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by Abigail Van Buren

Truth of Abusive Marriage Will Tarnish Man's Sterling Image

DEAR ABBY: I am an 18-year-old male. When I was 15, I met a girl on the Internet. We talked pretty often, visited each other and had a lot in common. I fell in love with her, as much as a teenager can love someone. Eventually we hit some bumps in the relationship and she broke up with me. We have rarely spoken since.

Abby, even though it was a teenage relationship and it was over long ago, it still hurts. Is this normal? Could it be that I didn't get closure because we hardly talked afterward? It doesn't seem like it should still affect me as much as it does. I lack confidence when it comes to romance now. -- UNCERTAIN TEEN IN BEAVERTON, ORE.

DEAR UNCERTAIN TEEN: The problem with teen romances isn't that the people involved don't fall in love -- hard -- it's that they are growing so fast in so many different directions that the relationship is hard to maintain. That's probably what happened to your romance. And yes, it hurts, usually until you find yourself involved in another one. I'll tell you a secret: MOST people lack confidence when it comes to romance. But lasting love usually grows out of meaningful friendship. So open yourself up and you may be pleasantly surprised by how little time it takes.