Sunday, June 17 , 2018, 11:16 pm | Fair 58º


Louise Palanker: Boy Trouble at 12, Sneaking Around, Waiting for Breasts to Grow

Question from Dana

I still really like my ex boyfriend, James. I’m 12 and in sixth grade, but I really do love him. I broke up with him two months ago and within a week I had a rebound relationship with a guy named Sam. I broke it off because I didn’t really love him as much as he loved me.​

I was friends with Nick while dating Sam, and now I am dating Nick but I still really love James. I know I shouldn’t be dating Nick but I don’t know what to do.

James now has a girlfriend and they started dating maybe three or four weeks after we broke up. They seem so happy, they walk in the halls holding hands and everything (he didn’t do that with me). It hurts so much so I pretend to not see it. He’s still nice to me and has been joking around with me lately.

He brings up when we dated a lot. Does that mean something?

I know I should take time and think about my choices, but he’s moving far away in a week. I’ve struggled with self-hatred and depression, and told this to James when we were dating and he was chill about it. I may be depressed now, but I don’t feel like I can tell anyone. They either don’t wanna hear it or fake pity for me. I don’t even know what I’m doing with my life anymore.


Your instincts are good. I have a few points that may help you clarify your thoughts. First, you should not interfere with James’ current relationship. Second, he will soon be moving far away. Third, you are seeing what you hope to see. Kindness is not always romantic love. Fourth, you do need to get professional help for your depression and let’s move on to five:

I feel like you are using love and yearning and relationships to avoid or block some deeper feelings that are painful for you. Please know that no relationship or romantic love is going to heal your hurt or anyone’s hurt EVER.

A relationship does not replace something that is missing in you. It enhances what is already there. Yes, we are all programmed to seek love, and one day you will find a romantic love that is right for you. That is not a priority at age 12. I know it’s tempting and it’s a distraction, but do you need to be distracted or do you really need to focus on the actual problem? I think you know the answer.

You must be willing to dig in and find out why you feel so sad. What is really going on? Ask your parents if you can see a therapist. Go see your school counselor. Click here for more information from Teen Line.

The problem with dating before you work on yourself is that you are setting yourself up to spend your life chasing a love high, and believing that you are only worthy if you are valued romantically and/or physically by someone else. That is just not the case.

Once you truly love yourself you will be prepared to love and be loved in return. Do your work first. James may be going somewhere but love is not. It stays with you and it waits until you are ready for it.

(The Atlantic video)

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Question from Taylor

This girl has been one of my best friends for two years. She was in a three-year long relationship with a boy. They have now broken up for good and I have had a falling out with her. Her ex now claims that he likes me, and I do like him, but everything is very complicated.

He tells me that he likes me and he wants to have a thing and we hang out, but mostly in a group or if we hang out alone he wants it to be a secret. He doesn’t want anyone to know that we’re talking because he knows that it would cause drama. (I understand and to me it absolutely makes sense, but it makes me sad that he wants everything to be secretive. At times it makes me feel like he doesn’t even like me.)

I need an opinion.


You two should not be sneaking around. You should remain friends until the drama has passed and he has had a chance to tell his ex that he would like to date you.

This boy is not just attempting to avoid drama. He does not want to hurt his ex. It is too soon for him to be seen romantically with her former best friend.

Keep in mind that you and this girl had a falling out. She was your best friend for two years. She dated this guy for three years. Was he flirting with you before he broke up with her? Could that have caused your falling out with your friend? Have you and your best friend blown up your friendship over a boy? Our actions create reactions.

You are not the only person with feelings wrapped up in this situation. Are you being completely honest about what just happened? Is it possible that you stole your best friend’s guy?

If that is the truth then you need to own it. Sure, some people fit together romantically better than other people. You two may be meant to be. But as you said, this is complicated. How we go about getting what we want is even more important than getting what we want.

There are a lot of emotions involved here. Not just yours. If this guy is keeping things quiet out of respect for the feelings of his ex then you need to honor that. She was your friend, too. No, he does not get to mess around with you secretly forever. You should both be willing to wait until things are calmer before stepping forward as a couple. Talk to him.

Ask him how long your hanging out should remain a secret. Remind this boy that you don’t want his ex to hear about this from someone else. Secrets are corrosive and potentially explosive. Ask him how he thinks that the two of you dating will effect your group of friends. Talk to him. Things that start well go well.

Our behaviors come with consequences. Think about them. Have conversations. Be sensitive to everyone’s feelings and make thoughtful choices.

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Question from Maya

I’m really tall and skinny, and all of my friends have big breasts but I have NOTHING there! How can I make my breasts grow when I’m this skinny?


I don’t believe there is a lot you can do to alter Mother Nature. People just come in all shapes and sizes. What you can do is embrace your shape and own it.

There are girls with fuller figures who envy yours. There are boys with curly hair who admire those with straight hair and vice versa. We all have something about ourselves we wish we could change.

Being tall and thin is considered desirable by many people. Additionally, you may not be done growing yet.

Work on who you are rather than focusing on how you look. Being proud of yourself and the energy you radiate will ultimately make you happier and enhance your ability to make a valuable contribution to the world.

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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals Network, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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