Our family goes to church every week and our pastor talks about the evils of premarital sex from time to time.
I'm 18 and ready for action with my boyfriend, but every time I think about it, the pastor's sermons pop into my mind. Once I leave home I don't think I will be much of a churchgoer, so why does he intimidate me?
I really believe in the power of the gut. It knows before anybody when you're good and ready to do something. Without a doubt, your inner voice is trying to tell you something.
In my view, the appearance of your pastor's sermons in your subconscious playing field is an expression of your own doubts about having premarital sex. I don't think you're "intimidated" by your pastor, but rather the idea of taking it to the next level with your man.
Before leaping to new sexual pastures, you need to fill your ears with information. If you haven't already done so, speak to your family doctor about the decision you're toying with. Get the lowdown on how you can protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy. Discuss the emotional impact of sex. Ask for relevant literature to take home and read.
Once you've reviewed this learning experience, ask yourself if you're ready to take on all the attendant responsibilities of having sex.
Be sure you're not being pressured, and that you're secure with your choice. If you do forge ahead, don't be surprised if your relationship takes on new dynamics. After all, sex is not all fun and games. It's got serious consequences that you have to be prepared to live with. So the question is: Are you ready?
I'm 16 and still have to share a bedroom with my kid brother. He's 12. I want my privacy, but my parents say there's nothing they can do about it because they can't afford a bigger house.
Every time I'm on my computer, he wants to know what I'm doing and who I'm talking to, and if I'm on the phone it's the same thing. How do I get him to give me some space without causing a family feud?
Sharing a bedroom with your bro doesn't mean he has to stick his nose in your business. You have to lay out some rules, supported by your parents, that'll prevent your brother from bothering you. Easier said than done, perhaps, but this plan takes action and reaction: action on your part to approach your parents and tell them they need to outline some rules; and reaction from your brother that means he's listening to you and understands his role in the family.
You need to realize that 12-year-old kids will do anything that gets a rise out of other people. They want attention. They want to cause a ruckus. It's your job to be the adult in the relationship, and tell your bro that he has to stay out of your phone and e-mail conversations. Don't insult or assault him, though. Treat him like a grown-up and he'll hopefully act like one.
In the end, you might have to endure the shared bedroom until you're old enough to move away to college. I know that sounds like the glass is half-empty, but sometimes we all have to go through unpleasant experiences. How we deal with them shows what kind of adults we'll grow up to be.