DR. WALLACE: I just turned 13, and I have questions about "the birds and the bees." I know that some mothers find it hard to discuss sexual matters with their daughters. I'm not sure how my mom stands on this issue. Should I wait a little longer to see if she approaches me on the subject, or should I approach her first? I'm starting to hear some stories from friends, and some of what they are saying does not sound correct at all. I don't really know for sure, but my guess is that a lot of my friends are totally off-base with their assumptions regarding this topic — Curious but Cautious To Ask
CURIOUS BUT CAUTIOUS: Do approach your mom and tell her that you have some questions regarding sex and that you decided she was the best person to ask because you want honest, accurate answers.
Your chances are good that she will cooperate with your request, as she will realize that her explanation to you will be better than you hearing secondhand rumors and innuendos from classmates. If she stalls or appears uncomfortable, ask her to recommend someone else to answer your questions regarding sex. Let her know that you are hearing what you believe to be inaccurate information and you want to know the truth from a trusted female adult. This should cause her to listen to your questions and provide you with honest answers. It's always best to know the truth and to be able to ask your own questions to someone who has your best interests at heart.
STOP WRITING BACK
DR. WALLACE: Help! I'm hoping you will have some advice to help me get rid of my current problem, which seems to be wrecking my whole life at the moment.
I was going out with this one boy last summer and thought I really liked him. Soon thereafter, he joined the Army, and that's when I began to realize I didn't like him all that much after all. I guess it was just that he was someone new who showed interest in me that got me interested at first. But now there are a few other guys here at home who are looking better and better. There's even one who I have hung out with a few times, although we have not yet gone out on any formal dates.
After thinking things over, I decided my Army guy and I should break up. We have a lot of differences; he was actually pretty pushy. I didn't want that. I practically live half of my life at my local church — and he didn't like that at all. He and I had differences of opinion on many other subjects.
Here's the problem: I wrote to him a few weeks ago, and he answered my letter by saying that he understood and maybe it was for the better. I was so happy to know that he understood, and I kept writing to him (which he had asked me to do), and I made sure he knew we were only friends. I just wanted to keep him in touch with someone from his hometown.
Well, he recently wrote a letter that said, "I don't want you pretending that you don't love me if you still do!"
I couldn't believe it! I have told him many times already exactly how I feel. I'm 19 and have no intentions of getting serious with anybody at this point in my life, especially him. He also wrote that he wants to get married. There is no chance this will happen, as I know in my heart everything is over between us. How can I keep him from bugging me about these things when I only have one answer to give him each time: No! — Stuck in a Situation, via email
STUCK IN A SITUATION: If only all relationship problems could be so easy to solve: Just stop writing to him! Don't try to be his friend right now, because it's not going to work when he so obviously wants much, much more. He still harbors a hope that your friendship will turn into passionate love.
Since you are adamant that it won't, write one more courtesy letter letting him know where things stand, and inform him this is your last communication with him, as in your eyes, it's not fair to him for you to keep accidentally leading him on. Then, stop writing. If he keeps writing to you, simply don't respond. Your conscience can be clear because you will have let him know this in advance. He'll get the message eventually. If letters keep coming, simply file them away unopened in an envelope. This way, you won't be drawn into even more drama than you signed up for.
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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