DR. WALLACE: I'm 17, and my girlfriend broke up with me recently because she said she thought I was "smothering" her. I do love this girl very much, so breaking up was hard on me to say the least.
Last week, I told her how I felt in writing, and I used death as an analogy for the pain I felt — but only as an analogy. I never came close to insinuating that I would ever harm myself.
Well, you guessed it; she took it as a suicide note. I can honestly say that I have never in my life had a single thought of doing such a thing. So, a few days later, she called me and said she was sorry I was hurting so much, and she proceeded to tell me that she had spent a lot of time praying that I would not commit suicide. Then she followed that by adding that she no longer wanted to communicate with me ever again in the future — either by talking or in writing, like a text or an email. She actually said that she needed to put me completely out of her mind.
Now I feel even worse than before. What do you suggest I do at this point? I'd like to be able to at least keep loosely in touch with her, but I don't want to freak her out either. — Suffering in Silence, via email
SUFFERING IN SILENCE: My advice is to let her go and get on with your life. Plan to find some new activities to keep you busy and get your mind off the heartbreak you've recently suffered. You might even want to consider volunteering somewhere in a way that you can truly help others, as this will elevate your self-esteem.
Reach out to some of your friends, and engage them in conversations about topics you all enjoy. Seek out some fun activities. Listen to music; learn a new instrument; study a subject you've always found interesting but never had time to pursue. Keeping your life busy will make it impossible for you to stay preoccupied in your misery. You'll start making new friends, and soon enough, you'll be dating again, perhaps even via an introduction from one of your friends.
'SUNDAY BEST' CAN VARY SOMETIMES
DR. WALLACE: I was surprised when you told a girl a few months ago that she shouldn't wear jeans to church. God doesn't care what a person wears to church. It's going to church that is important, not what you wear while you are there. A lot of women choose to dress up because they are more interested in fashion than actual worship. I hope that I have helped you to at least consider changing your mind. — Casual Churchgoer, Memphis, Tennessee
CASUAL CHURCHGOER: In this particular case you are referencing, her parents were encouraging her to stop wearing jeans and start wearing more appropriate clothing to at least roughly match the attire of every other attendee of that particular church. I told her that, in my opinion, attending church was far more important than the type of clothing worn to a service, but I also encouraged her to wear a dressier outfit from time to time.
I still encourage worshipers, if they can, to wear their Sunday bests to church — if that is the standard in a particular church. However, if one is attending a church where very casual clothes are the norm, by all means, wear what you feel fits in with what others wear. Finally, if you're planning to attend a church where dressier clothes are the norm, but the best you have is a pair of clean jeans, by all means, wear them rather than staying away due to a lack of clothing options.
I would say that our opinions on this subject are not as far apart as you might have thought at first! Thank you for your comments on this topic.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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