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Did you ever wake up and wonder when your life became a soap opera? A bizzare mixture between 'Dawson's Creek' and 'Days of our Lives'?

I know I've had that feeling - that it's just all too dramatic and ridiculous, and wouldn't it be nice to go and under a nicely-furnished rock for a while? So, whilst I do not promise or claim to be an expert on how teenage boys minds work or how you can uncode your best friend's baffling behaviour, I'll always attempt to empathise and offer some honest words of advice.

I am 21, with a fairly dysfunctional life as a artsy student type. I've recently graduated with a degree in Philosophy, and am spending time working in the law before returning to university for further study. I still don't know what I want to do with my life, but I like where I am at the moment. I like shoes, bad television, chocolate cheescake and pretty things.

I am very busy at the moment, attempting to fund my life as a postgraduate (that's grad school to the Americans). I do still stop by quite a lot to help out with the admin stuff, but my column is pretty lame and inactive. Boo-hiss. I will however still endeavour to answer any questions that are sent my way, so feel free to send questions to my inbox.

Frequently Asked Questions

Actually, I made them up. But they are questions that I've seen more than once around this site (and, indeed, in the real world), and so have created general responses to them, linked below. It's a little sparse at the moment, but I'll be adding to the list as I think of more questions (and, er, answers to them).

Getting back together with an ex

Difficulty preparing for exams

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Gender: Female
Location: England
Occupation: Student
Age: 21
Member Since: December 30, 2003
Answers: 455
Last Update: June 7, 2009
Visitors: 39988

I've convinced myself that just because the rest of my family smokes, doesn't mean I will. But most people I know say "you never know if you're going to end up smoking yet"
I always tell them "I promise you I'm not going to smoke" and they tell me I cant make a promise like that. Hardly anyone believes me. A few people do but that's not enough. I could start smoking when is the right time that they will believe me? When I'm older? I'm still young, and if I'm not smoking now...I'm not a smoker, so why can't I just stay like I am.....NOT A SMOKER. I know a lot of people say that they're not going to smoke and some of them end up smoking, but I'm not one of those people. I counted how much money my family would waste altogether with the money they spend on cigarettes all combined....and thats like 50,000 a year!
That's messed up.
I'm not going to smoke because I already see the way my family struggles with it. It breaks my heart that they're controlled by a poisonous stick. What should I do? Do you think I'm going to smoke just because the rest of my family does? I'm not the kind of person who gives into peer pressure...and I've already turned an offer for a cigarette down.
I'm about to take all their cigarettes and flush them down the toilet...that's how scared I am for them, and it's going to waste a lot of their money, but that will just teach them a lesson. (even though most people say that a if you take their cigarettes away, it will just make them want to smoke more, well I'll make sure they dont) Should I? I'm so confused...and sorry for the length. PLEASE HELP!

You seem to know what you want, and that's not to smoke. I think that's a great thing to comit yourself to. If you have strength of mind, which it really sounds like you do, then you don't have to be swayed by peer or family pressures.

As for your family... that's harder. Smoking is an addictive habbit and it's incredibly difficult to quit, even if you want to. Quitting is not something anybody does lightly, and, unfortunately, it's unlikely that you'll be able to convince all of your family to stop. What you can do, however, is to talk to them about how it concerns you and perhaps give them some literature on the dangers. As I said, they might not stop, but then you can at least feel you've done something to try and help them. Good luck.

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My bra is bigger then most girls so apperantly, most guys wanna get with me. Now, there is this one girl with twice the size of my bra and I wear a D. She sits up perfectly straight showing them off to the whole world to see especially KYLE RAFFLE so, the other girls with only size B are like sitting up straight going like "i never realized how convienent it is to have a small chest" when i said it is hard to play golf with my 'ladies'. Soft ball is even worse. The bat hurts sooo bad. My question to you is how do I make my 'ladies' appear smaller?
Thanks a bunch hons!
Big Mamma D

Firstly, you should be proud of your figure! Don't feel you need to disguise or squash down your breasts. However, I know from experience that having larger then average breasts can make playing sports or doing exercise uncomfortable, and the best way to combat this is to get a good-fitting sports bra. If you can, get yourself measured in a store, and then look for a specially designed sports-bra. Sports-bras don't actually flatten your chest (as oppose to minimizer bras, which do) but they make exercising a lot more comfortable.

Also, having large breats can make you vulnerable to back pain. It's important therefore to have a good posture and sit up straight, and to always wear a good-fitting bra.

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I work for a junior high school and there are plenty of good looking kids in the school. I am only 23 so I don't think it is wrong to like these students, not that any physical atraction would take place. But, there was one time, last week, were the most popular person in my Language arts third period class fingered and physically touched me! I was actually turned on! So, I told him to meet me at my house TOMOROW! I feel like I owe him either an appology... or a thanks. (if you know what I mean!)
What should I do
Master Bater

You need to stop this behaviour immediately. It is completely inappropriate, could easily loose you your job and is likely to harm the teenager in question.

However, it is also highly inappropriate for a student to touch you in such a way. It sounds to me like the student needs to be educated on what the boundaries are. It might be difficult for you to do this yourself, so it might be worth bringing it up with a senior member of staff who'll be able to talk to the student about his behaviour.

A part of me wonders how suitiable you are as a person for working in a school. As a teacher or classroom assistant, you need to remain professional at all times, as teenagers are essentially in your care. If you cannot remain in control of yourself with teenagers, then teaching at a Junior High School is not the right job for you, at least not at this stage of your life. Whatever you do about this scenario, please think carefully about what you are doing with your career, and whether it is right for you.

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We haven't had sex for a couple months and quiet frankly im horny. Last time i asked him for some he told me i wasnt gunna get layed anymore unless i got a gigilo (male prostitute).hes my husband and i want his body?! i wonder if he finds me
do u think i should leave him or ask him to treat me better.

Mrs. iwanttogetlayed

You need to talk frankly to your husband about how his behaviour makes you feel. The sexual problems aside, the fact that he tells you to just go and use a gigolo suggest to me a basic lack of respect that you need to work on to have any hope for your relationship. A counsellor would also be a good idea, but fixing your marriage is likely to be a long process. Keep working on it, and hopefully you and your husband will be able to work through your issues together.

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so me and my boyfriend are at this hotel room doing you know what. well all of a sudden the door flies open and something falls into the bed next to the one we are in. well any who I jump up and see my parents. were they actually doing it? well my mom is screaming at me and telling me that I told her I wouldn't do it again. which is truth cus she caught me before. Well any who what should I do?
*caught in bed*

I think you need to be honest with your parents. Given that you are already sexually active, it's unlikely that you're going to stop and telling you to do so is pointless. You do however need to talk to your mother and apologize for going behind her back, but also explain that you are a responsible and consenting adult, and that you've made decesions about how you live your life. She'll probably appreciate the honesty and will be reassured that you are responsible enough for sex if you can talk about it maturely with her. Don't go into massive detail, just be firm about what your beliefs are clear that you are being responsible and taking precautions (which I hope you are). It will be an akward conversation, but it's better to talk about it and set up some boundaries (such as no sex whilst she's in the house) that you can both live with.

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Well, anyway, There is this really hot guy next door, I think he is sooooo fine! I just need some advice. I think he likes me. The other day, he told me that I looked really nice at school, but we had to dress up for a field trip anyway. He also told me that he wanted to get together with me and catch a movie sometime. He is always giving me signs and stuff but I'm not sure what they mean. Please answer all of these questions. Does he want to go out with me? Does he really like me? Does he like brunettes? Does he really like other guys?
Gay Guy For the Straight Guy

It's possible that expressing a wish to 'catch a movie' with you was just him being friendly. However, combined with his compliments about your appearance, it sounds like there might be some feelings there. Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what the other person is thinking, so try and flirt with him a bit and see if you make any progress. You could try bringing up going to see a movie (something he suggested, so he won't suddenly be suprised to be asked) and try and read his reaction. If he talks about getting together a group of friends and you can all go along together, then he probably is just interested in being friends (although, of course, this doesn't rule out something happening between you at a later date). If, on the other hand, you arrange things so it's just the two of you together, then thats a good sign he likes you.

Also, don't worry too much about reading all the signs and signals for now. They're bound to be confusing, but part of the fun of being a teenager and experimenting with your feelings is being unsure and working out what it all means. Good luck!

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My friends are bugging me to go to this party tonight, but I'm sick. Seriously. They don't believe me, they just think it's me being anti-social. Should I go anyway and make them all sick just to prove a point?

Don't go to the party if you are too ill to go just to prove a point. Apologize to your friends that you can't attend, but don't be tempted to go along as it will only slow your recovery. It sounds like your friends could be a bit more sympathetic, though - perhaps mention to them that you really don't need accusations thrown at you when you are feeling ill to being with?

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Everybody's always getting colds and the flu and stuff in the winter... my question is, how do you know if you're so sick you should see a doctor?

I think it's a personal call. Sometimes what just seems like a hard to shake off winter cold is in fact an infection that needs anti-biotics to cure. In general, if you are feverish or don't show signs of recovery after several days, I would visit the doctor. Usually though you are the best judge of how ill you are and whether you need to see a doctor or not.

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theirs this boy named Dorian I really like him but he doesnt want a relationship and when he does he's confused and I really want it to work and dont know what to do Should i keep trying or give up what should I say to him

If you think this guy is worth hanging around for, then do that. The chances are though that there are many other guys out there who are just as nice and who are ready to commit to you.

At the end of the day, only you can judge whether this guy is the special something that's worth hanging round for. Personally I'd say no, move on to somebody who's actually ready to respect you now, but only you can really know if this guy is worth your time or not. I wouldn't say wait around forever, but if you do really like him, then don't just give him up as a lost cause just yet.

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I like this 1 guy and i knew him from my old school. I think he likes me by the way he acts. he isnt all out going and flirty bcuz thats not his personality. My friend said that This boy (we'll call him Fred) asked if she knew me. Since Fred asked if she knows me i seems like he likes me. My friend said she thinks he likes me 2,

Do u think he likes me??

~> confuzed *

It's hard to tell from that much information whether he does or not. To find out, you need to test the water a bit. Try being a bit more friendly with him when you see him - smiling lots, touching his arm occasionally, etc. If he reacts positively to that kind of behaviour, you can assume he likes you. If he remains cool with you, then maybe you and your friend have misread the signals and he was just being friendly when he asked if your friend knew you. But if you like this guy, the best thing to do is to try and get to know him a bit better, and see how things progress from there. If he does like you, hopefully things will develop romantically - and if he doesn't, and least you'll know him better as a friend.

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Ok, so I'm still hung up on my ex boyfriend. And he has a new girlfriend. But, everyone tells me not to give up on him. (There's a lot of reasons why they say this.) And it would be so easy to make him jealous, but I don't really want to do that...and I don't want to use and hurt another person in the process. Does anyone have any ideas on what I should do? Thanks.

If this guy has genuinely moved on, which I suspect he has given that he has a new girlfriend, then you should really try to respect him and his new girlfriend and let them be. Trying to make him jealous will probably only serve to make you look foolish. If he changes his mind and you decide to take him back (which, of course, you don't) then that's good, but I wouldn't advise going through a massive charade to try and win him back, because if it doesn't work you'll just feel worse.

I know it's hard not to get hung up on the fact that he's apparently moved on, but trying to make him jealous to make yourself feel better gets you nowhere. Instead, concentrate on other aspects of your life - grabs some friends and have some fun for a bit without this guy. You'll soon realise that you don't need him to have a good time.

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I like this kid named Orlando...I just look at him and I melt. But the thing is, I've never ever talked to him before, and he's never talked to me before and I'm so confused because I don't think it's just a crush, and he is just so cute and funny from what I've seen from him.
In the beginning of the day at school all the students have to go into the cafeteria because classes didn't start yet...and usually I walk in and only him and his friend are there and he looks at who came into the caferteria and I feel like I'm gonna trip or something because his stare catches me off guard....
As you can tell...I like this kid, and my mom works for the Board Of Ed in that particular city, and she lets me do some extra help with her work and she pays me for it. Well, since he goes to the school in the city my mom works for, one day when i was doing a job I came across his address. So my question is, do you think it would be like I'm stalking him or something if I write him a letter just saying how I felt about it...because I'm only going to write it when this school year is over so if anything happens I'm not there. (I know..but I'm shy and I feel like this is the only way I could do it) If I explain to him in the letter that I'm that girl (because he's seen me before, and noticed me) then do you think this is a good idea? Please help me...I really want him to know, but I'm extremely shy.
I'm very sorry for the length, but Im desperate.

I think it would be better for both you and this boy for you to just introduce yourself in person. In the movies a letter would be a romantic way to introduce yourself, but in reality he'd more likely be weirded out. There's also an issue about taking confidential information (this boy's address) from the workplace. I highly doubt anything would come of it in this situation, but it's not something I'd encourage as it could technically get either you or your mother in trouble if the boy or his parents complained he was being harassed. It's tempting, I know, because it seems like the easy option, but the chances of it working out as you'd like are very low. You are much more likely to make a favourable impression just by smiling at him and saying hi one day in the cafeteria. As hard as that might sound, there are very few things that can go wrong with it. Good luck. :)

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Me and my boyfriend have been going out for like almost 2 years and we want to have sex but i am a Virgin and i dont know how it would fell can i get some advice explain how it fells and what i should do

I think this is something you and your boyfriend need to discuss together. I'm not trying to fill you with doom and gloom and horror stories, but it sounds to me from your tone that you are quite nervous and aphrehensive. The problem is, if you're feeling like that you really won't enjoy it.

It's hard to know when you're ready for sex, which is why I think it's a good idea to talk to your boyfriend about your expectations and his expectations. If this sounds like a scary prospect, then the truth is you probably aren't ready for a sexual relationship just yet. Explain to your boyfriend that you do feel aprehensive, and hopefully he'll reassure you and you'll feel more comfortable moving on to the next level. Remember at all times though that it is your body and if you find it too overwhelming and want to stop, you have every right to change your mind.

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I can't tell if i am but i can't stop thinking about him and i have a not in my stomach

The only way to know for sure is to wait. Sometimes strong crushes and infactuations do feel like love, but the difference is that love is a state of mind that tends to hang around beyond the initial stages of crushing on someone.

Don't worry about it too much would be my advice. It might not be love, but crushes themselves can be great fun and there's nothing wrong with getting to know somebody because you think you like them but you aren't entirely sure. Good luck!

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How do I win back my ex boyfriend that cares for me and I care for him but he doesn't want to be in a relationship right now? I mean we flirt, cuddle, play around,and hug.I'm very confused.

I think you really need to ask yourself why you want to be with this guy and if he's really worth the trouble. As nice as this guy may be, it sounds like he doesn't want a relationship - and do you really want to be with somebody who doesn't want to be with you?

I'd advise a bit of time and space for you both. Maybe a bit of space will allow this guy to realise that he does actually want a relationship and you'll get back together, but maybe the best thing for you both would actually be to stop seing each other. I know it doesn't sound great, but being single is better then hanging on to somebody who doesn't respect you enough to have a relationship with you.

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