12 years old and being used

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Visitor's Question:
My cousin is 12. Her sister took her to a highschool party. She met a 16 year old boy there and she said he asked her a lot of personal things, like if she started her period and stuff, then he asked if she wanted to suck his (you know what). She said no, but a little while later they kissed. Now, she wants his phone number and is crazy about him. I feel like I need to do something because I'm the only person she would tell, but I only just turned 13 I don't know what to do! Please help me, thanx

Our Suggestion:
When you're 12 and 13 it's REALLY flattering to have an older guy be interested in you. It's something you often dream about happening. And if this guy was a sweet guy that really liked her, it'd be one thing. But any guy that acts like he is is just using her. He sees that she's young and impressionable and that he can treat her however he wants, because she looks up to him and will just do whatever he tells her to do. So you're very right to be worried about her. She'll trust him because he's older, and do things because she wants to make him happy. And he'll just keep using her until he gets bored with her and then drop her, which will really, really hurt her a LOT.

She's not telling anyone else because she KNOWS this is bad but she is so thrilled by the attention that she's doing it anyway. And she's refusing to see that she's about to be stomped on and spit out and that, really, this could scar her for the rest of her life. When someone is really mistreated in junior high and high school it can change the whole way you look at life and talk to people. That's really not a lesson I'd want her to have to learn first hand by being stomped on.

I know parents can be royal pains at this age. They can overreact and treat you like 5 year olds instead of being helpful and treat you like real people. Is there someone in your family that you can talk to that won't just start screaming? A woman would be best - your mom? Her mom? Another aunt or even a grandmother? You need to tell someone who will realize that just coming down on your cousin will make her think it's even more exciting, like forbidden fruit. Somehow your cousin has to realize that this is bad for HER, and that people aren't keeping her away from him just because they want her to lead a boring life. So someone has to talk to her that she'll listen to. Yes, she's growing up. Yes, she's becoming a woman and will get to date and kiss and do all sorts of things. But being old enough to do those things means ALSO that you're old enough to be good to yourself. And letting a guy treat you like a blow-up sex toy is NOT being good to yourself, whether you're 13 or 30.

If she was doing heroin, telling someone wouldn't be betraying her - it would be trying to save her. This is the exact same thing. And if she gets upset and doesn't understand it, hopefully she'll be mature enough to realize that in a short while. Dating isn't about lying and sneaking around behind someone's back. If you have to do that, it's not a good relationship. And the most important thing a best friend or cousin CAN do is try to help friends avoid harmful relationships.

Good luck - definitely find an adult to talk to. Find the most sane one you can, but find one.

--Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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