DEAR ABBY: My situation is a mess right now. I am not a virgin. I lost it to "Chuck," a guy I really love. One of my friends is very religious, and she always brags about being a virgin and puts me down.
Now I hear that Chuck has been sleeping with other girls. I was raised to believe that whomever you lose your virginity to, you stay with. I am embarrassed now, but I'm too insecure to leave him. I'm confused because Chuck says the girls are lying.
Also, I may be pregnant. What should I do? -- MADE A MISTAKE IN CHICAGO
DEAR MADE A MISTAKE: Having sex carries with it certain responsibilities, and one of them is knowing how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases or an unwanted pregnancy. You haven't said how old you are, but whatever your age, it's clear you have gotten in over your head.
Ideally, you should tell your mother what you have told me. If you don't feel close enough to her to do that, then confide in another trusted relative, or adult family friend or teacher. Do not put it off. You should be seen by a doctor to ascertain if you are, indeed, pregnant. If you are, you have some important decisions to make. If you aren't, you need to decide how you're going to prevent pregnancy in the future. In your case, I strongly advise abstinence.
True friends do not put each other down. They build each other up and support one another in time of need. This does not appear to be a description of your religious "friend." I wonder how she found out that you were no longer a virgin. Did you confide in her? Or did Chuck broadcast the news?
And while I'm on the subject of Chuck: Feeling embarrassed about losing your virginity is a poor reason to stay with him. Ask yourself: Is he good to you? Is he honest with you? Is he responsible? Do you have common interests? Does he want an exclusive relationship? It is important to be able to trust the person you're with, and if more than one girl claims to be involved with him, you should investigate further and be prepared to move on if he hasn't been truthful.