DR. WALLACE: I'm 16 and have been dating a really great guy for over eight weeks. He's my very first boyfriend and we have wonderful times when we go out together. Things are almost perfect for us, but the one problem is that my boyfriend is putting a lot of pressure on me to have sex. He knows that I'm a virgin because I told him already that I plan to stay a virgin, but now he is still pursuing the sex thing. He keeps insisting that a steady relationship should include a commitment for both individuals to have sex and share the "ultimate" in love. Last night he said I could think it over for a week, but if my answer is no, then the relationship is over.
Of course, my answer will still be no, but I'm asking for a little moral support from you because I can't possibly discuss this with my mom. She thinks this guy is wonderful and I surely don't want her to know about his sexual aggression. Please help. — Monica, Erie, Penn.
MONICA: A guy who breaks up with a girl because she won't have sex with him doesn't really care for her. He's more interested in satisfying his lust than sharing love. Good for you for being so resolute! And please be aware, even if you had given in to his demands, you probably would have broken up with him soon anyway.
Teen relationship that include sex rarely last, and I have thousands of letters and e-mails to prove it.
COIN COLLECTING IS A WONDERFUL HOBBY
DR. WALLACE: My grandfather is a coin collector and is trying to interest me in the hobby. For my birthday, he gave me a set of 1981 coins that came in a package from the Bureau of the Mint in San Francisco. It says on the package that the coins are a proof set.
Please tell me what this means. When I write to my grandfather to thank him, I want to know what a proof coin is. Can they be used to buy things just like regular coins? — Curious, Galesburg, Ill.
CURIOUS: Proof coins are minted especially for coin collectors. Regular coins are struck once by normal dies. Proofs are struck twice. This gives the coins a highly polished look. Proof coins demand a premium over face value when purchased. They can be used as currency, but because of their value, doing so would be foolish. Coin collecting is a wonderful hobby (and sometimes profitable) and there are millions of participants in the hobby. Join in the fun!
NO ONE WILL KNOW YOUR SECRET
DR. WALLACE: I'm 18 and have recently graduated from high school. At school all of my friends knew me as Sandy. My legal first name is Slabion, if you can believe that. I was named after a grandfather who lived in Eastern Europe. I'd like to change my first name to Sandifer. That way I could still be called Sandy. I want to make the change now, before I start college. Of course, my dad doesn't like the idea, but he told me to change my name if I want to. Do you see any reason why I shouldn't? — Sandy, Chicago, Ill.
SANDY: I see no reason why you shouldn't change your name. Yes, legally change your name to Sandifer and make Slabion your middle name. This will make dad happy. And when you sign your name, Sandifer S., no one will know your secret!
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. E-mail 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.