DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I hurt my arm when I was playfighting with my boyfriend, and I said, "Stop. My arm hurts" and he kept wrestling me and I finally kneed him, and he rolled over so I wouldn't see the tears. He told me to go home. I did. Now, he won't reply to my texts or phone calls. I don't know why he always wants to playfight with me but I have done some wrestling as a kid, and I'm a pretty tough girl. Anyway, we are both virgins and we have only kissed a few times, as I'm a Christian and so is he. My best friend says he's always wanting to wrestle with me for the body contact. Is this true? I'm not ready to have sex. So, is it a blessing if he goes away from me? It sure doesn't feel like one because my heart is hurting from missing him. What should I do? -- Missing Him Badly, Winnipeg
Dear Missing Him: When kids are in grade school and they like each other, they often substitute teasing or tickling or playfighting, or even stealing hats and running as a way to make noticeable contact. But you both are in about Grade 8 or 9 and you should be past this stage. You both took this too far -- he should have stopped immediately and you shouldn't have kneed him in a private place. That's the most painful injury possible and the most embarrassing. At this point, you both need a way of expressing your feelings that doesn't end in injury. While things might seem miserable and finished, don't leave it this way. At least apologize and even suggest better ways to relate to each other. You're old enough to go out to some movies together, to hold hands, to kiss goodnight, to be best friends and sweethearts. Once you admit you feel that way, you can stop whacking each other to get the point across.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I totally hate staying at my dad's every second weekend, because his new live-in treats me like crap when he's not looking. She hasn't said anything out loud, but she gives me looks of annoyance and dislike hidden behind his back. If he leaves the house, she doesn't speak one word to me. And, she doesn't give me anything to eat until Dad gets back. I don't feel comfortable enough to open the fridge and help myself. I end up going to 7-Eleven and buying two hot dogs. My dad is crazy about this phoney mean lady. I think he'd choose her over me, if it came to that. Please help me fix this. -- Dreading Those Weekends, North End
Dear Dreading: You need to tell both your parents what is going on. They are responsible for the broken marriage that leaves you in an awkward situation, and they both need to fix things for you. it's not up to you to protect either one of them -- Dad from being less than thrilled about his new love, or Mom from getting less free time if you sleep there all the time. It'd make sense if you started seeing Dad alone and going home to you home to sleep at your mom's afterwards. They owe you that much -- a comfortable life where you don't dread what happens to you every two weeks. Also speak to your guidance counsellor at school, as they hear about plenty of cases of this and may have a variety of solutions for you and your parents.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6