DEAR ABBY: I hate the fact that since I have started high school, I'm restricted by the rules that guys and girls can't be friends unless they're dating. It has been worse since I got into my relationship of 2 1/2 years. I'll be 19 soon, and I have always had guy friends. I find them easier than girls.
My mother says that when you're in a relationship, it is disrespectful to have friends who are guys. My boyfriend and I fight all the time over this issue, and I have had to cut off some of my guy friends because of it. I hate not having anyone to talk to or hang out with except my boyfriend. It has left me with bad blood between me and my old friends. Is this a rule that I didn't know about? I just don't get it, but I know I need help. -- TEEN IN DELAWARE
DEAR TEEN: What your mother may have meant when she said it is disrespectful to have male friends when you are in a relationship is that many men find it threatening. You are young, and at your age it is appropriate that you should be socializing with more than one person. Your mistake was in getting into an exclusive relationship with someone who tells you who you can and cannot be friends with. Break it off, and you may be sad for a while, but you will also be free to grow.