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August 31, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

My problem is that I don't have a boyfriend. I know this may sound stupid, but it kinda upsets me. All my close friends have boyfriends, but I've never had a good relationship with a guy. I'm only 16, I know, and have kissed a few guys but none really like me, that I know of anyway. All my friends are really pretty too, and I'm only average (but on the plus side of average, I think...) so I think no guys want to settle for me when they COULD have someone like them. I DO have low self-esteem, I know that, and this doesn't help matters at all. I'm fairly smart, but not a geek, and am in what is considered the "cool" group. I play in a band and stuff like that and have heaps of friends, but can't seem to get a boyfriend. I know you'll probably say, "You're fine the way you are, yada yada yada," but what should I do?

-- Jayne

Dear Jayne,

No, it doesn't sound stupid. The whole point of adolescence is to show how unique you are by being exactly like your friends, and there are all your friends with boyfriends. Plus you've even kissed guys who haven't morphed into boyfriends. That itty bitty taste of honey (Binaca) -- with no real meal in the deal -- can make you even more bitter. PLUS, yeah, it would be good if you could hook up your amp to your self-esteem.

Which is why I'm going to say -- don't freak -- that you're actually not fine the way you are. As far as I can tell from your letter, you're talking about "getting" a boyfriend for boyfriend's sake. I completely understand why, but it's not going to get you a good boyfriend. I mean, I dunno about those guys you happened to kiss, but is there someone, anyone you actually want to go out with? Someone in particular whom you feel something for? Then we'll talk. Or, ideally, then you two will talk. I know you're lonely, I know you're impatient. But the key is to remember that no matter how it feels, you do have a say, a stake, a choice -- one that could include being alone, if there's no one around right now who does it for Miss Thing -- in this matter. Get that tune in your head, and they will start to fall -- not settle -- for you.

Breakup Girl



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