Getting real on October 12, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
My problem is with my net friend of one year. I’m a 16 y/o girl and I feel so incredibly confused! My net friend, he lives across the country on the west side and I know that we’ll probably never meet until we’re older, providing that we still keep in touch. He and I are not into that whole net girlfriend and boyfriend thing which is what’s causing my confusion. Over the course of one year, I’ve started to like this boy so intensely that I’m scaring myself. I keep trying to tell myself that he’s not real, he’s just a name, but I can’t get myself to believe it. We don’t have a net romance thing going and I don’t want one. The prospect of us being more than just friends is always lingering over our heads and it makes me feel sad that I can’t be with him. He’s so special to me and I haven’t felt this way about anybody! I don’t know how it feels like to be in love with someone, but if it feels like this, then it’s heaven! It’s like he’s my soul mate!!! Should I tell him about how I feel about him? I’m afraid he’ll think I’m a freak and cut ties. For some reason this is making me feel very embarrassed and none of my real life friends know…nobody knows except me. Could this feeling of intense infatuation be partly because I am so inexperienced with boyfriends? I’ve never had one before. Also, I’m not the most popular kid on the block but I am well liked by my peers. I’m not painfully shy, or extremely introverted. I really want to meet this boy just to know whether he and I are compatible in real life but I get scared sometimes when we have nothing to talk about, that we’ll lose contact and we’ll never get the chance to meet. This person has changed me emotionally, has taught me so much about myself and has been there just like a real life friend has. But he’s not a real life friend!! and that’s what’s killing me inside. Please help me! Thanks a lot.
You’re right about one thing, wrong about another. You’re right when you suggest that your “lack of experience” with boyfriends may intensify your infatuation. But Toula, you’re wrong when you say — though I know what you mean — that he’s not a real-life friend. If he has, as you say, changed you, taught you, been there for you, well, that’s plenty real enough for me. Enjoy, savor, and treasure what he has to offer, and you’ll be that much more ready for someone in the flesh.