Dear Girl Q&A

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Dear Girl,

I am 11 years old and I am scared of my ex-boyfriend. His friends threatened me that if I didn't go out with him they would hit me. So I went out with him! But then I dumped him. Now my ex-ex boyfriend wants me back! What should I do?

Signed Scared.

Dear Scared,

This is a situation not to be taken lightly. You are still very young to know what you want from life. There are still so many emotions and situations left for you to experience. Hence, you need not feel as though you need to be in a romantic relationship right now. However, regardless of your age you are an individual who has rights. Absolutely no one has the right to be bullied into remaining in a relationship. There is absolutely no excuse for physical or emotional abuse in a relationship. You should refuse the temptation to get back with your ex-boyfriend out of fear for your well-being and safety - to do so would definitely be for all the wrong reasons. A relationship is based on love, trust and respect. And sometimes love and affection for a significant other means letting them go. Your ex-boyfriend and his friends obviously do not think in this way. I suggest that you do not play the part of the submissive girlfriend. This will only lead to the current situation (i.e. emotional and physical bullying) developing into habit or routine - not only in the current relationship but potentially in all your future relationships as well. Playing the submissive female is likely to have serious repercussions on your confidence and the development of your independence in later life. You must act upon the current situation right now. I suggest to confide in someone you trust either a family member, friend, teacher, or school counselor who is (preferably) older than yourself. Whatever you do, do not face this situation alone. I do not know how old your ex-boyfriend and his friends are nor do I know what they are capable of. However, if the threats become more serious and persistent over time, it may be worthwhile to take this matter to some higher authority (eg. the police). Now is not the time to start making excuses for your ex-boyfriend (and his friend's) actions. Be brave.