DEAR ABBY: I’m a 17-year-old girl who recently broke up with my boyfriend of 21/2 years. During the time we were together we shared many experiences, including a miscarriage. Now he wants to be alone. He doesn’t want to date or have any relationship because he says he feels “love is different now.”
I’m having a difficult time coping. I feel like I have been thrown away. I didn’t ask for such a serious commitment, but he made me believe.
I am scared, depressed, anxious and no longer want to date because I don’t want to have any casual flings. My loyalty is literally killing me. I don’t know if I should change my preferences in life or learn to love me. I’m too young for this, right? — Teen in New York
DEAR TEEN: No one is “old enough” to experience what you have and not come out of it without emotional bruises. Not knowing your former boyfriend, I’m reluctant to guess whether he is grieving the loss of the baby or relieved that he isn’t going to have fatherhood thrust upon him and has run for the hills. But at least for the present, accept that the relationship is over and don’t blame yourself.
You could benefit from talking to a counselor about everything you have been through. I agree you are not ready to date right now and, frankly, you shouldn’t until you are more healed emotionally. If you have older, experienced women in your life with whom you can talk, it’s important that you do.
The feelings you are experiencing are normal under the circumstances, including your loss of self-esteem. I’m glad you have the insight to realize that you need to learn to love yourself again before re-entering the dating scene.
Sequester the smoking?
DEAR ABBY: My 30-year-old daughter and 8-year-old granddaughter have moved back home. The house now holds four generations. It’s hard to keep everyone happy.
My father and I are both years-long smokers, which is causing major problems. Neither of us wishes to quit, and we feel it is our right to do as we please in our own home. My daughter is constantly telling her daughter to tell us she doesn’t want to live here anymore because of the smoke.
Abby, they asked to move in here. She lives here for nothing and pays nothing for food or transportation. God forbid I ask her to do something around here to help out. Who’s right? — Smoker in Pennsylvania
DEAR SMOKER: Let me put it this way. Your daughter is lucky to be living with you, thanks to your generosity. If she has a bone to pick with you, she should do it directly, not through her child.
That said, because secondhand smoke isn’t healthy for children, out of love and consideration for your granddaughter, you and your father should consider designating a smoking room in your home and lighting up there, or smoking outside.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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