Dear Miss Emily:

Recently I started dating this girl. We have been boyfriend/girlfriend for about a month now.  We met on a dating website.  She lives about 1 1/2-2 hrs away by bus and seems to come see me on her days off.  She lives with her parents.  We see each other once a week, 2-3 times within 2 weeks or sometimes once every 2 weeks.  We had sex already and she seems like an innocent, sweet and honest girl, but my concern is this . . . 6 days after having sex we met again and was about to have sex, again, when I noticed several bruise marks on both her inner thigh and around the butt area, maybe 5-7 bruise spots. Some bruise spots were small (around the inner butt the size of a silver dollar/quarter) area and some bigger (around the inner thigh the size of a credit card or half of a credit card).  When I asked her what happened she was embarrassed and told me that she pinched herself to get rid of the fat.  So we stopped and didn't have sex because I was confused and she was embarrassed about the bruises on her body.  Many things went through my head . . . Was she recently sexually abused? Was she sleeping with another guy and had rough sex? Did she really pinch herself as a way to get rid of the fat?  I'm confused because I thought if she was sleeping with another guy, maybe she would have been more cautious to avoid me seeing the bruising on her body.  I've never heard or seen bruising like that before. I haven't seen anymore  bruising like that on her body for almost 3 weeks now. Our relationship is still new, we don't live near each other I really like this girl, please help!!!

-------------------------Miss Emily's advice------------------

I understand your concern.  That isn't normal, no matter what the reason. Pinching herself to get rid of the fat is odd, indeed, and may show a psychological deficit.  Because she comes to see you, and you have not seen her in her home environment, I would pursue that avenue if you want to continue to see her.  It seems like she may have something to hide and you need to get to the bottom (oops!) of it.  If your questions and requests go unheeded, that's a red flag you can't ignore.  Until you can get more information that is reasonable and settles your concerns, make no mistakes and always wear a condom.  Please don't set yourself up for a fall.  It's great to trust, but there are a lot of people, and some who live sad lives, who have much to conceal.