'TWEEN 12 & 20: My Pen Pal Wants us to go Steady

Creators Syndicate | 5/28/2014, 7:53 a.m.
I'm 15 and have been a pen pal with a 16-year-old boy from Ontario, Canada, for the past year and ...
Dr. Robert Wallace


DR. WALLACE: I'm 15 and have been a pen pal with a 16-year-old boy from Ontario, Canada, for the past year and a half. We write to each other once a week -- faithfully. It has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to receiving his letters and answering them the same day. Matthew lives in St. Catharines and it sounds like a super place to live. I've learned a lot about ice-skating, ice hockey and ice fishing on Lake Ontario. I've informed Matthew about living in the beautiful San Joaquin Valley of California. Lately Matthew has been writing that he thinks he loves me and that he would like us to go steady even though we have never met each other. He says that he is coming to visit me when he graduates from high school in two years. We have traded photographs so we know what the other person looks like, and he did call me for Valentine's Day. I honestly admit that I sort of like Matthew in a romantic sort of way, even though we haven't yet met, and the thought of going steady with a pen pal is intriguing. However, I still haven't decided and that's why I'm writing to you. I'd like your opinion. -- Kim, Fresno, Calif.

KIM: I think that having a pen pal is wonderful, and I can understand the mystery of romance that can creep into a long-distance correspondence, but I see no value in going steady. Why eliminate the opportunity of dating because you are going steady with someone you have never met and wouldn't see for at least two years?

Wait until you both have had time to spend together before making that decision. It would be a huge waste of time to go steady for two years and then discover when you meet face to face that, while you like each other, the "magnetic" attraction is missing.


DR. WALLACE: I'm 19 and a high school graduate, and I have a job working for an insurance company. I'm dating a guy in the office who is quite a bit older than I. He is the first guy I have fallen in love with. He is my true love, and I would like to have a "serious" relationship with him that could lead to us getting married, but he said that marriage is out of the question because he has been married and divorced twice, and he won't get married again. But he says he loves me and wants to keep our relationship strong. He also said that there might come a time when we can live together. I'm not positive if he loves me or if he is just using me. We are sexually very active. I'm confused and don't know what to do. There are times I feel like I should look elsewhere for love and there are times when I think that I could change his mind regarding marriage. Your advice will be appreciated. -- Nameless, Michigan City, Ind.

NAMELESS: I honestly believe this guy is using you and will do anything possible, short of marriage, to keep you for his satisfaction.

End the relationship and continue looking for your true love. This guy says that he loves you, but I doubt that he is serious.

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at rwallace@galesburg.net. To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.