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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl in the eighth grade. My problem is a girl in my class. "Angie" thinks she's my best friend. We met in fourth grade, and I felt sorry for her because she didn't have any friends, so I let her hang out with me.

It didn't take long to learn why no one liked her. Angie is insulting, rude, lies, and can't have a conversation without saying something negative about someone else. Avoiding her isn't an option. We live within walking distance of each other, ride the same bus and are involved in many of the same after-school activities.

I have come right out and told Angie to leave me alone, but she thought I was kidding, and I couldn't convince her I was serious. She knows other kids, so I don't see why she can't leave me alone. My friends think it would be a good idea to get her to stop following me around, but no one knows how to tell her to buzz off without being mean.

Please help me, Abby. I want to make the rest of my school year a good one. -- SUPER-ANNOYED EIGHTH GRADER

DEAR SUPER-ANNOYED: Talk to Angie privately. She lacks good judgment. You will be doing her a favor to tell her exactly what you have written me. First list the characteristics you LIKE about her, then list the ones that have made you withdraw. Angie needs to understand so she can modify her behavior. You seem to be a nice young lady. Remember that we all have our faults, and give her room -- and time -- to mature.

DEAR ABBY: A long time ago I promised myself I would wait until I found the right girl before having sex. The "right girl" for me is one who will love me as much as I love her, is easy to talk to, shares similar interests and has respect for herself.

As I get older, I'm finding out that not many girls fill those requirements. I don't date much because every girl I think about going out with, I come to find out has slept with a bunch of guys.

It upsets me that in today's world, sex is no longer viewed as something to be shared between two people in love, but as something that just goes along with casual relationships. When I look at the relationships of my friends, I find they are not happy. Most of them don't trust their partners -- and for good reason. After the first few dates, if I make no moves beyond some heavy kissing, the relationship seems to grow distant. I am now 23 and worried I won't ever find the right girl for me.

Are my expectations too high? -- LOSING HOPE IN SARDIS, OHIO

DEAR LOSING HOPE: Certainly not. It appears you're looking for love in all the wrong places. You won't catch a trout if you're fishing in a herring barrel.

To find a girl whose values mirror your own, an excellent place to look would be a faith-based singles group. Your spiritual adviser can tell you how to find one. I'm sure many young women will appreciate you for who you are once you find them.


What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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