When I was 12 and 13, I delivered the Palo Alto Times to around 80 customers. Before rolling the papers and stuffing them into my bag, I’d read the Dear Abby letters. I always enjoyed her motherly advice.
Here’s a sample letter:
I am 16 but will be 17 in a few months. I have known my boyfriend, “John,” for two years. He is my first boyfriend.
After four months of dating, John has asked me to marry him, and I said yes. He had been hinting about an engagement, and I didn’t have the heart to say otherwise. John is very dear to me, but I keep hearing people say, “Keep your options open.” I told John that I am young (he’s 18), and I want to take it slowly, but he says if I break up with him to date other guys, he will never date me again.
Abby, I want to make sure John is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t started dating him because I feel too young to be engaged or married. I love John dearly. I
don’t want to break his heart or mine. I am also scared I might mess up this relationship. What should I do to make myself believe that I have found my true love? — STUCK IN OKLAHOMA
You should have been absolutely honest with John from the beginning. When you have found your own true love, you won’t have to “make yourself” believe it. You will KNOW it.
John is pressuring you because he is afraid if you start dating others he won’t measure up. For both your sakes, tell him that you are not ready to make the kind of commitment he is demanding. He may not like hearing it, but it is the truth. You won’t break his heart, and once you have done it, you will feel a sense of relief.
I’m off to look for more of her letters!