DR. WALLACE: I'm 17 and heartbroken that my 16-year-old girlfriend of the past four wonderful months announced she wasn't going to see me anymore because she was in love with another guy!
Less than a week ago, she was telling me she would love me forever. I love her so much that I thought she would be my wife one day. It's difficult for me to accept that she has really dumped me.
I waited a few days to give her some space, and then I called her, but she still said the relationship was over and I should find a new girl to date. She even told me that she would keep her eyes open to see if she could find someone new to introduce to me. She said that once I started dating someone else, I would soon forget about her. That really stung, because it makes me now think she was never serious about our relationship in the first place. She seems to know a lot about dating.
So, I'm in shock and wondering what to do now. Any suggestions? — Unceremoniously Dumped, via email
UNCEREMONIOUSLY DUMPED: Sadly, I'd say your instincts are correct. Three things jumped out to me from your letter:
No. 1: She indeed was probably never serious about the relationship.
No. 2: She's only 16 but knows a lot about dating
No. 3: She's planning to scout for her replacement to "help you out."
At this moment, there is no baseball being played in America due to COVID-19, but I'd say that in your case, these three strikes indeed mean you're out.
The good news, to continue my baseball analogy, is that even the best hitters in the major leagues strike out from time to time. However, the All-Stars are remembered for their home runs rather than their strikeouts.
I know this will be tough, but do your best to learn from this experience and start looking forward to getting more at-bats — opportunities to date other young ladies you feel could be compatible with you. And in this regard, don't sit around and wait for her introductions to help you; network on your own to see who you can meet, and I trust you'll soon be back on your feet and feeling a lot better. Hang in there!
I'M NOT 'STUPID'
DR. WALLACE: I'm 14-year-old girl, and someone at my school called me stupid about a week before everything shut down because of the COVID-19 virus. I'm not anywhere close to stupid, and I know these words are ridiculous and were said in spite, but they still really hurt my feelings. Since I'm at home and have been away from my school for months, I've had too much time to think about this. I'm sure I will see the same person if we go back to school next fall, and I don't want to obsess all summer about how this has made me feel. What should I do? — Smart Not Stupid, via email
SMART, NOT STUPID: Teenagers sometimes call others names out of frustration, jealously or a lack of self-confidence. The reason, of course, does not justify verbal abuse, but it does give us insight as to why these things happen. Instead of focusing on the name you were called, focus on what you'll do if and when this occurs again.
There are two options I'd like to suggest to you going forward, if you face this situation again. You can ignore it, hold your head high and just move on as if you never heard anything. Or, depending on your situation and who this person is, you can reply with something like, "Actually, I'm a pretty good student, and I'd be willing to help you with your homework if you ever need it." If you choose the latter, simply smile and walk slowly away once you say this. You'll now have the moral high ground by saying something nice and smiling. At the very least, this may diffuse the situation. In a best-case scenario, your offer to help might someday be accepted, and you could gain a new friend or acquaintance.
Either way, you come out ahead. By directing your thinking to these two possible future scenarios, you won't dwell on what was said in the past. Instead, you'll be able to smile at how you'll handle this if it happens in the future.
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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