Relationships - Teens

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Parents Don't Approve of Interracial Relationship

Dear Miss Emily:

I really like this boy. We are dating and it's great, but my parents think interracial relationships are wrong. He is black, I am white, and it's really getting to me. Help!

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

That's your parents' opinion, but it's not mine or yours. That said, they may choose to never accept him. Unfortunately, there are consequences to the choices we make -- whether they are fair (and it isn't in this care) or not. I went to a wedding, recently, and the groom's father brought his black girlfriend. This man's mother never spoke to him the whole weekend because of it. The wedding was in a hotel, and she was MIA most of the reception (probably sobbing in her room) while her son was bumping and grinding on the dance floor!  Prejudice is alive, and well. The wheels of social evolution can grind very slowly.

College Guy Wants Fun But No Commitment

Dear Miss Emily:

The guy I like doesn't want to go out because he's not ready to be committed. He said the reason why he can't be committed is -- before I came into his life, he had already made commitments to soccer and school (he's in college and I'm a senior in HS), but he said he likes me. His friends know me, and he invites me to hang out with them, sometimes, and he's usually always the one to text me. But sometimes we go 3-4 days without talking at all. We pretty much act like a couple. He kisses me, holds my hand, and takes care of me. Do you think I'm getting played, or do you think he genuinely likes me?

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

I think he genuinely likes you, but he feels by putting a label to it -- boyfriend and girlfriend -- that's the commitment he doesn't want because it spells R E S P ON S I B I L I T Y to someone else. Were you to want more -- got upset with him for not being more attentive -- he could say to you, "But I told you I can't be in a committed relationship." This arrangement gives him the freedom to come and go on his terms. This is the way he wants it,  and only you can decide if it works for you. Don't go along with it hoping he will change. "Hope is not a plan" as they say, and his studies and sports, apparently, are his priorities.

Teen Regrets Fake Facebook Account

,Dear Emily;
 
So I created a fake facebook account and, accidentally, started chatting with this guy. To make the story short, I fell in love with him and we started dating (through messages, of course). Later on, he discovered I was fake but doesn't know what I really look like. What should I do? I really like him,  but I don't think he will ever set eyes on an ugly girl like me. Thank you.

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

You're not ugly. That's low self-esteem thinking for you.  Even if you're not a beauty queen, like most females, were you to challenge yourself to be the best you can be, in all ways, you shouldn't have any trouble with boys. You created that fake account in order, I feel, to hide the person you think you are. But you got to know him, I would assume, by discussing things that are real about you, and your true feelings on how you view life. I doubt you pretended to be someone you're not 100% of the time. You don't have much of a choice in this matter. You set the stage for this, and you have to take the hits. You deceived him, and you know you'd feel if someone did this to you. Here are the only options I think you have: You cut him off altogether; or tell him the complete truth, and put together a nice picture of you to send to him. And, then, the ball's in his court. I don't know if he'll trust you, again, but it's worth a try. If he doesn't want to continue this relationship -- lesson learned on your part. I'm not a big supporter of long distance relationships, and especially at your age -- when there isn't a chance of meeting for a long time to come. Check out articles, on-line, on how to build your self-esteem, and strongly consider trying to find a relationship in your area. Be proud of who you are. You're going to be with you for a long time to come. You'll always make better choices in life if you like who you are.

Teen Angst Over Web Relationship

Sense of Style

Dear Miss Emily:

I don't know what to do about my sense of style with clothes and hair. I enjoy it a lot, but so does my mother, and she has a very different style from me, so we don't usually agree about that sort of thing. But whenever I pick something out she doesn't agree with, she either says it looks bad on me, and other people won't respect me for choosing that --or that she thinks I secretly am not comfortable with it, and would be happier wearing what she picked out. I can't just ignore my mother's advice, because I do have a really quirky style, and sometimes I do need someone to tell me I've gone a bit too far, but I'm sick of not being able to trust my judgment with clothes and hairstyles. I can't go the rest of my life having to run every style decision I make by my mom. How do I find a style that is appropriate, but still feels natural to me?

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

Style, for the most part, is subjective. If your style is quirky, that represents you, and the risks you're willing to take to be who you are -- apologies to none! If you were to take a look at some of the "style" choices the wardrobe department had made for Carrie, in the series Sex and the City, as well as hair, you'd know that someone thought that "shaking it up" and giving her a unique identity was a top priority in the show. Pearls with a tee-shirt, spike heels with cargo pants, and I could go on. They wanted her to be a trendsetter by going out on a limb and shaking up traditional style choices. I know your mother has her opinion -- so did mine. If I had a dime for every time my mother looked me up and down at your age (actually into adulthood) and said, "That doesn't work" or "That's too tight" -- or the time in high school when my father looked me up and down and said, "You're not going out of the house looking like that, are you?" I'd be in the south of France, right now. Be who you want to be, and if you like what you choose, tell your mother thanks for her input, but you're happy with your choice and leave it at that. At some time, your mother won't be around to be a style consultant to you, and it's your right be dress the way your way.Your style choices will change (more than likely), over time, as you mature.  If this answer does not set right with you, find a trendy shop, in your area, and ask for their advice. But I think you'll find that everyone has an opinion, that's all it is, and there's little right and wrong with style. Let yours be a reflection of your personality -- which is, obviously, fun and creative.

Guy Takes A Pass When Girl Admits She Likes HIm

Crush Backs Off

Dear Miss Emily:

I was out with my guy friend (he likes me, I like him -- complicated) and then my dad, who I hadn't seen for 5 years. was walking by and I waved at him and he came over. My dad said hello to my guy friend, patted him on the shoulder and, then, asked him to leave us. My guy friend stood at a distance, not sure who he was, and my dad was just telling me off for not seeing him then walked away. My guy friend asked me ho he was, I said he was my dad and I thanked him for being so kind. He asked me if I hated my dad, because he hates his (long story).  I said yes and was going to explain the situation, but he told me to drop the subject and to stop thanking him. He was a bit cold after that.

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

Sorry that your dad missed the opportunity to move forward, rather than lay a guilt trip at your feet. I am sure it is complicated, but it doesn't always have to be that way. I am sorry for you. You're the child, but I assume your father wants you to accept any past bad behavior on his part simply because you are his daughter. But it doesn't always work that way. Your friend probably tapped into the hatred he has for his own dad, and hearing your story would only incense him. You each have complicated issues in your lives, but it's time to simplify if you can. You can't control the behavior of others, but you can surely straighten out your world, and select who you want in it. It's easy to have children, but being a decent parent seems to elude many. Now, all this said, if you and this guy do get something going beyond crush stage, open communication is key, and he can't get away with dismissing your past. He may think he can cut off conversation when it doesn't suit him, but he would be wrong to think that's okay, and you'd be wrong to accept that in anyone you wanted an intimate, and trusting relationship.

Teenage Pregnancy

Dear Miss Emily:

I've been with my boyfriend for almost three years. I'm 18, and he's 17. I really wanted a baby so he got me pregnant. I'm now 6 1/2 months pregnant. He  told me he's really unhappy about this choice, and he only did it so I'd be happy, and he couldn't tell me "No". He's really depressed, and he says he ruined his life. I feel absolutely horrible. I feel like I'm the reason he's so unhappy. He says he'll never be happy, again, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. I know he's only staying with me because its the right thing to do. I just want him to be happy, but I can't stand the thought of losing him. I don't know what to do anymore. I'm trying as hard as I can to make him happy, but nothing works. I need help.

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

Apparently, your 17 year old boyfriend doesn't know his head from his rear end! The fact that he gave into you on the pregnancy issue, without thinking about the ramifications, was a mistake -- but that's a teen boy making that decision -- and now he's seeing the fruits of it. Hindsight's 20/20, and I know you trusted him to think, and do the right thing, but the jury is out on that concerning your future together as a family. I won't attack you for your decision to have a baby at 18 with a 17 year old boyfriend, because you already feel horrible -- but your baby needs you to be calm -- not stressed -- and with a plan to put a roof over his, or her head, and a solid plan for your future. You've made a grown-up decision to have this baby, and if he isn't on board with it -- and many guys bail on their girlfriends once the baby is born -- you have to soldier on and be the best mother you can be, unless you were to consider adoption. You can't force any guy to be a partner to you, nor a father, and no court can force a parent to be a parent. But if he does move on with his life, leaving you to raise this child, at some time, and when he's gainfully employed, he will have to give you child support. You and he made a choice, and these are the consequences from not thinking it out --  but you have a sweet baby on the way who needs love and support, and that should be your first concern. Does his attitude hurt? Absolutely! He seems to have changed his mind, at least for now, but you must get a handle on your stress in order to do what's best for the baby. I am so sorry.

He Wants FWB

Dear Miss Emily:

I know a guy who is a friend and has been for over 2 years. Within the past 6 months we have started making out, and other things -- not sex yet because I don't want to until I am in a committed relationship -- which I have told him. I do love him, and that's another reason I won't have sex with him. I don't want to get more hurt than I already would. We are very close. We talk about everything and are comfortable with each other, and things are never awkward. I have strong feelings for him,  told him, and he says it doesn't feel like the right time for him right now, and he doesnt know of we will ever be more. Should I give up hope that we will be anything more than we are right now? Should I stop making out with him, or should I just wait and see where things go from here? I always thought if you were doing what we are doing, there had to be feelings involved.

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

He wants to be a free spirit, and being in a committed relationship is not on his mind. Of course you, absolutely, must stop the phyical part of this relationship! It will only make you more, emotionally, attached to him, and you end up feeling worse than if you do stop. Humans have sexual urges, and it often overrides common sense. It's a mistake to give in under these circumstances. You're not looking at it as sport, and nothing more. You're a sweet and loving person,  and you want him as your boyfriend, not a FWB.  He's not willing to take that leap, and that's when firm boundaries need to be in place.  If you don't protect your heart, then who? He's going to get what he wants -- only if you allow it. It's a black and white decision to me. No grays. Friendship only, and start looking at other options with other boys

High School Girl's Dream

 
Hi, Emily:

 I am a senior girl in high school about to graduate in May. I want to move to Atlanta, GA., from southern Alabama after I graduate to start school. My family is very against it, because I do not know anyone in Atlanta, nor do I have a job. I am always optimistic and I believe that I can find a job and get an apartment on my own. But with everyone telling me that it's not a good idea because of safety and finances, what am I suppose to think? I do not like being discouraged because anything is possible.

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

Not knowing anyone is common when a freshman starts college. -- but you seem to have bigger obstacles than potential loneliness, and that means getting a job, going to school, and affording a place to live. You have to formulate a plan. Going there on a wing and a pray is a fun thought, but with the difficulty in finding jobs, these days, and the hardship of working while going to school, I think that's the point your parents are trying to make when they object. I don't know the cost of living there, but you would need to have a roommate, or rent a room -- which is doable. But, again, a plan -- how you're going to be able to pay for a place (minimum wage is all you may get), and factor in time to work and go to school. Don't be too discouraged, but realize that this will take a great deal of  effort on your part to get it right. Yes, anything is possible, but that's not always a good thing. Many bad things happen to good people, and your parents are surely mindful of that.
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