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August 14, 2000 e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have been dating this guy for a few months, and I really care about him. I lost my virginity to him and everything. He treats me really bad, and acts like he has little or no respect for me. He gets mad so easily, I am almost afraid to talk to him. My friends hate him and want me to dump him.

He says he treats me horrible because he loves me, but I thought you treated people good if you love them.

I'm so confused about the whole situation. I have been in a lot of relationships, and I'm so afraid of being hurt. I keep thinking he will change, but I am beginning to wonder if it's a lost cause. Please help me!

-- Becky

Dear Becky,

You might feel weird and alone in your life, but you aren't weird and alone in the world. In fact, there are so many people in icky confusing painful situations like yours that I'm dedicating this column to you and your question...and to everyone else who feels the way you do. Read on for some answers.

It's Not Supposed to Suck:
When Love Hurts Way Too Much

Few know better than Breakup Girl -- and Friday and Kim, who help read all your letters -- how hard and weird and confusing relationships can be. We know because so many of you tell us, every day.

You tell us about mental hurt, and also about what it often leads to: HURThurt. We also know that one in five college students has reported at least one incident of physical abuse in a dating relationship. Experts also say that women in their teens and twenties are more likely than older women to be hurt by a partner, and that violence is even more prevalent in dating than in marriages. Also that it's on the rise by women against men, and in same-sex relationships as well. (More stats/facts here.)

Grownups, teens, male, female, gay, straight, rich, poor, all backgrounds and colors...so many of you are asking: Why does it hurt so bad? How can I make it stop? In fact, many of those questions are what prompt BG's Mini-Pearls -- they're the ones we think deserving of speedy extra-special stop-the-hurting help from a different kind of pro.

"But Breakup Girl," you might ask, "you're always the one reminding us that even the bestest relationships are tough! So...what's too tough? How can I tell the difference?"

Some answers

And also, as always:

Do Tell! I've talked long enough. (Bottom of page.)
Shoutouts! Rays of hope, support and fun in an otherwise heavy column!
Mini-Pearls: Advice concentrate.
The Breakup List: When it's simply time to go.


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