Sweet Advice

By Stephanie Lynn

Featured Advice

Hey Everybody, I Touched a Girl's Butt!

I have been dating this guy for almost 7 months. I love him sooo much. Well, my friends think he's not right for me because I told them what happened when I spent the night at his house with his sis. Basically what happened was we hugged and he was moving his hands down my back, and then touched my butt. It wasn't that big of a deal until he texted his friends saying I touched a girl's butt. That night we had our 1st kiss. We waited 6 months for a kiss. Soo should I take it the wrong way or just not worry about it?
Lauren, 15

I think it's good that you waited so long for your first kiss. It proves that he is in the relationship for the right reasons. But I don't like the fact that he bragged about what he did with you. It's supposed to be personal, and I think maybe you should talk to him about that. No one can tell you who to date, but I think that you should at least consider what your friends have to say. Follow your heart (:

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Was I Right Breaking Up with Him?

I had this boyfriend. His name was Roger. Roger and I dated for about a year and 6 months, but I broke up with him 'cause I met someone else. This guy I met, well, I've known him for a long time - my sophomore year in high school. I finally told him how I felt about him and it turned out that he felt the same way. So now I'm with my old friend that I've known forever and he's fallen "head over heels for me".

But deep down every time I get a text from my ex, Roger, my stomach can't help but drop, and I get all happy ... and when I'm with Fabian there are some times when if he brings something up I just can't help but think about my ex. So my question is: Was I right breaking up with him?
Ronie, 16

Well, most people do still have feelings for their ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, even if the reason that they broke up with them did seem legitimate. Trust me, you are not the only girl who still has feelings for her ex-boyfriend. The reason why you feel this way is because you really liked Roger.

Now, to answer your question, to me, you are truly the only person who can answer that. Do you feel that breaking up with Roger was right just because you met someone else? I was in a situation like this once and I broke up with my boyfriend after we had been on and off for about 3 years! When I met someone else, I broke up with him as well. Our relationship was completely fine, but I was just tired of being on and off with him. I felt like I needed to find someone else, someone better for me to make myself happy. When my ex-boyfriend used to text me, I used to get those same feelings ... butterflies in my stomach, just an emotion of happiness that came over me because I really liked him.

I didn't let those feelings persuade me into going back to him because I knew that there was a reason that we broke up. "Everything happens for a reason." What I'm saying is, don't let these feelings make you want to go back with Roger because you probably have something better now. You just kind of have to ignore the feelings that you get when he texts you, and instead of thinking about Roger, just think about Fabian. He is your boyfriend now and he deserves to be treated with respect. You obviously left Roger for a reason, so just be with Fabian and be happy! I believe that the only reason you are asking yourself this question is because you just get these feelings when they really don't mean anything! Just ignore these feelings and move on. To me, it's not good to go back in life - move on to the future! Ronie, you should just be happy with Fabian =]

Good luck, hope this helped xx

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Meet My Birth Father or Not??

Okay, I'm 15. I don't know my birth father. My mom got pregnant with me when she was back in high school. My mom and my birth dad had always been 'high school sweethearts'. When she told my real dad she was pregnant with me, he didn't believe her and called her a liar, and he later moved out of town.

When I was born, my mom tried to get my birth dad to visit me on a regular basis, but he still didn't believe that I was his daughter.

My mom and I were talking about me meeting my birth father, and she said she really wants me to meet him. She says she's seen him out and about before, and she says she still talks to him on occasion. She said that he's a really good guy, but since they were in high school when my mom got pregnant with me, he got scared and ran.

I don't know if I should take the opportunity and meet the guy for the first time at 15, or just go through life without him like I have been?

A part of me honestly doesn't want anything to do with him, but another part of me wants to meet him, and wants him to be a part of my life. I've always wanted to be like my friends and be 'daddy's little girl', and I've always dreamed of my real dad walking me down the aisle at my wedding, or just calling me his little girl. I want to be able to run to my dad for money when my mom won't give it to me. [haha.] I have no father figures in my life, and I kind of want one. I just don't know if I should take the chance at meeting him.

Please help!
Kat, 15

I can't promise that meeting your birth father will meet your expectations, or that you'll end up as 'daddy's little girl', or even that he'll want you in his life after that first day. All I know for sure is that if you choose not to meet him you will surely regret it. And so for that reason alone, I think you should meet him. Remember, he may or may not have matured into a real dad figure. He may or may not want you in his life. You may or may not like him. But the only way you'll ever find out is to go for it. End of story.
Stephanie Lynn

I'm in a very similar situation. I've always wanted to be daddy's little girl, but anyway, what I have to say is, Can you survive without him? Could you go through life knowing that you have a father, but you refuse to acknowledge him as your father? I would say to meet him and see if you want him to walk you down the aisle or if you want to call him your dad. I hope this all gets straightened out for you someday. My best regards, Kat.

Good luck,

I know how you feel, kind of. I was adopted and when my parents told me and asked if I wanted to meet my real mom and dad I had no clue what to do. But I decided, "Hey, what the heck?" [haha] and so I did. At first, when I pulled into the house I wasn't so sure I wanted to go through with it, but when I got there it wasn't bad at all. We didn't stay long, and it was like I was meeting complete strangers basically. Anyway, I think that you should meet your real dad. What's the worst that could happen? If you meet him and decide that it was a bad idea, you don't have to see him again or even talk to him again. So it's up to you!

Good Luck!

I'm going through the same thing right now! My mom got pregnant with me, and my dad wanted nothing to do with it. My mom doesn't care if I meet my dad, but I don't know if I want to. To help make up your mind, (and mine) this is what I was thinking of ... Even if your life has been great with just your mom like mine has, is there a part of you wondering what your dad is like? Does a piece of you feel missing without your birth dad around? Also, think about this - you're getting older, and you can understand why your dad left. He was scared and young. Your mom was brave, and took great care of you. But your dad was in a state of panic, and he probably didn't know how to handle having a child. You can't blame him for being scared and young. I really can't make up your mind for you, but if you decide to meet your father, maybe your mom or a close friend should go with you so it isn't so awkward. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope everything works out.

I think you should trust your mother's judgment on your father and meet him. He could be a really nice guy and finally believe you truly are his daughter. After meeting you I bet he would love to spend even more time with you because you are his daughter and he loves you.

Even if things don't work out you can always try again. Or you can just move on. If you don't go meet him you might regret it because what if he really will be a great dad? Why miss out on the chance of having a father?

I hope you are happy with the decision you make.

Good Luck.

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I'm Cutting & Want to Quit

The past year for me has not been what I wanted it to be. I lost 5 of my friends in a time line of four months and my parents treat me like crap. I started cutting myself 2 years ago, but it wasn't that bad until I lost my friends, and it just went downhill. I had to get 15 staples in my arm - that's how deep I cut myself. I just didn't know what to do. I have been good because I'm trying my best to quit. Do you have anything that could help me quit?
Angel, 14

I want to tell you I've been there, and I've done that, and now that I look back at the situation and how I was handling it I regret it a lot. You are fourteen years old. You have SO much of a life to live, why would you want to end it, love?

When I was sixteen I lost my best friend in a car accident, my best friend, and at that point in my life I was unstable and unable to handle it, and I put myself into the hospital. 18 stitches. I started therapy when I was released and I started writing. Cutting makes you feel something, and we all want to feel something, but what does it do for you? Sure, you bleed, but other than that? Nothing, right?

This is a bit of a demanding moment, but I've been there, and girl, I know exactly how it feels. I want you to go look in the mirror, I want you to smile, and I want you to think about every little part of your life that makes you happy, because it can't be all bad. I promise you there is one thing (actually, there are probably more) that makes you happy. Take whatever you've been using, and throw it away. Empower yourself to get past it. Because that should be your reason, that pretty girl in the mirror, those things that make you happy. If they're people, animals, anything living, they need you. One mistake, and it's a permanent thing. If they're other things, they're important to you, so most likely there's a reason behind it. If you're feeling down, write about it. Later on in life, you'll look back, and tell yourself that you're glad you stopped. I know I did.

Just remember that girl in the mirror. She's a good person, she's an amazing person, and she's got her whole life to do great things. I promise you that girl she has things to live for. She's got her whole life to live for.

Avere Fede. (That means 'have faith' in Italian. I have it tattooed over a scar of mine, because faith will get you through it.)

Always yours,

Try writing. Journaling. Even writing for something like Sweet Designs Magazine. It's not a cure, Angel, but as Natalie discovered, it can help you channel the emotions you feel into something constructive. Do what your therapists tell you. It may not seem like it's helping sometimes, but have faith in that too. And please stay in touch.
Stephanie Lynn

Hi, Angel. I know exactly what you're going through. You are not alone. I myself have cut before. It was only once, but it was enough to know that I never want to do it again. I had a lot of problems going on - my illness, friends, and family were all affecting me. I felt so trapped, so I cut. I talked to my mom about it, and she told me that she was going to get me help. I soon realized that cutting doesn't solve anything. After you cut, the problem is still going to be there. The only thing different after you cut is the big marks on your arms. You have to stop cutting, and I am proud that you are doing good. Try your best to keep it up. Cutting can kill you; it's not worth dying over the issues you're facing. I know it might seem like you're alone at times, but you're not! Even if you fight with your family, they will always be there for you. I wish you the best of luck!

I know exactly how you feel. I just lost one of my best friends. He was like a brother to me. I didn't want to talk to anyone about it, but in the end I realized it was best for me to express how I was feeling. As far as your parents, you and your parents will always have your differences, but they DO love you and they just want the best for you. I'm 18, and I just learned that, but my parents and I are closer now because I talk to them about my problems. And you cutting yourself won't solve much of anything. I've never done it myself, but I know there are other methods to get through your emotions. Talking to friends, family, or even teachers at school will help you. I know it's hard to put your trust in someone, but your life is so much more important, and cutting yourself just makes your problems harder to deal with. But I really do suggest looking for someone you can talk to. There is always someone who is willing to listen. Just be patient and hang in there. You are still so young and you have people who will always be there for you.
Stephanie Rose

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In the Line of Duty

On May 3rd, 2008 my dad was killed in the line of duty. For some reason the reality of it hasn't actually hit me yet. But I still find myself under a lot of stress. Mostly because I have so much schoolwork to catch up on, I have to take care of my mom, and it's just so hard knowing my dad's never coming home. Sometimes I don't know how to deal with it. Taking time alone doesn't work, being with people doesn't work, and talking about it doesn't work. I haven't done anything to hurt myself because I know that would be wrong and very immature. But I don't know what to do. It's bad now even though it hasn't sunken in yet. I was just wondering if you have any advice on how to work through it when it does actually sink in that he's gone.
Amber, 15

I'm sure by now you've come to realize that there are no magic words or actions or medications or ways of thinking that will make it alright. Talking is a good and healthy thing to do, as is counseling, prayer, and being around the people you care about the most, and so I recommend these things, as does everyone. Even so, none of them brings your father back or resolves the pain and loss at the core of your being. The passage of time helps. Time dulls the pain, but even that doesn't replace your dad.

All you can do is mourn whenever and however and for as long as you need to. I'm glad you realize that hurting yourself - drugs, drinking, cutting, suicide - solves nothing, but only creates more problems. A few years ago I grieved over the loss of a good friend from youth group for over a year ... and that was just a friend.

Know that you can write me again, as often as you need to. Writing isn't an answer either, but like the other things, it can help. I suggest journaling, and consider other possibilities, maybe even writing for the magazine.

Amber, you will get through this, this much I promise. Soon or easily? Probably not.

But you will.
Stephanie Lynn

First off, I wanna say I'm so sorry about what happened. Death is one of those things that's really hard to deal with, and really hard to help people with. Last year my cousin and my grandpa died in the same week, and I didn't want to believe it at all. I was too busy being strong for my family, and I didn't take the time to mourn for myself. It didn't hit me until a couple months later. Still, to this day, I expect my grandpa to show up on Wednesdays and take us out to eat.

Sweetheart, you need to let everything out. Most of the time people think crying is a bad thing, but what crying does is help let the bottled up feelings out. It really helps you feel better. Just think of the good times that you all had together and let his spirit remain with you. He's looking over you, and he's still going to take care of his little girl the best way he can. I promise.

Keep your head high and smile :)


I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I also lost my father 7 years ago to cancer. Every person deals with a death of a loved one differently. I think that you are still in the state of shock where it seems like a dream and you are just waiting to wake up. There is actually no time to say when it will sink in because it can vary in people. It's great that you are helping your mom, but I think that you need to figure out how you feel before you can help your mom. Also, I would recommend sharing what you told us here with your mom so that maybe she could get her mind off things a little bit. When it does hit you experience all the emotions that come with it, and don't put it off, because if you keep it in, it stores up and it's not healthy.

For starters let me just say I'm sorry for your loss. I know you probably don't need sympathy right now. You probably get this from a lot of other people.

Secondly, this is a lot to take in. It's going to take a while before it actually sinks in. To tell you the truth you can't really get over this kind of thing, but you will learn to control some of the feelings you'll get. It's nice to care of your mother - keep doing that. She's going through a lot of grief, I bet. Later on you may need to talk to someone, but not right now - maybe in a couple months. It's a good thing you're not harming yourself. So I truly hope your family will pull through this life changing tragedy.

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I Like Him, He Likes My Friend

I like this one boy named Jake in my 4th period class, but he loves my friend Lily. So mostly every day he always tells me how much he loves her and how much he is jealous of Lily's boyfriend. Every day I see them hanging out with each other and always hugging each other. So I just walk away. They don't know that I like Jake. I haven't told anyone that. So I don't know what to do seeing them flirting.
Christina, 13

That has to be hard seeing the person you like flirt with someone else. You should tell him how you feel - he's single! Even though he likes another girl doesn't mean he doesn't secretly like you too. Maybe he's waiting for you to make the move - some guys are like that. Tell him how you feel and tell him how it feels when you see him flirting with someone else. Even if he doesn't return the feelings, I'm sure there's a lot of other guys who are looking at you every day and smiling, saying to themselves how they wish they were with you. :) Don't stay stuck on one guy. Explore and find what's best for you.

Mia C.

I am in almost the same situation as you. I like this guy named Zack and he likes my friend Caitlin. She isn't dating anyone and neither is he. I get really jealous when they hang out and play around together. Zack knows I like him, and he still flirts with her and stuff in front of me. Sometimes I get so angry. The best thing to do is just ignore it and actually tell the guy you like him so he know's you feel uncomfortable when he flirts with your friend Lily.

Good Luck!

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Got Drunk and Made Out with Another Guy

Ok, so me and this guy have been talking for about 2 1/2 months now, and we're still not dating, but we already had sex, and we really like each other, but the thing is prom has just passed, and I went to an after party and got really drunk, and the next day found out that I made out with another guy. Well, I felt really bad, so I told the guy I liked that I kissed another dude, and he got really upset and said he didn't know if he wanted to be with me. What should I do??
Ashley, 16

I have a couple concerns for you. You are only sixteen, and after only two and a half months you are having sex with a guy and you are also drinking, leading you to do things you normally wouldn't. I don't want to judge your lifestyle, but I am concerned for your future actions. I'm concerned that you will have an anger toward yourself and regret for your actions. So I ask you to take a look over your actions and ask yourself if the life you are living is really the one you want and will be happy with in, let us say, ten years from now.

Now that you have done so look at the guy you like and try to put yourself in his shoes. Can you blame him for being worried? He is worried you aren't the girl he thought you were. He is also probably worried you may cheat on him. If you can't remember your actions, how can he be sure of your actions whenever you are drinking?

My suggestion is if you find him worth your time give up drinking and maybe even sex. Tell him you understand this won't change what happened, but you want to change for him and for yourself. Tell him you have realized what you may have lost and you don't want to see it happen again.

If you are truly sincere with that statement and show him your actions he will learn to trust you more and also respect you way more. However, if you don't want to change there isn't a lot you can do. He is seeing you as someone he isn't sure he can trust, a person he didn't think you were, meaning you will have to move on and find someone who will understand and respect you for what you do choose to do.

Sounds like you've got a handful here, but there is not a problem that exists without a solution, so let's see if I can offer my humble opinion and help you out. I am not anyone to judge you or your actions. As a teenager we often make bad judgments and tend to live in the moment and not think of the outcomes of our actions.

I've always been a strong believer that through communication anything is possible, so you've taken the first step of telling your "main squeeze" what happened at the Prom after party. If it was a guy who did the same as you, you would have probably never found out, but that's another story. I suggest you talk it out, that's if you would like to continue your "relationship" with the guy you've been with 2 1/2 months. Give each other time to say what you each have to say. Let him get his frustration out in a healthy civilized way, of course! Then give your perspective and side of the story. Now if he chooses to continue with you after the incident make sure you don't let it happen again, and think twice before going wild at a party. On the other hand, if he chooses to leave you over that try to understand and put yourself in his shoes. You wouldn't like it much, now would you?

But I came to realize that you two were not in a "real relationship". I noticed that you said you guys were "talking" and you did not refer to him as your boyfriend, which means that literally you didn't cheat or do anything out of this world. If he chose to get mad maybe it's time for you two to make it official, and maybe this was just a wake-up call in the "relationship". In any case, I wish you the best of luck and hope that my advice could help!

Liking a guy and not knowing if you should go out is pretty tough. I've been through it one too many times. The thing is when you're drunk you can't really control yourself ... at least have one of your friends know what you don't want to happen. He should forgive you and take you back because it's not really your fault. The guy you kissed was obviously taking advantage of you because you were drunk. There wasn't anything you could do about it. That was the past and you have told him you love him. He should take you back. It will take him some time to think it through, but he will eventually take you back. :]

Well, first, it's typical for a guy to get jealous. But he shouldn't have gotten upset. He should look at it from your point of view. You are single. You guys are not together, so if you want to have a little fun and maybe kiss another guy, then he shouldn't get that upset. And if he says he doesn't know if he wants to be with you just because of that, then it's his loss in truth. He should know that you were drunk (not that it's an excuse) and technically you were single. Try talking to him and telling him that you didn't mean to hurt him, and that maybe if you two were together, then he wouldn't have had to worry about it. =]

Hope I Helped. =]

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Locker Drama: MYOB Can Be Good Advice

Okay, so recently my two best friends have pretty much turned on me for something I had nothing to do with. These two girls got into a fight, and they shared a locker, so one kicked the other out, and she had nowhere to go, so one of my other good friends decided to take her into her locker just to be nice. Well, so okay, now this girl gave my other friend the locker combo of the girl she was fighting with, and my good friend went into the locker and wrote all over her stuff ... She despised her anyway, so it was like the perfect thing to do ...

That night the girl started yelling at me for giving out the combo and all this stuff she accused me of ... but I wasn't even involved anyway, so soon enough my other 2 friends admitted to giving the combo and then writing all over her stuff.

Now the two girls who used to share a locker are back to being friends and everything ... and now they both hate me and they know I did nothing wrong ... so I don't know what to do. I don't wanna just drop them, but it seems like they already did, soo I don't even know what to do ... Help?
Mell, 15

That is a pretty messed up situation. They shouldn't be mad at you for anything because obviously you did nothing. Maybe you should try talking to them or writing them a letter, telling them you're sorry for whatever you did and have no idea how you got into this mess. If they don't listen, maybe you should just not worry about them, because if they were true friends they would listen to you. Eventually they will realize all of this is so dumb and they will want to be your friends again.

DRAMA! If you don't learn anything else outta life, please learn this ... "friends" come and go. The thing is you have to learn who your real friends are. If they are letting something as stupid as "locker drama" destroy your friendship then obviously you weren't really friends! You said that they already know you did nothing wrong, so what's the problem?!? Don't beat yourself up over things you have no control over! As time goes on and the "friendship" still hasn't rekindled, sweetheart, inhale, exhale, hold your head high, and go on with your life. Next time be more cautious about who you consider "friends".

One piece of advice - never share your locker with ANYONE. It's so stupid. The school assigns you lockers, and they're free! It's not like in the "real world" where you might have to room with someone to pay the rent on a house or something. Common sense.

What you need to do is somehow get in contact with both girls, and be like, "I want to talk to you." But don't talk to them right then and there. Give yourself time to think over everything that happened and explore what pieces of the puzzle you may be missing (if any). Set up your explanation. Don't set it up word for word, just try to remember key points that are important in your defense. If they say anything along the lines of "Well, I don't want to talk to you," or "I don't want to hear your side," then chuck 'em as friends - friends listen to each other, even when they're mad. If they truly care about the friendship, they'll listen to your side. If you're able to explain your side, explain it in a calm (almost lawyer like), assertive manner. Touch on all elements of the dispute - don't leave any rocks unturned.

On top of that, listen to their side. Find out why they're mad. Who knows, maybe they're mad at you for a reason you don't even know. If you're truly sorry for what they're mad at you for, apologize. Never, and I seriously mean never, apologize for something you didn't do or something you're not sorry for. It will get back to you. If you say sorry for something you didn't do, you just look guilty, and if you then try to tell anyone that you didn't do it, you'll be attacked with "Then why did you say 'sorry'?" You could argue 'til you were blue in the face, but no one would believe you because you apologized already, 'fessing up to doing it, and then turning around and saying you didn't. Never, ever put yourself in that position. Why I say "Don't ever say sorry when you're not" is because your conscience knows when you're truly sorry - and if you're not, it'll eat you up inside. These are two positions you should never get yourself into in life. Both back you up into corners, and though neither corner is quite the same, a corner is a corner, and no corner is fun being backed into.

I've got a sinking feeling about these girls. I don't know them, never met 'em, and don't even know their names, but I've got a bad feeling about them. They were fighting, got mad at you for giving out the locker combination, and they now know you didn't give out the locker combination, and suddenly they're friends and both are still mad at you when you seemingly did nothing in the first place and weren't even involved?? Seems kind of fishy, almost like a set-up, but hey, this is from the outside looking in. (I also tend to think too much into things, and can be almost like a crazy conspiracy theorist sometimes, so don't take it for much, but keep it in mind.)

Do your best to explain your side (if you can) and listen to theirs, apologize for what you're sorry for only, and also see if they themselves have anything to be sorry for. A friendship is like any other relationship - it needs communication and an understanding of both parties' wants, attributes, feelings, etc. Just remember, if they're not willing to make the friendship what it once was, let it go and move on. You can try all you want to reconcile the friendship, but if they won't work with you it'll go nowhere - it takes two to tango. If they're not willing to work with you, then you don't have a chance in hell. If they are, then do what exactly what I said, and most likely you'll gain a greater understanding of one another as people and friends.

Best of luck,

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How Do I Introduce Myself to a Guy?

Before I explain my problem, I want to clarify myself, so you will understand the issue. I'm 15 years old and I'm hard of hearing. Basically, I will be deaf sooner or later. I've never had a boyfriend nor kissed a guy. Sometimes I'm daring and sometimes I'm not. I try hard to make friends and sometimes I get soo easily depressed. Most of the time I have girls who are my BFFs, but I wish to make some guy friends.

I'm pretty much boy crazy right now and I have this big issue. I'm so shy and yet outgoing. However, I have a loud personality and I'm basically an actress in my school. Almost all the student body knows me. How do I introduce myself to a guy? How do I approach a guy? So I tried this "girl makes the first move" situation, but this didn't turn out so well. We ended up being friends. So I thought again ... maybe I should wait until a guy makes a move on me. What should I do? I don't wanna die alone in my grave! ~ HELP.
Giovanna, 15

First and foremost, hello, Giovanna!

I myself had a hearing procedure done, and in some sort of way can relate to your situation, even if it's not as drastic. For that I would like to congratulate you for your courage and bravery, and how you still manage to maintain your social life! It's very inspiring to other girls.

Now I would like to point out the fact that, Hun, you are only 15 years old. Don't even dare to think that you will die alone. There is always that someone special out there for us, but in the meantime we go for a few test rides first. ;-)

Now I totally understand that you are boy crazy at the moment. Believe me, most girls at your age are. Also, I understand that you are very well known through the school. Therefore I don't see a problem in your personality at all. Sounds like you're a very well rounded and versatile girl. Guys at your age seem to be a little self-conscious at times and may feel some sort of intimidation to approach you or make the first move. I say give it time, and if you don't see any improvement, you can always be crushing on someone new who will take the leap on getting to know you better in terms other than "just friends". As for how to meet or introduce yourself to a guy, it can be tricky:

♥ Show confidence, but at the same time fragility (makes you more approachable).

♥ Have a sense of humor. A guy loves a girl who's not "plastic doll perfect" all the time.

♥ Let him feel comfortable. Don't overshadow him, but maintain your personality at all times!

So, bottom line, be yourself and allow time to take its toll. Always remember, what's meant to be will always find its way. If not, destiny has better things for you. Good Luck!

It sounds to me like you are a girl who wants to be true to herself, and yet you hold some things back. Never second guess yourself. Be who you are no matter if it seems too goofy or too out there. What matters is that you are comfortable in being who you are.

So what if the first time you approached a guy turned out bad? Brush it off and go for it again. You know, being able to approach a guy like nothing is something to really be proud of because not all girls have the ease to do things like that. There's a saying: "Good things come to those who know how to wait and fight for what they want." Trust me, guys will notice that you're not afraid to be you, and guys like a girl like that, who is secure in herself and knows what she wants.

So the next time you like a guy go for it. Try being friends. Just introduce yourself like you would with anyone else. Be at ease, and I guarantee things will go more smoothly. Brush off the idea that you should wait for a guy to make a move. Just think, if it's hard for us girls to make a move, how much harder do you think it is for a guy?

We all run the chance of rejection. It's the same both ways. Just like us girls get nervous, so do guys!

So at some point someone has to make a move. Whether it be the girl or the guy someone has to say something ... or else we will never know what could have or should have been.
So take pride in being who you are, and never ... I mean, never second guess what you're all about. After all, that's what make you unique. And guys will definitely have to notice that!

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My BF is Shorter Than Me

I have this problem. My bf is like a centimeter shorter than me. It's okay to my friends, but one of my friends is so mean about him. He is being mean to my bf. I stick up for my bf, but he keeps on insulting my bf. I hate dealing with this. So what should I do? Break up with him?
Matessa, 10

Matessa, if you really like your boyfriend then it shouldn't matter what others think or say. What matters is that you two like each other very much! People will talk about you all your life, but that doesn't mean to stop going on with your life. It only means to try harder! Don't break up with him because of what others say. Do it only because you want to! In the end it's all up to you, but you must think about his feelings too.

Friends being mean to your boyfriend isn't nice. Try pulling them aside and talking to them, and ask why they feel the need to insult your bf. One cm difference isn't a biggie. My friend is 6 ft 2" and dating a guy who's only 5 ft 6" so they have quite a height difference. Just tell your friends to stop taunting him as it really isn't nice to do that. I mean, hello, he can't help his height unless he wears high heels, which guys, unlike us females, don't get away with wearing! And one cm shouldn't be as noticeable as they are making it, so whenever they say something about it just try ignoring it, and they'll get sick of it soon enough.

Hope I helped, Good luck

Of course you shouldn't break up with him! If you really like this guy and he's nice to you and he's what you want in a guy, looks shouldn't matter. You've got to learn that looks don't matter and people are always going to be talking about the flaws in your relationship. No relationship is perfect except those in movies. Sorry, but those aren't real. Once you've learned not to listen to other people and either to not care about what they say or to laugh and take humor in what they're saying, you're going to be fine and their comments will just roll off your back.

I want to address something before I answer your question. Are your parents okay with you dating? I ask because of your age. Some parents get upset, causing you to be in some trouble, but if not that may be an issue to think about.

However, back to your question, don't worry too much about the height because at your age girls and guys are primarily around the same height, but give him a couple years and chances are he will be taller then you. He hasn't hit his growth spurt just yet. Guys don't really hit their growth spurts till around 14. For girls it's a bit earlier, causing us to be around the same height or a little taller than them.

So if your parents are okay with you dating then don't care about your friends. It will be fine pretty soon and your friends won't have a thing to complain about.

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Sixteen and Pregnant

Well, I'm 16 years old. I started going out with this guy about 10 months ago. Like 4 months ago he asked me to get married with him and I said yes. The problem is that he is 22 years old. My parents have never met him. The night he asked me to marry him we had sex. That night I got pregnant. I love him, but there is this other guy that I feel like I love too. His name is Jose. I've known Jose for 5 years now, but we have never gone out. We have always just been messing buddies.

About a week after I found out I was pregnant I told Jose. He got mad and said that the baby was just going to separate me and him. He stopped talking to me for about a week, then when he finally called me he told me to tell everyone that the baby was his and not my bfs. He told me to tell my bf that I was never pregnant and to introduce him to my parents as my baby's daddy.

Because I really wanted to be with Jose I did as he said. I broke up with my bf and decided to go with Jose. Now I'm getting married with Jose in 2 weeks and I don't know if I should tell my ex that he is the baby's dad or just to live life as it is. But then I want my baby to grow up with his real dad, but about a month ago I found out that he got this other girl pregnant, so I don't know what to do because I don't know if Jose will treat my baby as if it were his own.
Daisy, 16

Honestly, it wouldn't be right not to tell your ex that its his baby. The baby needs his or her real dad in his life. You also need to talk to Jose and ask him if he's ready to take a step forward and be a dad to this baby. You really need the real father's help with the baby. And the right thing to do would to tell him the truth. It's a big deal that he also got another girl pregnant, but you need to tell him so at least he knows. If you do the right thing good will come your way.

I have a concern for you. I think your parents at least need to know about the 22 year old guy, because whether you consented or not, one, you can't marry without your parents' consent at 16, and two, he is an adult and the two of you having sex is illegal. It's considered statutory rape. You may not want to believe it, but it is still against the law. (How it's dealt with by the law varies from state to state.)

Your parents have the right to know and act on the problem. Especially if the girl he is currently with is also underage. If she is, it could be a major issue.

As for Jose, let him act as the father. If he really wants to be the father and marry you, and you love each other, let him step in. He realizes what he is doing with his life by taking this position, and any guy who is willing to give up his life to be with you and wants to be the father of your child really does care about you and the future of the child.

This doesn't mean you have to tell your friends he isn't the father, but your parents at least need to know and probably his family as well. My only concern is Jose's parents being angered by his choices if they find out he really isn't the father. So you may want to discuss this issue with Jose along with your parents before you tell his family.

But if he wants to step up don't tell him he can't. Even if the other guy knows about the child, you can take complete custody of the child and still raise the child as yours and Jose's. The other guy already has another child and wouldn't be there for you completely, and if he were he wouldn't be for the other baby. So let a guy be a real father to the baby even if it isn't blood. Adoptive parents aren't blood, but they are often way better for the child and more loving than the parent who put them up for adoption could be.

If you would like me to discuss more of this situation with you feel free to contact me through Sweet Advice, and I can help answer any questions that may arise from my answer or what else is going on in your life with this situation.

I strongly agree with what Sarah and Lauren have said, and only want to add one thing. You're 16, and you've got a lot of things to straighten out with Jose, your bf, and all the families involved. I'm a strong believer that every kid needs two parents, but I wonder why you feel you need to get married in just two weeks. Why not 3 or 4 months? I suggest slowing down the craziness and getting some counseling. And as Sarah and Lauren said, please don't think that hiding the truth about your pregnancy from anyone will work out well for anyone involved, especially you. The truth hurts, but only a little compared to lies and deception.
Stephanie Lynn

Daisy ... First off, are you sure about getting married this young?? It's your decision at the end of the day, but just make sure you are totally positive about what you are doing. Here I see that the dilemma is that you don't know whether to tell the baby's father the truth or not. There's no question that you are the mother and that only you know what's best for your baby, but don't you think the real dad deserves to know regardless of his reaction?

See, as a mom to be, you have to look ahead to the future ... what will happen if one day your baby finds out Jose is not his dad? Do you want to lie about it all his life? Look, I mean, the best thing is to do everything without lies and most importantly with the truth. When you use the truth, I guarantee you'll sleep peacefully at night knowing you did what you had to do.

I also see another huge problem. Your parents are totally clueless as to everything. They don't even know the baby's father. That's a problem. You should trust your parents more and look for their advice. They are older and sometimes can figure good ways to handle everything.

Another thing ... don't worry about your ex having a baby by some other girl, and him not treating your child the same. Just make sure the baby knows who his dad is and that the dad knows who his son is. From there whatever happens happens. After all, if the baby's dad doesn't want to give him love, won't the baby have you???? You are all he needs. Remember, that baby will always be your son and you the mother!

If you want more advice just let me know.

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All I Want Is for Guys to Like Me

Ok, so I am not normal. Just thought that I should get that out in the open. I had a liver transplant when I was nine. I have a very large scar on my stomach and various other scars from IVs all over my arms and neck. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with IVs, and I can't maintain a steady weight. Sometimes it feels as if everyone in my life would be so much better off if I had died while in the hospital. (I did because I had heavy metal poisoning from copper that my liver had stored.)

And now I'm 13. My life is pure hell. Simple as that. I have friends who hate friends, and girls who can't let go of the "me" that I was before the transplant, even though she is gone. Boys think that I am a freak. Most guys won't even look at me. Then I have friends who can get EVERY SINGLE GUY they look at, and those boys are normally the ones I have a crush on. Yup, my friends are babes and I'm not.

The only thing I have going for me right now is my grades. Whoop dee do! I am the weirdo girl who can pass everything and does math for fun. Meanwhile my older sister looks at me like something is wrong with me because I have never been kissed, let alone had a boyfriend, and she had hers by the age of 12. Then my mom acts like I am either the center of the universe or a piece of s**t. My dad normally just stays out of it, and my brother tells me he hates me on a daily basis.

But you know what? I don't even care if you guys decide "Oh, whatever, let's just delete this e-mail". I need some advice. Please don't say "help", as in a counselor or something. I have been there and done that, but my parents' insurance won't cover it, so we're screwed.

Please, all I have ever wanted is a NORMAL childhood, teenage, and adult life. I don't care if you can't help me with any other stuff. All I want is for guys to like me. Please. That is all I ask for.
Madeline, 13

It's hard watching friends and sisters, etc., finding love and happiness and everything. I'm the girl who was stood up after buying her prom dress! It wasn't till age 20 that things started to fall into place. I can't wave a magic wand and fix any of the very real and very hard things in your life. All I can do is give you someone(s) to write who will listen and pray.

Speaking of writing, you do express yourself very well. We have a really good team of girls from all over the US and beyond writing articles & advice for SDM. I think you might make the team. Anyway, just something to think about. Sometimes helping others and expressing yourself are the best ways to deal until things change or work themselves out in time. Just a thought. :D

Anyway, please stay in touch.

Stephanie Lynn

I'm so sorry, no one deserves to deal with that kind of stress. I just think you should know that not everyone has their 1st kiss or 1st boyfriend before they're a teen. I'll be 15 next week, and I've never had a boyfriend or a first kiss, and truthfully it's not that big of a deal to me because I have friends, and right now I don't think I'm ready to have a bf.

Look, I'm going to be truthful with you. I think you're using your operation as an excuse, and I really hated to say that, but that's how it sounds to me. Killing yourself is not the answer, and you should never let that even cross your mind. You're super smart, and math's my favorite subject too. I actually go every Saturday to study for a math brain bowl lol :). I know I'm not you, and I wouldn't be able to compare the things I go through to everything you've been through, but there are people who suffer things much worse and still live life to their possible fullest. So remember, things could always be worse, and you need to eventually accept yourself the way you are, and slowly others will too.

Good luck in everything.

Madeline, I have a friend who is going through the same thing, except she needs a kidney transplant. She is on this machine every night so she can't sleep out. She's had major problems.

I've also had a similar problem. Boys don't look at me either. But shrug them off - they're not worth it anyway. Because if they only go for looks they're not going to find out what you're really like, and I bet you're a truly amazing girl. You deserve guys so much better. Keep trying. Keep your head up high. Don't care what other people say. They're just jealous. You're an attractive girl inside and out no matter what anybody says. They're just high on themselves. Don't worry about it. High school is always like that.

Good luck. :]

I can give you so much advice. I am the exact same age as you, I have also never been kissed before, and no guys really like me ... but you know what? We don't really need guys to be cool or stand out. You are who you are and you're perfectly normal. A certain sickness or a disease or anything doesn't change anything. I have had boyfriends before, but I didn't enjoy having them at this age. If everyone thinks you're a freak then stand up to them. Tell them that enough is enough, and you're no different than them. If they don't listen then who cares? Just stand tall and be proud of who you are. Much luck to you.

Madeline, it's not what others think of you ... it's what YOU think of you! When you can look in the mirror and see yourself as a beautiful person who's confident then others will see that too! In order for others to respect you, you must first respect yourself. As far as guys liking you, if they look at the outside and judge what's on the inside, then they're jerks and they don't deserve your time. You're smart, you get good grades ... that's good enough. 30 years from now, it won't matter about the friends you had, how many boyfriends you had, or the jeans that you bought. What will matter is what you learned and how you used it. Boys won't look at you now, but when you're the boss of the biggest company in the world, those same boys are going to be dying to talk to you. Then guess what? You're not even going to want to look at them. Instead you'll be in love with the guy that looked at what was on the inside instead of the outside!

FIRST ... you are normal ... you're a human being like everyone else!

Let's get that out in the open first ... you have to realize, Hun, that you are a miracle walking the earth. How many people can wake up and say, "Hey, I survived a liver transplant and multiple procedures ... and still be able to say I'm alive"? You are very fortunate to have survived something like that and made it through. You're tough! Keep going, and it's good you want to concentrate on grades because you will become what you want ... just work for it! Don't worry if you have never had one single kiss ... because one day you'll receive a kiss that will truly mean something. A lot of people kiss just because it's cool and others are doing it ... Don't look for a kiss for that reason ... be you ... be original ... Look for a kiss that will truly mean something to you! Block any bad messages that come to you ... ignore them ... because you have to understand that no one can stop you ... only you can do that. Don't give others power over you ... be strong and have confidence in yourself!

See, there's the key ... Confidence! You want guys to like you ... be YOU! Be strong and have the absolute confidence in yourself ... Tell yourself every day that you are a beautiful person no matter what anyone says ... Trust me, guys will notice you when you have confidence in yourself. You don't need anyone else to tell you what you should already know ... you above anyone else should be your main focus ... Don't put anyone or anything before you ... After all, you are living your life and you only get one chance ... so live it up ... Start doing things you have never done before, get involved in activities ... give yourself an opportunity to meet new people who will understand and accept you.

Again, chin up ... You don't have to look and dress like a model for someone to like you ... All you need to do is be confident and comfortable with who you are ... and the rest will fall into place!

You have been through a lot. I am very proud of what you have been through. I have post traumatic stress disorder as well, but mine is as a result of a conflict at school where I got my arm sliced open with a razor blade. Yours is very different. You talked about having scars. Think of it this way ... Would you rather have the scars and be alive or not have them and not be living? I have four large scars on my arm and I am coming to grips with the fact that they aren't as horrible as I once thought, and that out of a bad experience I can create many positive ones in my life and in others' lives.

Your friends will be finding it hard to adjust to having a "new" you, and will be trying to get you back to the old you. Sit them down individually and explain to them the seriousness of what you have been through, as they probably don't even think about how you are feeling and what their actions do to you.

Don't let your weight get you down either. I'm 220 lbs and 172 cm (5'9"), so I'm quite big (in New Zealand at least), but weight doesn't make the person, so don't think you have to be skinny - you don't. Your body is trying to cope with what has happened to you, and is trying to build up "fat" to protect itself and keep it as a resource in case you ever get sick in the way you were again.

Family is a toughie. Family is a rather weird thing - one day they can be super supportive and the next they aren't. When they aren't supporting you try to point it out to them and tell them how they are making you feel.

Boyfriends - every girl thinks these are so important. You're 13, and most guys your age will freak about what you've been through as they won't have a clue how to respond to you and will feel like they are walking on egg shells with you. I know you don't wanna hear that, but they are very immature at your age and still think the world is just candy floss and butterflies (you understand what I mean).

You have been through a lot. Don't let other people get you down. Live every day to the fullest, hunn, as you know things can change in an instant. You never quite know what will happen.

I wish you my best,

[Madeline, Laurena would like to chat with you further if you'd like. You may contact her through Sweet Advice.]

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Running in Circles

I like him, he likes her, and I can't let him go. Okay, so I like this guy, but he likes this girl in another town, and I 100% accept that he and I will never be, but I can't let go. Maybe it's because of the way he acts around me. You see, every time we're together outside of school, he flirts with me and I flirt back, but when I start to flirt he walks away, and then I'm like 'what the heck?' Then he'll come back and start flirting, and the cycle begins again. Is he just trying to run me in circles until I give up, or is he really trying to send me a message? PLEASE HELP ME!!
Michelle, 14

If you're 100% sure he likes another girl, then he's the player type. He seems to only want to lead you on and be able to back out at any given time. You should confront him and ask him what is going on. Ask him clearly if he likes you or is just leading you on. Also make sure to ask if he likes that other girl. If he disses you, don't worry - keep your head up. Because he'll notice what he's missing - they always do. If he continues with this cycle of ya'lls, then you should try your best to move on. You're young still - there's plenty of boys out there. You just have to look. Best wishes.

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Major MySpace Drama!!

My friends keep getting mad at me because I have one true best friend. She's my number one, but whenever I get a boyfriend and move him to #1 [on my Myspace top friends] she gets mad. And two of my "friends" were talking about me in a message on Myspace, and so I moved them down on my top, and they got mad. And I have this one friend Erika, and she'll move me to a spot, and I can't move her up higher than she already is, but she'll move me higher, and then she'll get mad because she thinks I like my other friends better then her. Oh, and my #2 and #3 are in a fight. And my #2 always wants me to be mad at #3, and like she tries to fight for my attention. idk. gah. I don't know what to do. One time I tried to put all bands and music on my top, but then all the girls got mad and decided to talk it over with the other girls, and so they ALL moved me off their top. They are too- ugh. I can't decide how to handle all this Myspace top stuff.
Summer, 14

There is a simple solution to your problems. Myspace has become a drama based site, especially for your age group. So here is your simple solution. There is a hide your top friends code. This allows you to put whomever you would like where you would like them without anyone seeing who is where and causing a ton of drama. Also, so it is a little more discrete you can change your layout completely and just tell everyone it was already part of the layout code and you don't know how to change it.

Sweet Designs even has the code for you. Here is the link on the site to where you may find it.
Good luck, Lauren

Okay, I don't want to seem too harsh, but you might need to inform them that IT'S JUST MYSPACE! It is of no real significance. Where they are on your top has nothing to do with whether you like #2 more than #3. And for the #2 and #3 feud, let #2 know that you value both of you guys friendships and if #3 hasn't done anything to make you mad, you have no reason to be mad at him/her.

Hey, Summer! It's about time you get out of cyberworld and into the real world. If your friends are always concerned with seeing who's on your top, and you seeing if you're on theirs, your friendship will not last very long. To be honest, MySpace is nothing but a website; it won't help you with your problems. It WILL, however, cause problems if you get too caught up in it (which you already have.) All this top friends nonsense can be taken care of. Go to and search for a MySpace code that hides your friends AND comments, and tell your friends to do the same. Don't let cyberspace interfere with your life. Good luck.
With Love, Jessica Jay

As young girls (even once we get older) we enjoy revenge and we take things WAY too personally. Your friends are getting revenge on you for something that you did on the internet and vice versa - there was never even actually a verbal argument. I personally don't use Myspace or other electronic communication, but when it gets to where you call your friends #1, #2, #3, etc., you've become too electronic. Tell your friends that you care about them all, no matter what happens on Myspace. Another piece of advice - stop moving your "top" friends around and maybe you won't be adding as much fuel to the fire.

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My Parents Don't Want Me Seeing Him

Okay, well, I'm dating this guy, and he's really sweet. I'm in love with him, and I've been dating him for 6 months now. The problem is my parents don't like him and don't want me seeing him. What should I do? I tried talking to them, but it's not working.
Carolina, 14

Well, normally I would tell you to talk to them, but you say you've tried that and it doesn't work. So now I am going to tell you to show them. You know, they say actions speak louder than words, so back your words up with evidence. Show to them why you're in love with this boy. Maybe just bring him over to your house and let him have a proper meeting with your parents, or in some way get them to realize that he means a lot to you and that they have no reason not to like him and not to want him to be with you.

If you really love this guy, and you want to be with him, I think your parents would understand. Maybe it just shouldn't be you talking to them. Try bringing him to talk with them too. Your parents care about you. Maybe they're afraid you're getting too close too fast, and they don't want to see you hurt. Whatever the problem is just try talking to your mom first, then your dad. Maybe you will get a better understanding!
Mia C.

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Back and Forth He Went, Then He Lied

Okay, so there was this guy I liked, and he left his ex-girlfriend for me, right? So we went out for 3 weeks and he asked for a one month break ... It's more than how long we went out! So what I said was, "Ehh ... just dump me now." So it ended there, and he went back to his ex the next day.

Yes, I was hurt. They went out for 3 weeks until he realized he never really liked her and that he liked me. So he left her for me again and I gave him a second chance. We started the relationship strong and we loved each other very much until not too long ago when he said that I deserve better and all this. In my mind I was like, "What the heck is he talking about?" So we broke up again.

Today during lunch I walked around with one of my best friends till my group of friends rushed over to me and went, "EMILIE, EMILIE! KENNY [the bf] WAS HOLDING HANDS WITH JENNIFER!" [his best friend] I cried the whole day because I lost trust for everything at that moment. I asked him today if he and Jennifer held hands. He said no, but everyone at school knows about the situation. I mean, come on, 23 people vs. one. Besides, she's first on his top on Myspace now ... What should I do ?
Emilie, 13

Let me start by saying Myspace can be a great thing when you are trying to keep in contact with friends, but if you are letting it consume you by focusing on who is on whose top friends then drama will start. Also, Myspace is not a place on which to base any of your information. It is a virtual reality where people often lie and act like something they aren't.

Next point I want to make is that even if Kenny lied to you there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. The two of you aren't together, so if he chooses to date his best friend or even be close with his best friend it is his choice. Also, if they are best friends that may be the only reason she is on his top friends - it may be nothing else.

So basically what I am saying is that although you may be hurt because you still like him, there isn't anything you can really do about it, and basing your thoughts on Myspace isn't the best idea. You're asking for more drama than is already occurring.

Well, by the likes of your message, you are really upset. And he is obviously doing you seriously wrong. He's a NO NO. He obviously doesn't know what he wants, and you shouldn't be bothered with someone so indecisive and immature. So I'm going to tell you to move on. You're young. You have your whole life ahead of you, and there are many other fish in the sea.

A guy who says let's take a break for a month and ends up with his ex the next day is just putting you on the back burner for later. It's like that saying our grandparents use: "Keeping the fish on the fishing line while you throw in another hook." All that means is keeping the girl he had while trying to find another one, and just in case he didn't, he'd still have you. Guys like that don't deserve girls like you - they need to get a taste of their own medicine. When he said you deserved better, he wasn't lying.

As for holding hands, it might be a big thing to some, but a lot of people hold hands when they hang out, even friends. Myspace is just Myspace - nothing more, nothing less! So don't sweat it. My advice to you is to find out if there are any other guys at your school who like you, and give them a shot, because this guy doesn't deserve a girl like you, Miss Emilie!

My Wish For You: A Better Guy,
Mia C.

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Is His Ex Moving In on Our Long Distance Relationship?

I've been dating my boyfriend for like 8 months, but before that we were on & off for like 3-4 years. Well, before we started going out he was dating this girl, and he broke up with her because I told him how I felt, so he dumped her and got with me cause he said he loved me more. When I asked about his ex cause he says they stay friends, well, he said he loved her but loved me more.

He lives in NJ & I live in OK, so it's long distance, but we talk every day. Well, his ex I think still loves him because she is still around him, and when he was sick she checked up on him, and I start to worry cause I'm not there. He says he doesn't love her and wants only me, but I asked him to stop talking to her, but he said, "I said we'd stay friends when we broke up, so I'm not going to stop." What should I do? Should I just be comfortable and happy that he's mine and not hers, even though I know she likes him and he won't admit she does? Or is there a way I can get him to stop talking to her so I feel better?
Rachel, 18

Truth is, you have the right to feel the way you do, especially with a long distance relationship. He should respect your wishes if he truly cares. Being friends with your ex often mean feelings are still involved somewhere - not always, but most often. The saying "Guys and girls can't just be friends" was said for a reason. And with how often she seems to visit him I would worry too.

It may be better if you just move on completely. Find someone who is a lot closer and you can see more often and will respect your wishes.

But if leaving him is out of the question, then tell him how much it bothers you, and that it's something that won't stop bothering you. Tell him it is causing negative feelings to stir within you too, and that you are worried about your relationship.

For you the girlfriend, an especially long distance girlfriend, trust is an essential piece to success.

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Age Difference

Well, I am dating this guy. He is 17, and I am turning 15 in a couple days. I dunno what I'm gonna do when he turns 18. I live in Mexico, so the laws aren't the same, but I REALLY like him, and he likes me a lot. I don't know what to do about the age. Please help me :/
Marina, 14

Although the laws may be different in Mexico and to you everything might be great between you two the issue is the maturity level. At 18 he will be going through a lot of different experiences that you won't. He will also view life differently than you will. When you are in your twenties age starts to matter less. However, in your teens a ton of changes occur. For me in just a year nearly my entire outlook on life has changed. He will see things in a futuristic view while you still have years of just having fun and finding yourself that he has already gone through.

I suggest being friends. However, in the end, the decision is for you, him, and your families to decide ... what you all think and feel about the situation.

Best of luck,
Lauren (age 19)

Yes, the age difference thing is definitely big, and I'm sorry I don't totally know the rules in Mexico, but I do know that if your parents like him and give their consent for you to be with him then it is ok. So if you really want to be with him and he really wants to be with you, then I say go for it!

But make sure it is the right thing because you are still young, and you do have the rest of your life!

Hope everything goes well!
Stephanie M.

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My BF is Really Flirtatious

I have a wonderful boyfriend, whom I am in love with. I really love him. But he is really flirtatious with other girls. Sometimes I feel like he treats me the same as the other girls. I'm a little jealous. Do I have the right to be? I love him with all of my heart. Sometimes I wanna tell those girls to back off, and I told one of them already and she did. But I'm afraid to say anything to him.
Heather, 13

As the girlfriend you have the right to be protective of him. However, being honest with him is also important. If you don't tell him about his behavior, how is he able to fix the problem and understand how you are feeling? He will continue acting the way he does if you don't say anything. In his eyes he is doing nothing wrong by being himself. He needs to be told he is stepping on some toes and that it's hurting your feelings. If you don't discuss the problem with him you will soon become overly jealous, causing bitter feelings towards him and trust issues. Trust what he says when you talk to him. Trust him until he proves you wrong. So if he says he only cares about you believe him.

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Depression & Cutting

Alright, so I have been totally depressed lately. I cry all the time and nothing ever goes right. My parents treat me like I'm two and think I'm like the terrible kid that I'm not. They taught me well, but they keep tearing me down. I don't trust my mom and I can't tell her nothing. I've resorted to cutting my arms. I don't know what else to do. I've been losing weight, but not 'cuz I haven't ate. I don't know.

I'm already on antidepressants, but it doesn't seem to be helping. My arms are all cut up, and I have to wear long sleeves every day just to hide it from her 'cuz she doesn't think that she is that bad to make me feel the way I do. I don't know how to get through to her. I tried talking to her. It hasn't worked. =/
Keke, 17

I have been through exactly what you have been through. Please, right now, stop cutting yourself. It is not healthy and you can cause serious damage. I know it's hard, but it's not going to resolve anything. I too have been depressed and now take anti-depressants. If you haven't been taking them for a whole month yet they may have not started working through your system. If you have been taking them for a month or longer, tell your mom, or go to whomever prescribed the medication. Tell them that you don't think it's right for you. Tell them you are still low and it doesn't seem to be helping. Not every medication works the same on each person. You probably need to try a different one. As for the weight thing, it may be the medication or something else. Depression does that to people. You say you're not eating less, but you may not realize that you are eating less because of the depression.

As for your parents, they might be treating you like a two year old, or it may just seem that way because the depression you are going through makes everything seem over exaggerated. I hope some of this has helped you, and I hope you feel better soon.

If you are having any other problems or need to talk further, please contact me through Sweet Advice. I don't want you feeling this way.

Health to you,

I agree with and echo Lindsey's advice. Please stay in touch. I'll forward to Lindsey whatever you send. Let us know how you're doing - whether it's better or worse. And please consider her advice. You know what they say: Get help. If the help isn't helping, get other help.
♥ Stephanie Lynn

Have you considered going to counseling or therapy? Also, have you talked to your mom about family counseling? You may not be excited about either, but they will help more than you think. Also, if you go to family counseling your counselor will be able to figure out the stem of your depression and help you work through that. Your counselor will also get through to your mom about how to help you. He or she may also be able to get your mom to change to help you. If you are worried about what the counselor will say to your parents, remember, everything you say is confidential.

Have you considered talking to your doctor and informing him or her that the anti-depressants aren't doing a thing? You may want to see if a different kind will help you instead. Why pay for and use a product that isn't helping, right? Also, anything you say to your doctor is confidential, so letting your doctor know about your problem will not make things worse for you. Your doctor only wants to serve your best interests.

You need to find someone or something that can make you happy. I know what it is like to be depressed all the time. I used to sit there and cut myself, and I kept it from the world. But hunny, you need to get happier. I know at this point it might seem impossible, but that was my exact thoughts. I honestly thought I was going to eventually die from blood loss, or cut too deep.

And that just made me more and more depressed.

I know it may seem like the only way out, but Keke, it's not. You're causing yourself too much pain, which is the LAST thing you want to do while in pain. The way I got out of my depressed 'phase' - I started getting obsessed with The Jonas Brothers. Now you might say "eww, they're blahblahblah". But to me they helped me through the tough time. They really did, and it wasn't the only time they helped me either.

Get yourself interested in music or writing. Writing is a way to release ALL depression. Or maybe something you need is a great friend who will be there to help you all the time through thick or thin.

I leave you off here to make your decision, but please find something to get interested in to keep your mind off of cutting or being depressed. I did, and look at me ... I've been cut-free for 3 months.
- Alexis

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Okay, well, my life is pretty much hell, right? Okay, I'm 13. I go through typical teenage stuff. I go to middle school. There's so much drama. Guys laugh at me for retarded stuff because I'm not the skinniest person ever, and I know it. I hate it. I feel totally awful about it, and I hate myself for it. Sometimes I try starving myself, but it doesn't last long. I want to look like my friends and not be so big, but it doesn't work. I'll admit I cry about it a lot. My sister is 7. She calls me a fat pig. Sometimes my mom and dad will slip up and say something too. So yeah. Well, I have acne, and that's worse because not only do I feel freaking fat, but I worry about my skin too. It's so unfair to me. Well, my family isn't really rich. We worry about money 24-7, and I mean, we live in a double wide trailer, and I feel ashamed of it sometimes because these people I hang out with and date have really nice houses. They get what they want, right, because they have money.

And guys ... omg ... guys. I have the most trouble with them. I've had my heart broken, and it sucks. But recently I was dating a guy, and I was so in love with him, and he was in love with me. I saw him every weekend, and see, there's a BIG age difference, soooooo I can't date him anymore, but people just don't understand. I love him so much. See, when he was little he was abused, and he has seizures and stuff now, and his mom is dying, and his brother hates him, and he has to pay bills himself. His dad was the abuser, and he has nothing to do with him. But like anyways, I love him to death and he loves me too. He calls me 24-7 crying over me, but we can't be together because of age.

And, well, friends ... I can't keep them. They treat me sooo bad. Idk what to do anymore, so I seriously need help, and sure, you can go delete this message, but all I'm asking is for you to take 10 minutes out of your day and reply. It would mean a lot to me because everyone else has no time. And I know this is like "typical teenage problems", but hey, I still need help on it. I mean I am just a girl, right? Well, please help if you can asap.
Breanna, 13

Thank you for having the courage to write. I'm gonna let my Sweet Advice team add their support and advice over the next week or so, so check the column starting around Sunday or Monday or so. But I wanted to reply myself directly right away, cuz I know you're hurting and it's important.

I don't know how old your male friend is, but I'm gonna assume he's over 18, right? If so, yeah, there are good reasons society and the law are opposed to it, and your parents and friends too ... even if that's hard for you to understand right now. The problem is the one person who cares about you has been taken away, and you got nothing as a replacement. So I totally understand your feelings. Nobody likes feeling like they're all alone. We all need someone who accepts and appreciates us for who we are.

13 may be the toughest single age to be ... at least for a lot of girls it is. It wasn't exactly my favorite time. I was unpopular, I had major dental issues that took 7 years, braces, and several surgeries to straighten out, and I was teased a lot. I guess I could say, all in all, I have a pretty good life now at age 22. My point is things can change. As sucky as everything seems now, you can make a lot of tough, good choices over the next few years and end up with some happiness and success to show for it ... as well as some frustrations and disappointments ... that's life.

At the root of things is not your circumstances as much as your self-esteem. Being overweight, having acne, not many good friends, and so on doesn't help, I know, but you have to get to the place where you look at what's not in the mirror. You need to focus on what can be down the road in 5 years at 18. You'll probably never have or be everything you'd like - extremely rich, amazingly successful, super popular, unbelievably beautiful, and so on. But you can acheive some real amount of success in a number of areas by 1) BELIEVING THINGS CAN CHANGE, and 2) putting together a realistic 5 year plan, and working on it a little every day. Acne control and gradual, healthy, sensible weight loss can be part of that plan (see Mandy's acne article in SDM). I'm still not super popular (most kids from high school still probably think I'm the world's biggest geek), but I'm in a great relationship, I finally got my braces off and my teeth are straight, my acne has mostly cleared up, and I'm doing what I love. Life is far from perfect, but I made choices to stay away from drugs and the party scene, dedicate myself to God, have the self-esteem not to compromise my standards, and work and study very hard.

IT'S NOT EASY ... but it's worth it.

Please keep writing and let me know what's new and how you're doing. I really want to hear from you, Breanna.
Stephanie Lynn

Breanna, baby, you are NOT the only one going through this. I'm gonna tell you straight up. I totally understand what you are going through. I worry about money problems. I'm not the skinniest of my friends either. I'm in a long distance relationship with someone older than I am. I have acne (like major). My mom is always telling me that I'm fat and I need to lose weight. And some friends are b****es, and I don't wanna keep them. So trust me when I say I know what you're going through.

All these problems are not gonna go away just like that. But I know ways to just deal with it. DONT STARVE YOURSELF!!!! THAT IS THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO!!!!!

And as for boys ... boys are boys. They are immature and retarded at times. Just believe in yourself and your instincts. And music is a real good way to just let it all out. I suggest Addicted by Kelly Clarkson. I learned the lyrics, and I lock myself in my room and vent by screaming out the words. I feel a lot better. And I hope it can help you as well. XD

So, babycakes, don't think that you are the only one going through "typical teenage problems". EVERYONE goes through them. And you don't have to go through it alone. That is the worst thing you can do. If you want to talk more about this, just contact me through Sweet Advice.

XD. Much Love,

I hope I can help you at least some with my answers and advice. Well, here it goes. As for your weight anorexia is not the answer. I know, it sounds like the way to lose weight, but really it's not. Have you tried talking to your parents about the way feel about yourself? There are different ways to lose weight. There are safe diets if that's the way you feel you need to go, but only way I will suggest is if you go to the doctor. A doctor can inform you on different ways that will help fit your body and keep you from doing more damage than good to yourself.

Also, while you are there you can ask about your acne. Acne is treatable, and doctors can prescribe medication to help you. I understand money is a little tight but would your parents rather you put yourself in harm's way than pay a little bit of money on a doctor's visit and a little bit of acne medicine?

As for the boy, I don't know the complete story, being that you didn't leave an age, but if your parents aren't for you dating him, not dating him will be for the best. And honestly, in his situation he needs a friend more than a girlfriend right now. He will have more issues to deal with if he adds a girlfriend to the mix. I am not saying you are not a great girlfriend, but the fact that he needs to find time for you and keep you happy when he's already trying to help himself will just stress him out more than he will consciously know.

As for your friends, if they are treating you horribly, then if you think dropping them is the best for you, then do it. Friends should be there for you, not bring you down farther than you are. I know it's a hard age to make friends, but in the end finding a group who truly cares about you and doesn't care about your looks and loves you for you will make you so much happier in the end.

I hope I have helped in some way.


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BFF ... Or Just a B?

So me and this one girl named Stephanie have been best friends since fourth grade. Middle school came, and I thought we'd be as close as ever, because it was only a two year school frame. Turns out, she turns to the more "popular" people and leaves me completely in the shadows. Let me tell you, she's not independent at all and can't say no to anyone. I learned to forgive her, because near the end of the year, all of the people she assumed were "friends" left her. She came to me and I pitied her. So yes, I accepted her back into my life as the once elementary school best friend.

Now it's high school! Absolutely nothing has changed. Although she shares lockers with me, and I join her "popular group" once in a while, I know she doesn't look at me as if I am her best friend. I listen to her; I'm there for her. So why is she treating me like crap? Sure, I forgave her again, and it's only the beginning of the year! As I said before, she's not independent at all and can't say no to anyone. This results in boys taking advantage of her, and she's doing nothing but leading them on.

Our other best friend Shannon (we've been in this tight friendship triangle since fourth grade) has tried countless times to talk to her about her lack of self-assurance, once even staying up until 4 AM discussing the issue with her. Hah. Not only that, but she has also developed ATTITUDE. She isn't the innocent Stephanie anymore. She not only has the nerve to not listen to me when I listen to her, she has to give me attitude about her sucky life without Shannon and me as well.

I have made up my mind to not try to help her in her times of need, whenever that may be. I'm not going to be the "back-up" friend who's always there, but never paid attention to. I honestly don't care if I lose this friendship, because she's nothing but a burden. A friendship that lacks substance is useless and disappointing. I'm not going to stand around waiting for her to come to me when her other "friends" won't listen to her. Taking me for granted isn't something I'm willing to take, and I hope she realizes that.

What do I need advice on? Well, she won't listen to me when I try talking to her; so what can I do to make her realize that she needs me and Shannon? Don't try telling me that middle school and high school can change someone! I know Stephanie far better than anyone in the world, including herself, and I know that she wouldn't do this for no reason. I'm always there for her, so why's she being such a b****?
Jessica, 14

It sounds like to me that she loves the spotlight, but when it goes away she runs to you ... so I think you should talk to her about this. Tell her that you're tired of her always coming to you when her other friends left her out.

The reason why she comes to you every time she gets left out by her friends is because she knows that you will let her! Stand up for yourself. I know it will be hard because you two have been friends since fourth grade, but are you going to continue to let her tear at your emotions forever? If you don't stand up for yourself now, it will continue like this until college.

You know what you do?? When Stephanie needs you the most, let her fall. Let her go to her "friends" for help. And when they won't, she'll go to you and Shannon. And when she does ... just do what she does to you. She needs to appreciate both you and Shannon. And when she realizes this she will come back and never go back to her "friends." And if she says, "Oh, I thought you were my best friend," you simply reply, "Yeah, I thought so too. But obviously ___________ ('friend's' names there) have taken that place," and walk away. A b**** needs to be b****ed at. She'll realize she needs you guys. No one is stupid enough to turn their backs on true friends for good. And if she does turn her back, it's her loss. Yeah, it sucks. But there is something called tough love. And she is in need of it. I also have a friend triangle. And one of them turned mean and b****y too. And we (myself and my other friend) did this and she came back. I hope all goes well. And e-mail me at Sweet Advice anytime you just need to talk. XD

Glad to help,
Jenisvel XD

You basically answered your question for yourself. You say she's just a burden and having her friendship is useless, so why are you stressing yourself about it? Honestly, to me it doesn't sound like she needs you; it sounds like you need her. Now I'm not going to try and tell you that middle school and high school can change someone, but obviously she's changed, and if she doesn't value your friendship, then it might be high time to let her go.

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