Dear Dr. Wallace:

My boyfriend and I dated steadily for 18 months. He was the perfect guy. He was sweet, polite, sensitive, caring and humorous, and he treated me wonderfully. We even talked about having sex when we were ready to accept the responsibility, but he never pressured me to become physical early on in our relationship.

After many further discussions, we both agreed that sharing sex would be the ultimate display of love and would seal our love forever. He and I only ended up having sex two times. After the first time, things changed on his end. I didn’t know what his problem was, as he seemed so distant and aloof. Our second encounter was a month after the first, and believe it or not, I was the aggressor. I’m still in shock about this. He did reciprocate my advance toward him, but he actually seemed surprised that I “made a move” on him!

A week later, he called me and said he still cared for me, but he didn’t want to go out with me anymore. When I asked him why, he couldn’t or wouldn’t give me an answer: He just kind of stammered and said he felt confused lately and was not sure of his feelings. He went on to say that it would not be fair to me to continue our relationship when he was so unsure of his feelings. Two months have now passed, and whenever I see him, all we say to each other is a forced “hi,” and then he immediately looks the other way.

He is dating another girl now, of course, and I get upset whenever I see him with her. He was supposed to be mine. I keep asking myself, “Why did he dump me?” The answer is probably because we got physical together and once that occurred, he moved on. I must confess, I’m a touch puzzled but not really too surprised. I feel so let down and disappointed.

— Anonymous,

via email

Dear Anonymous: I agree with you, 100 percent. Thanks for sharing your unhappy story with our teen readers, especially our young ladies. Your tale of woe may prove to be a cautionary tale for others in situations similar to the one you found yourself in.

Dear Dr. Wallace: You keep telling 17- and 18-year-old girls who are in love and want to get married to wait longer before they say, “I do.” If a couple is in love, does it mean that they will become more in love the longer they wait? I don’t believe this is true. My husband and I are living proof that teens in love can marry and live happily ever after. I was 17 and my sweetheart was 18 when we decided to get married. It didn’t matter that I was seven months pregnant. We have been married for more than 20 years, have three children and are one happy, loving family.

When teens are in love and want to get married, please don’t tell them to wait. Wait for what?

— Happy Couple, San Francisco

Dear Happy Couple: Congratulations to you both for your wonderful marriage. Teen marriages can be successful, and you and your husband are living proof. But unfortunately, the majority of teen marriages do fail, so my standard advice will still prevail here. I do root for every marriage to be a happy one; it’s just that I’ve received many letters (mostly) from teen girls who have told me they really wish they had waited.

One of the prime problems of those who marry in their teen years is that they sometimes confuse infatuation with love, and when reality sets in, a split becomes inevitable. That’s why I encourage teens to wait a while before saying, “I do.” Your marriage is indeed one that has flourished. Congratulations!

Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.