Playing it smart on August 17, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
This is going to be kind of long, since I have several questions for you. First, it would be easiest if I set up some background. I am 14 years old, I will be 15 in September. I am heading to college this fall in Florida. I currently live in Maryland. Back in November, I was on Yahoo chat and I met this guy. I’ll call him John. He is 16. (Yeah, I know, here it comes! He and I seemed to get along, and– you probably won’t believe this– we spent 9 hours on a chat room reciting movie lines from “Pure Country.” OK. That was fun, and all that kind of thing. I put him on my email list, to get all the junk and stuff I sent out. Back in February, we both got ICQ and started chatting. On February 12, he asked me to be his netgirl. I accepted. (Just wait, it gets better.) Well, for a while there we were talking almost every night for about 3 hours, until his and my work interfered. Also, during that time period (Feb.-April) he was emailing me 2-5 times a day. (BTW, he lives in Iowa) Now, we chat about once every 2 weeks (if that often) and I have gotten two, count ‘em, emails from him since June 17. I know I am starting to sound a bit obsessive….forgive me, it’s late. He and I have the same interests, but we are different enough to not be clones. I feel totally comfortable talking with him, and I consider him my best friend as well as my boyfriend (which is what our relationship has been upped to). We share the same morals and views on most things, he respects my parents’ views, and wants to consider us engaged. (All of this I am relaying as of 2 weeks ago, our last chat.) He also listens to me, takes my opinions seriously, and has a great sense of humor. (Did I mention that he is cute too???) So, from every standpoint, he is “Mr. Right.”
Well, except for a few things.
1) Like I said, I am going to college in August. I don’t have my parents’ permissions to date, so I won’t be dating. However, from FL to IA is about 1700 miles.
2) Every so often, I will get this feeling that says “Oh gosh girl, you are making a big mistake getting this serious about him this early in your life. Let up, calm down, and think about it.” But then, I talk to him, and I still feel “in love” with him.
3) This is going to sound extremely trivial but…the last two emails I have gotten from him have been chain letters! Now, I’m sorry, that really does nothing for the romantic in me. He used to write PAGES of emails to me.
OK…now for the questions.
1) Am I getting way too wigged out about him not being as romantic as he used to be? Is that a normal male thing, when you have a g-friend, and you feel secure, you stop doing little things (like sending me 12 ICQ messages to read)?
2) Am I totally stupid for falling in love (I think) with somebody I have never even met? Plus, it is extremely hard to explain at work.
3) How should I deal with the LDR in FL, if I do “stay” with him? I am really confused. Part of this may be that I have never had a boyfriend before, so I kind of get the feeling that I am grasping at straws to feel secure here. (BTW, I have an excellent home life and a great relationship with my parents.) The thing is, he has helped me through some really tough times in my life, family crises, depression, etc. I love him, I just don’t know if I am “in love” with him. I really, really, really don’t want to hurt him either. So should I give it time, and deal with his lack of communication (he does work a lot, and he doesn’t have a lot of free time), or should I say something like “John, those long letters you used to write me sure would be nice now!”?? Or do you think I should ease out of it as gently as possible and just wait a while for somebody to come along IRL?
Another question: Do you think that because of my age (14) that guys I meet at college will feel threatened (I know this is going to sound horrid and egotistical–I don’t mean it that way) by my intelligence? I work days at a retail store and I already have guys hitting on me all day, including those of the “friend-customer” set, that all of the other people I work with hang out with at the bars and clubs and such. So, if you could give me your thoughts, I would appreciate it. Thanks!!
– Confused by Netlove
Dear Confused by Netlove,
Yep, well, chain letters are even less romantic than the “Dear John” letter that I’d recommend you send to Netboy. I love the fact that you have had such a fulfilling e-relationship; you are not stupid to fall for him. But: he’s fading, and you’re packing — for a whole new life, IRL. I doubt that you will have the time or inclination to maintain — or, more to the point, to try to resurrect — a cyber-relationship as intense as this one … used to be. It will hurt now; it will hurt less when you’re absorbed in college. Honest.
Which brings me to your other question. You know, Breakup Mom actually went to college quite early, like you — so I asked her about it. Long story short, she says she never had any patience with anyone who felt intimidated by her. (You go, Mom!) Point being, you’ve got a built-in boy-sorter: anyone who is threatened by your head doesn’t deserve your heart. I know you can handle concepts that are much more complex, but it really is that simple.