Dear Miss Emily:

I am 15 years old and I have been in a lot of relationships and in every one I get cheated on. I am in love with this guy right now, and I told him and he said that he loves me too. How can I tell if he really does love me like he says he does? I need some advice no one I talk to helps me. Please help. Thank you,

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

I think this kind of thing (cheating) is very common at your age, because everyone seems to be testing the waters (learning the rules of the game), and few of them seem to know how to handle their fickle nature and when to tell the a person they want to move on -- hence, cheating. But as you also know, it's not that uncommon in the adult world, as well. I don't think there are any fool proof ways to keep someone from cheating, but I think there are certain red flags that wave when someone has the inclination. And that would be flirting, often, with other girls -- having female friendships that pretty much don't include you -- an individual's actions often speak louder than words. Talk is cheap, but it's all about follow through (being on time, call when he says he will, doesn't make excuses for being thoughtless). Ask the person you are with to be as honest as he can be about his feelings toward you, and if things start to change concerning those feelings, you want to be the first to know. You won't chew him out and, although it may hurt, it would be worse to be treated with a total lack of respect. In time, and through trial-and-error, you will have a better handle on this dilemma. Cheating says more about the cheater than anything else -- in other words, do not take it personally, although difficult. You may say you love this guy, now, but that's a bit young to get too involved. Just have fun and don't let any relationship interfere with your goals. In the meantime, be respectful and expect it in return. When a guy starts treating you like his kid sister, that's when it's time to bail.