DEAR ABBY: I am 15. Just 18 days before our three-month anniversary of dating, my boyfriend, "Brandon," broke up with me. He was my first love and I am heartbroken. Seeing him having fun with someone else, while I am alone and hurting, is awful. I want to be happy, but I still love Brandon and want him back.
My friends and my parents all tell me to get over him. I don't want to get over Brandon. I want to know how to get him back. I miss everything we had together. When I think about the fun we had, I break down and cry. What do I do, Abby? I'm miserable without him. How do I stop loving him? -- CRYING IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR CRYING: Teenage romances can be complicated and painful, and you have my sympathy. Your problem isn't a new one; it's been happening ever since boys and girls started noticing each other. In my booklet for teens there is a section titled "Breaking Up -- or What to Do With the Pieces." In it, I say:
"Speak only well of each other -- or not at all -- after the break.
"Attend parties and school affairs, and develop new interests.
"Keep busy. Avoid the 'old reminders,' which tend to make you moody and broody. Put away or get rid of the pictures, photos and gifts ... unless you enjoy punishing yourself.
"Turn a deaf ear to anyone who wants to pry or question you.
"Girls: A boy says 'it's over' when he stops calling. Usually he gives no reason, but he has them. This means it's time to forget him.
"Boys: A girl will generally give you her reason. Accept it, whatever it is. This means, for you, too, it's time to move on.
"Once it's over, all the note-writing, phoning or conniving will not help your cause. Don't ask a mutual friend to help you 'get him (or her) back.' It will only make you look foolish.
"For all of you -- chalk it up to experience and a part of growing up. There's no growth without a little pain; and it only hurts for a little while."
There are dozens of other things I tell teens to ease them through these difficult, tumultuous years. "What Every Teen Should Know" can be ordered by sending a business-sized, self-addressed envelope plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)