DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl with a lot of questions about sex and growing up. I can't ask my mom because every time I bring up the subject, she accuses me of having sex. There isn't another adult I would consider talking to about this.
Abby, I am not having sex -- I am just curious. Is it wrong to be curious? Please help me. -- BLINDSIDED IN BRONXVILLE, N.Y.
DEAR BLINDSIDED: It is normal to be curious. Your mother should thank her lucky stars that you are coming to her for information. Many young people turn to their friends for answers, which often turn out to be wrong.
Please clip this item. Give it to your mother and tell her you wrote it. You are not a little girl anymore, and you should already have been armed with accurate information.
The Sexuality Information and Education Council has a wealth of information resources and tools for parents in addressing this important subject. Its Web site, www.familiesaretalking.org, helps families talk about sexuality-related issues and provides information and resources for young people, parents and caregivers.
If your mother continues to accuse you of being sexually active or puts you off, go to the library and ask the librarian for books on the subject. Other reliable Web resources include Planned Parenthood's Teenwire, www.teenwire.com; and the American Social Health Association, www.iwannaknow.org, which is a safe place for teens to learn about sexual health.
DEAR ABBY: I recently started dating a man I'll call Freddy. We met through an online dating service. We live in the same city and have had several dates, including a sleep-over. I am completely taken with him.
My problem is that Freddy continues to keep his profile on the dating site and visits it frequently. He says he goes there only if someone contacts him. I told him it makes me feel insecure; he said until he feels "safe" (previous women have left him for other men), he's going to continue to go to the site.
Am I wrong to feel insecure about this, or do lots of people leave their profiles active while dating someone? -- SUSPICIOUS IN COLUMBIA, S.C.
DEAR SUSPICIOUS: Many people do -- at least for a while. And if I were you, I'd remember that several dates and a sleep-over are not a committed or exclusive relationship. Although you may be "completely" taken with Freddy, he may prefer to test-drive several models before buying a car -- or anything else. Slow down.
DEAR ABBY: In a few weeks I will be attending my boyfriend "Don's" daughter's wedding. Several years ago, Don cheated on me with a woman I'll call Mona. It was only a short fling, and since then we have worked hard to repair our relationship. My problem is, Mona will be attending the wedding, too.
Should I go and hold my head high -- or not attend? I know it will be hard seeing her and not acting in a negative way. Mona has never stopped trying to interfere with our lives, and I have had a lot to swallow. What would you do? -- NEEDS SOME INPUT IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR NEEDS: I'd ask Don how he plans to handle it if Mona tries to attach herself to him, and agree upon some ground rules. Then I'd attend the wedding, be gracious to everyone, and revel in the fact that I was Don's girlfriend while Mona is the "loser" in more ways than one.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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