Teen Trauma

I started seeing a girl I met at the homecoming dance, and for the first several months, we were very happy. Two months in, I told her I loved her. Much to my surprise, she reciprocated. I'm not the most attractive guy in the world—not even close. I'm overweight, have a baby face, and a very misunderstood sense of humor. Did I mention I have low self-esteem? On her birthday, she caught me at an awkward moment and the first thing that came to mind popped out of my mouth. I popped the question! It was a total accident! I was half asleep because we enjoyed sleeping together, though we never got to the point of actual sex (it was close a few times). She said yes. I was stunned. Her Christmas present to me was a promise to eat two meals a day. Before that it was either one or none. (She was anorexic.) Even though she was skinny, she was very beautiful, and to this day I wonder what the hell she's doing with a schlub like me. She only weighed 94 pounds, but thought she was fat. This made me feel terrible, considering I weighed more than twice what she did. She broke up with me in May, saying she didn't love me as much as I loved her. She said I needed someone who would love me as much as I loved them. I was shocked. A few days before was her senior prom, and we were talking about making our engagement official with a ring and everything. She says that's what tipped her off to not wanting to be with me anymore, because she got scared thinking about it. Maybe I should've had a clue, because when we discussed our engagement she told me she wanted to wait until she'd graduated from college, then law school, and had a practice, before we tied the knot and settled down. She wanted to plan over six years in advance! Postponing your life for your career is not the way to go. Anyway, when we broke up we promised each other that we would remain friends, but since then she doesn't ever call. I make every effort, and when I actually reach her, she uses the same tone she adopts when speaking to her annoying younger brother. Every time we make plans, she breaks them. Should I write her a letter and explain how I feel? Should I call her? Should I still try be friends with her? I don't know what I'm supposed to do! I need help. My friends don't even want to help me. They liked Kelsey, too, and some still talk to her.—Jack

Every time I get a letter like yours I thank the stars above I am no longer a teenager. I know everyone paints it as a nonstop party, but no period of your life will be more excruciatingly uncomfortable. I feel for you, but if you look on the bright side, you'll be in your 20s in no time. Though anorexics are generally pretty nutty, Kelsey seems to have her head on (mostly) straight. The words "homecoming dance" and "engagement" should never be uttered in the same breath. She was right to want to wait a long time before tying the knot; correct to break up with you (though she certainly could've handled the aftermath a tad more sensitively); and, in the end, did you a favor. Someday you will realize this. Meanwhile, you need to stop calling—and don't even think about writing. It's over. Nothing you say will change her mind, and if you keep being her doormat, she's going to hate you. You need to forget about girls—especially her—and work on improving your self-esteem. Yes, I realize that sounds like some barfy cliché you'd see on an inspirational poster in your guidance counselor's office, but it happens to be true. You won't find love until you truly believe you deserve love. dategirl@seattleweekly.com

 
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