Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

“I miss him, but…”

September 25, 2017

Joni Mitchell wrote: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” In other words (not as concise and rhythmic as a Joni lyric): “Damn! If I’d only nurtured and appreciated my honey pie before I blew the whole thing to hell!”

Lost love is often lovelier in hindsight than it was in fact. And, as this teen describes, the disconnect between wanting the relationship and wanting out can be so confusing!

You can get it if you really want it, and you do the work.

You can get it if you really want it and do the work.

Teen: I recently broke up with my boyfriend because he was very overwhelming and overpowering. Also, I’m taking the SATS for the first time, which is another reason I can’t have him being so overpowering because I need to study and take practice tests and focus on me and my future. But I miss him, and being apart from him made me realize this…

Annie: Love can be confusing, right? Strong emotions can pull you in opposite directions at the same time and make it really hard to think clearly! First off, props to you for having clear goals and working toward achieving them. You sound like a very smart girl. You realize that you need space to consider some of your options moving forward in your education. The future doesn’t exist, but we create a path with every choice we make. You’re making important choices that will give you many options for the future.

Missing someone can be excruciating. I get it. But you broke up with your boyfriend for a reason. And even though you miss certain parts of the relationship, I’m guessing you do not miss feeling “overwhelmed and “overpowered.” Correct? What else do you not miss about being with him?

Teen: It’s true. My future is so important to me! I really want to be a marine biologist. And no, I do not miss how overpowering he was but I miss him, his personality, and how immensely happy he made me feel (happy until he got overpowering, of course). I just feel very confused as to what I want because he would tell me he was in love with me and I think it was genuine. I started to lose how I felt towards him since he got to be too much.

Annie: It sounds like what he said and the way he treated you did not align. Love has nothing to do with power and everything to do with cooperation, communication, and compassion. Please know that you should never have to put up behavior that makes you uncomfortable.

Here’s my best advice: Move forward with your life. You have so much going for you. Don’t waste it.

 

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Girls’ Friendship Issues Haven’t Changed

March 17, 2015

Morning walks with The Pupster reveal more and more free stuff in the neighborhood. Curbside boxes filled with coffee mugs (“Kalua!”), anemic Christmas cacti, Danielle Steele novels, rusty tools. (Be still, my heart!) Horray for spring cleaning. I should race down to my own garage and thin out the flotsam and junksam, but I’d rather be blogging.

My best friend doesn't love me anymore!

My best friend doesn’t love me anymore!

Though yesterday, I did a bit of feng shui. In my SENT BOX, I  found a dust-covered Hey Terra letter from 2002. (Thank god, I answered it promptly, thirteen years ago.) I have no idea why I hung on to this one. I’ll take it as a sign it should be posted, if for no other reason than to give me permission to delete it and to show that when it comes to girls’ friendship issues, some things don’t change.

Hey Terra,

My best friend of five years has just decided to end our friendship.
She claims that I constantly destroy her self-esteem. I always try to support her, and tell her how wonderful she is. I am usually there to pick up the pieces after she is hurt by others. So I don’t understand why she’d accuse me of things I have never done. She also claims that we don’t get along anymore. This is the first spat we’ve had in five years. She never allowed the friendship to push through the disillusionment/spat to actually cultivate a more meaningful relationship. She just ended it.

She seems to lean towards friendships that really have no depth.
She always has to be the leader of the group. Another thing, she
never has any passion for anything in her life (except her own
wants).  She cannot see past herself.  She tends to separate
herself from people who actually have passion in their life.
She never listens either. I just do not understand why she would be
like this, and why she refuses to listen to anyone. Doesn’t a close,
five-year relationship mean anything to her? She wasn’t even
willing to try to work at it!

Thanks,

Curious

Dear Curious,

From what you describe it sounds like you and your friend expect very
different things from a friendship. You seem to be looking for a
“meaningful” relationship that goes beyond the surface. You think of
yourself as someone who has passion for things and you clearly
don’t admire the fact that she “never has any passion for anything…
except her own wants.” You describe your friend as a person who needs
to be in control and tends to be self-centered and “never listens to
anyone.” From your words, she doesn’t sound like much fun to be around.

Yet, in spite of all these differences, which have clearly been obvious to you for a while, you still call this a “close” relationship. That makes me “Curious” too! Is
this a real friendship or a 5-year habit that you might be interested in breaking?

Think about it.

In friendship,
Terra

Meanwhile, back in 2015…. How might we do a better job teaching our girls there are standards in friendships and that it’s smart to evaluate relationships with an eye toward what you want and need? If it turns out that your daughter is not happy in a friendship, encourage her to discuss it (privately and respectfully) with her friend. If that doesn’t result in positive changes, let’s teach our girls to find the EXIT so they can get more of what they deserve from someone else. Your thoughts?

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Cure for obessive teen love?

July 16, 2014

Who gets to break my heart without my permission?

Who gets to break my heart without my permission?

Breaking up is hard to do. And painful. Hopefully, though, there were good times before the relationship tanked, so at least you’ve got some happy memories. On the other hand, if you’re obsessed with someone who was never nice to you, well, that’s just pain on pain. No one needs that.

Recently got an email from a girl in that dark place. Read on…

My heart aches for him and I really want to move, but I find myself checking his instagram, facebook, and all other social media  just to see him.  I cant let go, even though I want to so bad. I’m torn between wanting him to want me and wanting to forget about him completely. It’s been almost a year. I just hate this obsession. What do I do? –So Stuck

Dear So Stuck,

The truth may hurt, but I’ve got to say it anyway. This guy doesn’t care about you, That’s the way it is. You may wish things were different, but all the wishing in the Known Universe and beyond will not change fact.

Here’s something else that’s true: You deserve someone who wants to be with you as much as you want to be with him. This guy is not The One. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you will find The One (Maybe during this coming school year! There’s an exciting thought!)

In the meantime, you’ve got to stop checking up on this guy. It’s a total waste of the summer and, more important, it’s bringing you down. You have gotten into an unhealthy habit here, but you can get back in control. Here’s how:

1. Make an agreement with yourself to stop stalking him.

2. Whenever you get the thought, “I’ll just check his instagram, FB, etc.” notice that thought. 

3. Imagine the device you’re holding is burning hot. Get your hands off the darn thing right now this minute! 

4. Close your eyes and BREATHE mindfully. Inhale slowly and evenly through your nose. Then relax your jaw and exhale, slowly and evenly through your mouth. Repeat 5 times….. S-L-O-W-L-Y.

5. Did you do it? If not, what are you waiting for? Do it now.

6. After breathing, the urge to “check on him” should be less intense. If not, breathe some more. If it is less, congrats! You got yourself back in control. Well done. You know how to do this. And you’ll probably get lots of practice. Whenever you feel the urge to check up on him, think “Fire!!! Will not get burned again. Hands up! Breathe…”

7. Go do something you enjoy. Something away from the phone or computer with people you like who like you back.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,
Terra

 

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How do I get him back?!!

January 27, 2011

Love can make you crazy and blind. It can (temporarily) mess with your IQ and confuse you into thinking that something destined to make things worse is going to help a romance. When it comes to Bf/Gf situations, I define “worse” as: more stressful, more hurtful, more confusing, more frustrating, and in all ways less awesome.

When you’re so “in love” you can’t think straight, don’t try. Instead STOP, get your hands off the cell phone (or anything else that’ll connect you to social media) and take a whole bunch of slow deep breaths. Then, after you’ve calmed down and cleared your head a bit, if you’re still very confused about your next best move, then reach out to someone you trust and talk things over with them.

That’s exactly what this girl did when she emailed me about getting dumped by her boyfriend.

Hey Terra,

I have a boyfriend who just broke up with me. I really love him and want him back, but he told me that he don’t want me. Please Terra I’m begging! I really want him and me to work out. I don’t want to lose him. I want him back. HELP!!!

Confused Angel

_________________
Dear Confused Angel,

You say “I don’t want to lose him.” Fair enough, but sweetheart, he’s already gone. The guy makes his own choices. Same as you. Speaking of choices, why would you choose to be with a guy who doesn’t want you? That makes no sense. You know what happens when girls are desperate to “get him back”? They often end up doing stupid things they’re not ready for and/or really don’t want to do,  just to keep the guy around. (You know what I’m talking about.) And then, after the girl does the stuff she’s not proud of, you know what happens next? The guy dumps her a second time because while he might have enjoyed the sex, he wasn’t into the relationship. Which is what he said the first time he dumped her!

Look, Angel, I understand how much it can hurt when the person you love doesn’t feel the same way about you. I’ve been there. More than once. But you can’t force someone to love you. That isn’t how it works.

You are a beautiful, radiant, powerful, young woman and you deserve to be with someone who wants you as much as you want him. If your ex bf doesn’t love you and doesn’t want to be with you then he is NOT the right guy for you!

I hope this helps straighten out your head a bit.

In friendship,
Terra

P.S. Don’t call or text him.

Filed under: Parenting,Teens — Tags: , , , — Annie @ 4:55 pm
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