Category Archives: Dating & Sex

Dear Hope: Keeping Our Relationship a Secret

Dear Hope,Secret Relationship
I’m dating my best friend and it’s awesome. We have been friends since we were 5. Around the age of 11 people started saying we should start dating and that we would get married someday. We had not even thought of that at all and it felt like pressure. It wasn’t until we were 15 that we started to look at each other in that way. We are now 17 and we just started dating 1 month ago. Except we haven’t told anyone yet. We really want to keep it a secret. We are great friends, but we don’t know how dating will turn out. If we decide we are better as friends than boyfriend and girlfriend then no big deal no one even knew. Our friends pressure us so much that we don’t want them to know yet. I think some of them are starting to suspect something. Especially since I have been acting like I enjoy being single. We are going to tell them eventually just not now. How can we keep it a secret? Also do you think it’s bad for us to keep it secretive?
– Keeping It A Secret

Dear Keeping It A Secret,
How exciting! This is a fun secret, especially since it won’t hurt anyone. It might drive everybody nuts wondering though.

If your relationship is healthy and you’re both comfortable, then it’s fine. There is nothing wrong with keeping it hidden for a little while. You are still feeling out this whole couple thing.

Like you said, you will tell them eventually. Plus, it sounds like your friends will all be very excited and supportive of you both.

Keeping it quiet might be hard if they are already getting suspicious. Act cool. Don’t ignore each other. Don’t act differently towards each other. Everyone already knows you are good friends.

The truth is your friends may figure it out sooner than later. It sounds like they ultimately just want what is best for you both. Remember, your relationship is between YOU and HIM. Don’t let them pressure you both into anything you don’t want or are not ready for.

It sounds like you are both strong people who know what you want. Keep doing what is best for your relationship and have fun!

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: Not Ready For Boys

Dear Hope,not ready for boys
All my friends are starting to text boys, and I am not. I have to admit I have quite a few crushes in the past, but I got really angry that my friends are texting boys. They even invited all the girls to go ice skating, and I got really angry. It would have been fun, but I decided not go because the boys would be there. (And I actually had something going on that day) I sent one of my friends a text explaining that I was grossed out that most of the girls in my grade text these two obnoxious boys. I know it is normal for my age for guys and girls to start texting each other, but I just got really upset. I feel sorta bad now, but am still mad. I’m upset that boys sit at our table now, girls text them, and boys inviting us to activities. I know I can’t stop them, but I am just mad. I am not ready to grow up. I am not ready for boys acting like this. I remember in fourth grade or third grade when we all thought they were just obnoxious, but now they just think they are the coolest thing in the world. I know my feelings will change soon, but right now I am not ready for this. Any advice?
– #NotReadyforBoys

Dear #NotReadyforBoys,

People growing and changing is a part of life, especially at your age. This change might be difficult, but it’s happening. Your friends have decided to include boys. Even though you don’t like it, it’s their choice who they talk to and hang out with.

But how do you handle it?

I think you already know that getting mad was not the right thing. They didn’t do anything to hurt or upset you, they’re just doing what feels right to them.

You have to decide where you fit in to all of this. If you are not ready to hang out with boys, then don’t. There is no time line for these things. Sometimes people just follow along with the crowd.

I love how you know who you are. That takes strength and courage.

You have to understand that your friends will talk about the “boys”. They will text and go out with them. You should accept who your friends are, just as they should accept and respect who you are.

Try being cool when they sit at your table, after all, they are just people. But make sure you have some time with your friends in a boy free zone.

When you are invited out, it’s up to you whether you go. Don’t feel like you have to if that’s not your thing. You know you will have your time with the girls.

Boys shouldn’t interfere with your friendships, so don’t let them. Actually, the boys really have nothing to do with this. It’s how you and your friends handle it.

Continue being strong and do what is right for you. Also love your friends for who they are.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: Embarrassed to Talk to My Mom About Sex

Dear Hope,sex
I have so many questions about sex and I want to know about birth control. I am not asking you that, I actually want to talk to my mom about it. We have a good relationship. I can talk to her about anything. I’m just embarrassed to bring it up. What should I do and how do I start?
– Questions

Dear Questions,

I think your mom is the perfect person to ask. She was a teen once and she knows you best.

Maybe you could leave her a note. Just say I would like to talk to you about a sensitive topic and I’m a little embarrassed to bring it up. That lets her know you want to talk. Then she can bring it up when she has time.

You could also ask her to do an activity like take a walk. Sometimes when you’re doing something else it’s easier to bring up a difficult subject.

The best way to do it is just talk to her. You know you can talk to her about anything, so be brave and just start the conversation. You will be glad you did.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: My Girlfriend Wants to Hide Her Pregnancy

Dear Hope,teen pregnancy
My girlfriend just told me she’s pregnant. I love her and I will stick by her no matter what. We are going to have the baby. But I don’t know what to do because she does not want to tell her parents. She has a great relationship with them. They are not strict or anything, but she doesn’t want to disappoint them. I think we should tell both our parents. What do you think? Is it ok for her to not tell them? Can she hide it?
– Babyonway

Dear Babyonway,

Congratulations on becoming new parents. It may not be how you expected this to happen, but this is a new, wonderful journey for you both.

It can be scary to tell your parents. They have a certain idea of how your life should turn out. Their child being a teen parent is not what they imagined, but that doesn’t mean they won’t accept it.

I understand she doesn’t want to disappoint them, but they will find out eventually. It’s better to tell them now. She really doesn’t know how they will react. They might be very supportive. Even if they get upset, telling them early gives them time to adjust to the idea that their daughter is having a baby (their grandchild).

I think you definitely should tell both sets of parents. You will need their support, not only emotionally, but possibly financially as well. They’ve had babies, so they can help you prepare. Your girlfriend also needs good medical care. It’s important to take care of the baby and herself. When you try to hide a pregnancy, sometimes the health needs get neglected.

When you decide to talk to your parents, pick a good time. Don’t pick a time when they’re busy. At the same time, don’t use “it’s not the right time” as a reason to avoid telling them. Let your parents know you have something serious to talk about. Don’t drag it out. Just tell them. Be calm and explain the situation. Don’t be upset by the way they react. This can be overwhelming and they might need some time to process. Avoid getting defensive or angry. Try to understand this can be shocking to them. Remember they love you and this is big news.

Here is a helpful site: Teenage Pregnancy: 10 Tips for Telling Your Parents
This site is full of stories about how teens have told their parents they’re pregnant. It will give you some encouragement.

Remember, your parents ultimately want what is best for you. You need to be honest with them. Stay strong and continue to support each other. It is scary, but I know you can do it.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope Update: Is He Embarrassed by Me?

DEAR HOPE UPDATE:

Pretend Girlfriend, sent a letter in September asking what to do about a boy. Check out her original letter. She just sent in this update.

Here’s an update from Pretend Girlfriend:pretend girlfriend

Dear Hope,
I am pretend girlfriend do you remember me? I was the big girl. Well I did what you said and talked to him. It was hard, but I did it. I asked him straight out do you like me. He said yes of course he does. I asked him why don’t we ever go out then he hesitated. I pushed for an answer and he said you know how it is. I said um no how is it. Then he said well you know I don’t want my friends to get the wrong idea. Right there I knew what he meant. I was ok in private, but he would never really date me. I wanted to cry right then, but I held it in. I realized he didn’t deserve to see me cry. He didn’t deserve ME! I told him to leave. He seemed confused and I just said BYE. I thought I would be so upset after, but I actually felt relieved. Don’t get me wrong it still hurt my feelings, but it was good to know. I felt stronger somehow. It made me start thinking a lot. Thinking about everything, life, school, me. I wanted to be by myself to think so I started taking long walks to think. I have actually lost 15 pounds. I have never cared about my weight and I still don’t, but I do feel better. I think I will keep walking and see how it goes. As far as boys it will happen when it happens. Anyways I guess I just wanted to let you know how it’s going and to say thanks. Thanks for your help. I think originally I wanted help keeping a boy, but I ended helping myself.
– Pretend Nothing

Dear Pretend Nothing,

Hello Pretend Nothing, (by the way love that name) yes, I remember you! I’m so excited that you emailed again. Love getting updates.

I’m sorry that you were hurt by this situation, but I’m so proud of you for talking to him. You needed to know what was really going on. It’s important to find out the truth, even when it’s hard to do. When you know the truth, you can decide what to do with it.

I hope he will eventually realize that what he did was not ok. If he liked you, he should have been proud to take you anywhere. His loss! We all know how amazing you are.

I think walking is a wonderful idea. It’s a great way to clear you mind. It’s ok to be sad and take time to sort through your feelings. It’s also nice to be able to move on.

Thanks for sending in an update. It’s always great to find out how you are doing!

Dear Hope: I Feel Like I’m Not Welcome

Dear Hope,Deciding
I think I’m pansexual and I asked Mum about what God in my religion thinks of being gay and apparently He doesn’t allow it and it’s wrong. I feel like I’m not welcome. I get that I still have a long way to go in deciding who I am but the person I feel like now seems unwelcome.
Help!
– Still Deciding

Dear Still Deciding,
Pansexual is the feeling that you could love anyone. How beautiful is that. The idea that everyone is worthy of love and your heart gets to do the choosing. You don’t have to choose by someone’s idea of what is acceptable.

It can be so confusing trying to figure out who you are. The good thing is there is no rush. You have time to decide what is right for YOU. What you choose does not have to be what someone else wants for you.

I know this is hard when you’re worried that you mom may not accept who you are. But, the truth is she may never understand. Her religious beliefs might make her feel that she cannot accept a different lifestyle. It does not mean she doesn’t love you. You do not need her approval, but you should respect her feelings. You can try having an honest conversation with your mom and let her know how you feel. Be open to what she has to say, but remember, you ultimately have to be true to yourself. No matter what anyone else thinks or feels, you need to be true to YOU.

Reach out to other people and listen to their stories. Connecting is a great way to learn how other parents have handled similar things.

Many people struggle with figuring out who they are and how it fits in with their religious beliefs. Does God allow it and will God still love me? My thoughts are that God is love and you are loved. This is your journey. Take time the time to figure out what is right for you and what you believe.

Dealing with all of this can be hard and stressful. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, need someone to talk to or somewhere to turn, you can always find information through the Trevor Project. They also have a social networking site called TrevorSpace where you can connect with people throughout the world.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: I Think I’m in Love…Now What?

Dear Hope,in love
I came to you with a question about a year back (a boy and a rumor)….. and I have another question for you.

Have you ever been in love. Like, you already know you do….. I have a pretty definite feeling about it bc I have never felt like this before… there’s a guy at my school, which I just left, and I’ve kind of known for about two and a half years now. I realized it one night when I was thinking about that rumor I told you about.

I just felt it. I’ve never been one to crush on guys…. I went two years without having a crush. I’m your typical nerd stereotype. He’s very athletic, and he has a lot of friends. All of the girls, according to one of them, think he’s “hot”. But I never noticed that about him. When my friend yelled at me in front of the whole lunchroom, he stood up for me and made sure I wasn’t upset.

I don’t and didn’t know him personally, but every time I look at him, I just think about how great of a person he is. His personality is just amazing. Most girls say he’s a jerk, but I’ve never seen him do that. They typically use that as a way to hide that they have a crush on him, and I can tell. I just don’t know what to do, bc I’ve only confided in one person who knows a lot about this, and I thought you may know. He’s just all around amazing, and I feel empty when he’s not around. I thank God for him every night. I have thanked God for him for three years. He, I just missed him when he was right beside me. I don’t get into dating or any of that, but I just missed him. And it grew every day. And he’s been on my mind constantly for three years. I’m thinking about him as I type this at midnight. And now that I’m gone from the school, I just think about him and feel empty without him. I’m pretty sure I love him:

I fell in love with his personality: not looks. I just don’t know where to go at this point. What should I do?

One more thing: I love him so much, but I know he doesn’t feel the same way whatsoever, and all I want for him is for him to be happy. So I don’t want him to feel the same way bc he wouldn’t be happy. I get it. I just don’t know what to do….
– H

 

Dear H,
It’s great to hear from you again. I remember your question about a boy and a rumor. I suggested you take some time to figure out how you felt. It sounds like you have thought a lot about it.

When you fall in love with someone, it feels magical. It can also be a little confusing. I’m glad to hear you say you like him for his personality and not just looks. You see him for the person he is not just his outer shell. I admire that.
You said in your letter that he does not feel the same way, but you did not say how you know that. Are you sure, he does not like you? If there is any possibility, you should try talking to him. Give him a chance.

 

If you are positive that he doesn’t feel that way and you love him from afar, it’s time to move on.

Everything we do in life teaches us a lesson. Each lesson helps you grow. Each experience good or bad, sad or happy, gives insight to who you are as a person.

You have learned what it falling in love feels like.

You have learned how to see someone not just for looks, but to see their character.

 

Those are amazing things to learn and to experience. This next lesson is a little harder.
Learning to let go. Letting go is almost never easy, but it is important. Important because when you let go of one thing, you open yourself up for another. You will feel this way again and someone will feel the same for you. It can be hard to believe that sometimes, but it’s absolutely true. If he does not feel the same way then you should take your focus off him.

 

While you are trying to let go:

It’s okay to be sad. You have had these feelings for a while, so you can’t expect them to go away immediately. Three years is a long time.

Don’t ask about him or check out his social media. Give yourself some time to process how you feel. If time passes and you feel comfortable being around him then that’s fine. If it’s hard think about right now, don’t torture yourself.

Find things to do. When you start thinking about him, (you will), do something to distract yourself. Listen to upbeat music, draw, or get up and dance. Do fun things. Hang out with friends, just don’t talk about him.

Over time, you will start to think about him less and less.

 

There is nothing wrong with loving someone. You have the right to love whomever you choose. However, you deserve someone who feels the same way. Open yourself up for something new.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: Is He Embarrassed by Me?

Dear Hope,dating
I have always been the big girl. I don’t care and my friends love me. But I have never really had a boy like me until 7 months ago. I started talking to this super cute guy in my English class. We were paired up for an assignment and found out we had a lot in common. We started talking on the phone every night. That progressed to hanging out every weekend. He went on and on about how much he liked me. When I bring up my weight, he says how beautiful I am. It was perfect at first. Even though we hang out, we never actually go anywhere. We always stay home at either my house or his. I ask him why and he just changes the subject. My friend said she heard him tell someone at school he doesn’t have a girlfriend. So what’s his deal? Is he really embarrassed by me? What should I do?
– Pretend Girlfriend

Dear Pretend Girlfriend,
You are a beautiful, strong girl. You should be dating someone who is proud of you. You should be going out and having fun on the weekends.

If you want to know what he is thinking, you need to talk to him. Ask him straight out why he always wants to stay home. See what his answer is. If it seems legitimate then talk about it. Make a plan to start to going out. Give him a chance to see if anything changes.

If his answer seems fishy at all, move on. You deserve the best. You deserve someone who will respect you and love you for you. Turn to your friends for support. They love you and will help you through this.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: Secret Boyfriend

Dear Hope,dear hope
Last weekend I went to this party at my friends house. My ex girlfriend S was there with her best friend J. I’ve always had a crush on J. I wanted to date her but she already had a boyfriend that’s how I ended up with S. I know it’s bad, but true. Well after the party J and I hooked up. We have been talking and secretly hanging out all week. We both like each other. We want to keep going with this and actually date, but we don’t want S to be pissed off. How should we handle this?
– SecretBoyfriend

Dear SecretBoyfriend,
If you want to keep seeing J you need to come clean with S.
For two reasons:
1. You should not have to keep your relationship a secret. Being secretive is not healthy and it’s not fair to either of you. It might be fun in the beginning to sneak around, but it will get old. It also limits the things you can do as a couple. If your friend has another party, can you bring your “girlfriend”?

2. S will eventually find out. It’s better if she find out from you and J. It will be hard to tell her and yes, she will probably be angry. Try to understand her feelings. Her ex-boyfriend hooked up with her best friend. Be honest, but be sensitive. She may be angry for a while. She may never get over this. Give her space and time. You can’t control how she feels, but being honest is the best thing for everyone.

Once you have told S, you and J can move forward. Honesty is a big part of a healthy relationship. From this point on, keep it real.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

Dear Hope: Two Stories, Two Boys

Dear Hope,boys
I have two stories, the first one is about *John. I met *John in the beginning of the school year. We sorta talked once in a while, he had a few girlfriends, but his brother told me he liked me, I liked him too, but his best friend also liked me so i think *John wanted to be loyal to his friend, he has a new girlfriend, but i know he still likes me, i just dont know what to do, then there’s *Derek. I found out *Derek liked me, but he’s kinda shy and we didnt talk until the end of this year and he told me that he was dating someone else, but that someone else and *Derek didnt act like a couple at all, and *Derek was staring me down in our last class together sitting far away from his “girlfriend” who was flirting with his friends, so help!!
– Ashlynn

Dear Ashlynn,
Trying to read *John’s and *Derek’s signs won’t give you answers. There is no way to know, without a doubt, what they are thinking unless they actually tell you.

What you do know is that they both have girlfriends. Even if they don’t act like a couple, they are still technically dating.

In these situations, it’s better to move on.

If it is meant to be, it will happen. Waiting around for them is unfair to you. You deserve to find someone who is single and honest with his feelings for you. You also don’t want to be a part of their breakup. If *John or *Derek want to date you, they need to break off their relationship first before getting you involved.

Getting mixed signals is frustrating. Remember, if they are serious about a relationship with you, the signals will be clear.

Always be honest with your feelings, but look for someone who is honest back. Whether it works out with one of them or not, you are worth something amazing.

Thank you for being brave and sending in your question.

Dear Hope

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