Emily:

Hi, I'm 15 nearly 16. I have been single for about a year nearly.  The things is I find it hard to be in a relationship.I always break up the with the guy before things get to serious. My last relationship ended quite badly. I was really in love with this guy  and he cheated on me with my best friend. My question for you is how can I get over the fear of getting my heart broken again, and start to let people in.

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

I don't think there are a lot of us around who haven't had your same experience. I especially know this to be true at your age. There appears to be a lack of conscience with teens concerning relationships, and I also think trust is something you learn along the way of growing up. You learn the consequences of it and how it can sometimes backfire. This behavior is pretty common at your age because teens battle raging hormones and it interferes with their ability to "do the right thing" at times. Now I'm not saying that adults don't also get hurt (or behave the same way), I get plenty of e-mails proving that, but this is an especially vulnerable age. I know you can't take any romance too seriously at 15 (nearly 16). And although there is often a lot of drama, backstabbing and gossip that swirls around school relationships, if you learn to judge human behavior (individual and group motivation), and when to keep your radar up, you might be able to ward off some of the pitfalls of teenage love and "so-called" best friend betrayals. Actions often speak louder than words, and you are seeing this first hand. Quality people, no matter what age, can be found if you know what to look for -- and I also think that, no matter how much you want to avoid getting hurt, you can't. Life is a learning process. But those who do well learn from the past, and when they feel they stumbled, they pick themselves up and try to get it right the next time. Another thing is to not take all of this too personally. It's a selfish age, as well, and teens often put themselves first, then others -- only if they have the time or inclination. I have a quote that comes up on my site from Oscar Wilde. "Good friends stab you in the front" meaning (obviously) not in the back. Good friends are honest with you, and they don't always tell you what you want to hear. Ask for honesty, show that you are strong enough to take it, and learn to tell when people are not being honest -- match their words to their deeds. You won't always be right, but you'll have a better chance of dodging social catastrophes. And finally, remember, with boys you can dictate the rules of the relationship, in that you don't have to do anything you're not ready to do. And that mostly means sex. No guy worth your time will pressure you. I get too many letters from teen girls who have babies and it makes me sad. I ask myself -- have girls not learned from history? I think it's true that no girl, or woman should ever allow herself to be treated like a second-class citizen; yet some do. They feel they have to live vicariously through a guy's world. Wrong! You're in charge of your life, only you, and you want what's best for you. Pursue your life in this manner -- be kind, but don't be foolish. Learn to identify when someone is using you for his (her) purpose, or simply needs a friend. Believe in yourself and some things will just fall into place, naturally. Take the pressure off because, right now, time is on your side.