off your ex. Ask him to walk away from the situation because the more he fights the more the situation will escalate and possibly result in a more serious situation.
Don't let this situation go - stop it now! It's already out-of-hand, and if something isn't done now it may end with someone getting seriously hurt.
Meet My Imaginary Boyfriend
Okay, I let a small lie get out of hand. Actually it was never a small lie. Mmkkay, I'm just a big loser. I was sick of being single, and all my friends being happy with their boyfriends, and other reasons unknown to me and the rest of the world. So I made up a boyfriend. And with the imaginary boyfriend came his imaginary friends, who were also my made-up friends that I supposedly hang out with on the weekends. I even created a Myspace page for him, and the whole sha-bang. And previous to that I created another boyfriend whom I broke up with a week later.
I knew I had to stop lying about this made-up boyfriend. So I said I dumped him because he hit me. Awful, I know. Now I'm caught up in all these lies and my friends (the real ones) want me to invite my made-up ones to a big blowout end of middle school-beginning of high school party. I don't know what to do. I don't even think before I speak. I just automatically lie everywhere without thinking, and I don't know what to do!!!!!!!
Well, first off, congrats. Very clever of you to snow your friends for so long, but it has obviously put you in an awkward position. The right thing to do would be to tell them the truth - that it was all a lie - and hopefully they'll forgive you ... but I have a feeling that would be social suicide.
So here's what I would do. About this made-up boyfriend, say that you guys are totally broken up and finished. This means delete his Myspace. Say that you were far too good for him, and you guys are no longer talking. And say that the made-up friends are angry with you for breaking up with your boyfriend, and no longer want to be friends with you. Pretend to mope around depressed for a couple days 'cause your made-up boyfriend and friends dislike you now. Then hopefully all will be well.
Once you're in college tell them the truth. It'll be a hilarious story.
To begin with, you need to know that you aren't a 'big loser' just because you tried to end your trip down single lane. It happens. It probably wasn't the best thing to do, living a lie, but it's not the worst thing either. As horrible as this is to say, if you don't want your friends to look at you like you're crazy, you're going to have to continue lying to get out of your lie. You're going to have to make up some story as to why your fake friends can't come to this party thing. I can tell already that you're a pretty creative person, so it shouldn't be hard for you to do. In addition to fixing the party problem, you need to start catching yourself when you're lying. It seems like that may be occurring a lot with you. You shouldn't have to impress your friends, if that's why you made all this up (and that's what it seems to me). They're already your friends, and if you feel a need to lie around them, then maybe you shouldn't be friends with them in the first place. I hope all goes well.
My Friend's Parents Don't Like Me
Okay, so I've been friends with this girl since I was 4. We met in pre-k. This year we've become a lot closer, and I've really liked it because she's such a great person! But there's one problem. All her other friends hate me because we spend so much time together! And I don't really think her parents like me that much because they know I lie to my parents sometimes and she doesn't. She's a real goody-goody. I'm starting to get the impression her parents don't trust me. It just seems like no one wants us to be friends except me, her, and my family. What should I do?
So you have a great friend, but everyone seems to be against your friendship. Now what to do about it?
Well, let's start with her friends. They are all jealous that all of a sudden you walked in and you're taking up all of her time. They were used to it being always them and her, not you and her, and them from time to time. You kind of can't blame them. They are feeling left out. So my suggestion is that you all do more outings together. Let them know you aren't trying hog her for yourself.
Anyway, now to her parents ... You can't blame them either. If you lie to your parents from time to time, and they know it, they are afraid she will start to do the same. They are afraid you may rub off on her the wrong way. Put yourself in their shoes for a second, and ask yourself if you would be kind of worried yourself?
Now how to solve this problem: Prove them wrong. I don't mean rub it in their faces or anything. Show them you aren't a bad person, and also try not lying to your parents. This will gain your friend's parents' trust, along with your family's, and you also won't have a guilty conscience.
Being friends with this girl isn't a bad thing. Instead it's a way to gain new friends and trust.
Tough Choices - The Good Kind
I am in my senior year of high school, and we have to do this senior project, aka 'Capstone'. And I have a choice between two things, and I'm really struggling with it. I can either make a T-Shirt with my own design, or manage a project for building a website for a business and making them a bunch of business stuff. (i.e. logo, business cards, etc.) I have been working on both projects since September, and now have come to the point where I have to pick one to continue on with. At the end of this school year, I have to make a presentation about both, which I know I can easily do for either. I just don't know which one to do, since I've been nursing both projects for the entire school year. Help please?
Of course, the answer everyone has probably given you - the only answer anyone should give you - is to follow your heart. Unlike with moral or ethical issues, sometimes there is no clear right and wrong, better or worse. Just hearing your brief descriptions, the website project sounds like the greater challenge and learning experience, and may be more valuable in terms of your career down the road. On the other hand, if you're considering fashion design ...
Whatever you do, don't overthink it. If your gut reaction (love, enthusiasm) for one project is greater than the other, there may be your answer. If absolutely everything is equal (which in all honesty is a rare situation indeed) then it may not matter a lot which you choose. High school projects are intended for your personal growth - something to bear in mind.
♥ Stephanie Lynn
My Family's a Total Mess
Well ok, I feel kinda strange for doing this but I really need some help. I don't expect you to be my savior, so don't feel bad if, after reading this, you click delete.
I'm pretty messed up...anyhoo, I'd better start ... Well, my brother is pretty much ruining my life ... not like the pulling hair and teasing type of ruin. I mean drug abuse and making everyone depressed type of ruin.
He's been doing pot since he was 15 [he's 18 now] and we first thought it was sort of a phase, but now he's all like cocaine nose and panic attacks, so mum thinks he might be on heaver stuff. He gets angry all the time, calling me a prostitute and a slag all the time. Or he will say I look like a hooker or my hair looks stupid, so now I'm really self-conscious. I'm bordering on obsessive compulsive and he doesn't care!
At the moment my mum is dying and he laughs at her. Dad is taking anti-depressants, so he's more like a robot than a father, and he just ignores everything. The only person keeping me sane was my best friend, but suddenly she got all popular and totally erased me from her life. I'm pretty much in a big hole and I have no one to talk to.
People always suggest teachers or a doctor, but I always have a major guilt trip after telling anyone even a little of my problems.
Like after I click that little button 'Submit' I'll probably go spaz. But yeah, anyways ... no one really knows about my family 'cause I keep them a secret, but all my frustration and sadness, I guess, is seeping into my school life, and I'm starting to lose friends.
Advice?? Once again, it won't bother me if you just delete this. Seeing this is pretty much nothing like the normal teenage problems your were thinking of facing, like 'Oh no my bf cheated on me' or 'I have a big bum'. So yeah ... Sorry for writing so much.
The things you describe are beyond anything anyone can solve in an advice column, but there are a couple things I'd like to say. First, you need someone you can talk to who will be there for you. I want you to keep writing me, and I'll answer, but you're gonna need someone you can talk face to face with whenever you need it. As much as I understand your resistence to the idea, I think you should talk to a trained counselor, religious leader, or health care professional.
You're in a hole, and you need help getting out. If you had a terrible toothache that wouldn't go away, you'd make an appointment with a dentist, right? If you had a headache that went on and on day after day, you’d see a doctor, right? Sometimes people think your kind of problems don't need that same degree of professional help. But you'd be surprised how much help is available and how much good it can do! After your life is in better shape, you'll kick yourself for not having done this sooner. I mean, why suffer like this?
You said about your brother, "He gets angry all the time, calling me a prostitute and a slag all the time. Or he will say I look like a hooker or my hair looks stupid, so now I'm really self conscious. I'm bordering on obsessive compulsive and he doesn't care!"
If he's an addict, the fact is, he doesn't care. That's part of the illness. And so you can't take any insults seriously. Drunks don't fully understand what they say or do, or how they hurt people. It's a sad part of their illness. Same with serious drug users. You have to realize that people who don't like themselves can't like or be supportive of others. A person in a serious downward spiral headed for a tragic end (UNLESS he gets help and changes) ends up dragging others around him down too ... IF they let themselves get dragged down, that is. Don't let yourself get dragged down by family dysfunctions. Get help now.
Please, Bethany ... make an appointment. Don't think things will get better on their own. Write me again and keep me updated.
♥ Stephanie Lynn
Wow. Thanks for replying. No worries about the time lapse. I'm just amazed that people do care and stuff. I have been tossing up the idea to go see someone, but I just thought I'd be wasting someone's time. But your metaphors about dentists and headaches really made me see [it] right. I actually called a local youth group/counseling thingy, and the chick said she had to see me straight away. I'm getting help and it's because of you. Thank you soooo much!