Dear Amy:

All through college, I went on dates and saw guys for a few months, nothing really serious.

Now that I've started graduate school, I've met a great guy. We were friends for six months before starting to date.

We never talked about where our relationship was going, but I thought everything was going great.

After four months, he said that it was just not working for him and called it off. However, he said he still wanted to keep our friendship. We were both pretty emotional that night but in the end agreed to be friends.

The next day, he came to my apartment and said that we could still work things out. He said we simply needed to increase the communication between us.

Then he became my boyfriend for just one day because, the following morning, he said that it was just not going to work out.

I agreed to be his friend one more time. However, every time I talk to him it tears me apart that he treats me with such indifference, but if I don't talk to him I miss him. I am obviously still hurt from what happened, but should I still be his friend?

Worried

Stop the madness!

You did not have a boyfriend for one day.

You had a guy you were friends with who you tried to date and then perhaps slept with. He is not your 24-hour boyfriend. He's a blip. A lesson. A guy who is yanking your chain, big time.

If being with him makes you feel bad, then absolutely do not spend time with him. I realize that you might feel like a failure because he's both a failed friendship and a failed 24-hour boyfriend all rolled into one, but if you are worried or wondering about his qualities, take it from me -- he sounds like a jerk.

Dear Amy:

I'm writing to respond to a letter from a freshman girl who didn't know what to do about the unpopular girl in gym class who wanted to be her friend.

You gave her great advice, but failed to address the issue of the other girl's "lack of personal hygiene."

In my early teens, I had no idea about deodorant and other hygiene tasks that come with puberty because my mother, an aging hippie, does not use them.

It took a holiday visit to my father's at age 13 and some kind words from his second wife to teach me. We bought deodorant, razors, nail-care products, etc.

Then we had a "girls' night," kicked my dad and brother out of the house and she, my younger half-sister and I spent the evening with facials, manicures, shaving and hairstyles.

I hope this teen can summon up the courage to speak with this other girl discreetly, but if not, I suggest speaking with an adult whom both girls know, like their gym teacher or a counselor. They will know what to do.

A Former Stinker in Calif.

I have heard from dozens of readers who have told me similar stories concerning their own personal hygiene epiphanies. Many a compassionate gym teacher has been a hygiene savior for students who don't understand the mechanics of deodorant, etc.

Thank you so much for the suggestion.

(c)2005 by the Chicago Tribune

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