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Dear John,

     I am 16 years old and have liked boys for about three years. Every year I fall for a different guy, but none has loved me back and all have treated me badly by avoiding me. All this rejection hurts my heart. This year I have a crush on a cute guy who is in my homeroom. We see each other every morning but he already has a girlfriend. I eavesdrop on their conversations at school and search their profiles at home, and am left feeling like a stalker and an idiot. The truth is, I keep getting hurt by guys who already have girlfriends or just don't like me. I am jealous of their girlfriends and jealous of my own friends who have boyfriends. At this point, I feel like giving up on love!

Sad Pup

Dear Sad Pup
     Sometimes when a guy says he wants to "slow down" a relationship, he really means he wants to end it. But in this case, I agree with you that your great guy might only have a dose of commitmentitis. Working with this premise, I understand your concern about seeing him the next three weekends in a row.

Obviously, no more words about marriage should be uttered, at least for the time being. Just as a blanket near a flame has chance to catch fire, one over a flame smothers it, and now's a time to pull the blanket away as a way to fan the flame. Gracefully bowing out of one of the next three weekends could be a good idea. I realize you'd prefer being with him, but backing off might very well spark the relationship.

Men claim to want their freedom, but when a woman we like plays hard to get, that's when we get hardest. Cooling things down will keep him heated up, while putting needed mystery back into the relationship.

The long and the short of it is... if you want him longing, sometimes cut him short.

Thanks for playing,

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