DR. WALLACE: I'm 15 and had been dating my 16-year-old boyfriend for almost a year. I thought I loved him and that he loved me. Last week he said that he loved me and that some day we would be husband and wife. This made me feel very beautiful and very emotional. He then asked me if I would be his wife after he graduated from college and I told him yes, yes, yes! Then he said that we should "seal the deal" by having sex to prove our love. Even though I felt I loved him, my conscience was telling me not to get involved with him sexually, but I gave him what he wanted.
Two days later, during our school lunch break, he told me that his parents have separated and that his younger brother and he were moving to Oklahoma City and that we wouldn't be seeing each other any more.
The following day he wasn't at school and the attendance clerk told me that "Johnny" had checked out of school. His mom had called and said she would be enrolling him in school in Oklahoma once they arrived there.
As I write this letter to you, I feel used, abused and stupid. Will you please give me a few words of encouragement? — Nameless, Austin, Texas.
NAMELESS: I agree that you were used and abused, but you are not stupid unless you make this same mistake again, and I'm sure you won't.
Spend time with your friends and enjoy school activities. All mistakes can be forgiven if you start by forgiving yourself. Needless to say, this guy will be out of your life and thoughts forever.
BE HER FIRST FEMALE FRIEND
DR. WALLACE: This certain girl I know really thinks she is beautiful (she is very stuck-up). She thinks she can get any guy she wants and she flirts with every cute guy around.
All the girls I know talk behind her back and I know she doesn't have any girlfriends. I really feel sorry for her. Is there any way I can help her? — Heidi, Ft. Wayne, Ind.
HEIDI: Yes, don't talk behind her back. And when all the girls you know start talking behind her back, just walk away. Since this girl doesn't have any girlfriends, do your best to be her first friend.
WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?
DR. WALLACE: This guy I'm dating told me that a year ago he had Lyme disease. What is Lyme disease? Is it a venereal disease? I'm too embarrassed to ask other people about this, but I need an answer as soon as possible. If it's not a venereal disease, what is it, and is it contagious? — Concerned, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
CONCERNED: Lyme disease is not a venereal disease. It is transmitted through the bite of a deer tick. Most times, Lyme disease is contracted while hiking or spending time in wooded, brushy or overgrown grassy areas, where the ticks live.
Lyme disease, if untreated, can be painful with swelling in the joints. After you're bitten by the deer tick, a skin rash and flu-like symptoms may develop. These symptoms can appear 2 to 30 days after the bite, according to the American Council on Science and Health.
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.