Dear Dr. G.,
I am a teenage boy and a senior in high school. Last year I went to the prom with my girlfriend at that time and had fun. We broke up over the summer. This year things are much more complicated and not in such a good way.
At the beginning of this school year I was dating a girl for about 4 weeks. She broke up with me suddenly and her friends told me that she was only dating me to get her old boyfriend jealous. I felt terrible when I heard this and felt like a complete loser.
Well, now it is time to ask someone to prom and this same girl's friends are encouraging me to ask her. My guess is that she is putting them up to this. Part of me wants to ask her because I kind of still like her even though she broke up with me. On the other hand, I don't want to be used by her again. I mean-maybe she can't get a date and she simply is using me as a prom date.
Also, she hangs around with kids who are drug users and I don't really want to spend prom night with them. I don't drink or use drugs. I don't know what to do. I'm confused. Can you help me, Dr. G.?
A Confused High School Boy
Dear Teenage Boy,
I totally get it. High school relationships and social dynamics can be so complicated and confusing. I am not going to tell you whether or not to ask this particular girl to the prom. Instead, I am going to discuss some concerns that I have.
First, history tends to repeat itself. You have already had a bad experience with this young woman. You are therefore at risk to have yet another negative experience with her and I don't want you to have another bad experience.
Secondly, this young lady doesn't seem particularly sensitive to your feelings. You say that she broke up with you suddenly. Did she ever give you an explanation? Every breakup deserves some sort of explanation. I'm not sure about this young woman's character.
Third, you mentioned that she hangs around with kids who use drugs. Is that really who you want to spend prom night with? You can bet that they will use prom night as an excuse to get particularly "wasted" or whatever the current teen word is.
Finally, follow your heart when making your final decision but also use your wise mind. You do not need to be hurt again. In any event, let me know how it goes.