2005-04-07 / Direct Answers

DIRECT ANSWERSBy Wayne & Tamara Mitchell Echo Works By Any Other Name

I hope you can find the time to seriously consider my problem. I was debating not mentioning my age because you may think, she’s just a kid.

Maybe so, but I’m going through the same thing adults are.

I am 16. I’ve always been a strong believer in God and abstinence. I’ve always had the loud voice of conscience in my head. I get good grades, and I’ve always believed there is no such thing as love in high school.

Things are different now. I met this guy, a “redneck.” I never felt a sense of belonging as strong as the one I feel when I’m with him. We met awhile ago at a nearby river, then he returned to his home in another city. Later I heard someone in a big black truck was stopping by, but I was never home to see who it was.

One day I was home. The truck pulled up, and he asked me to go fishing with him. I won’t go into huge details, but I had a lot of fun and a couple of beers. Neither of us wanted the label of boyfriend and girlfriend so we didn’t use it. He has taken something from me that I cannot take back, however I don’t regret the decision I made.

He may be coming back in a few months, but he will for sure when he graduates in December and works as a mechanic. He is 17; he wants kids when he is 18 or 19. I am a very grounded person. Family and schooling are important to me, but I would consider moving in with him and not going to college.

I don’t need someone to sound like my mom and preach to me. I need someone to step into my shoes and understand what I am thinking and feeling. I think I love him. I don’t know for sure he feels the same way. He doesn’t like opening up much, and even if he did, how will I know it’s the truth? He’s not perfect. I have forgiven him way too many times for things as small as not calling when he said he would, to things as big as full-blown cheating. But really is it cheating without the label? I need some good advice. I hope you’re up to this one.


Haley, when Benjamin Franklin was 17, he sailed from Boston to Philadelphia. His passage didn’t include meals so Ben, a vegetarian, brought his own provisions. When the ship became becalmed, everyone ran out of food. Other passengers threw a line over the side and caught cod.

Ben’s vegetarian morals prevented him from eating fish, but his hunger drew him to the side of a cook gutting a cod. Inside the cod were smaller fish.

Ben changed his mind. If you can eat one another, he reasoned, then I can eat you. Later Ben observed how convenient a faculty reason is, since it enables us to make or find a reason for anything we have a mind to do.

Husband and wife, mother and child, best friends, and neighbors are all established relationships. You are having sex with a young man who doesn’t even call you his girlfriend. How would you label that?

You’ve found a reason to give up college for a man you cannot trust. Perhaps you think he’s good-looking, or you think bad boys are hot, or you don’t think you deserve better. His justification may be something you can’t even imagine. He could think she’s not my girlfriend so I don’t owe her anything, not even respect.

Many women desire to make any man they are intimate with “the one,” in spite of all evidence to the contrary. It is a pattern, which repeats itself again and again. Ben Franklin’s reason for discarding his beliefs was hunger.

What’s yours?

Wayne & Tamara

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAnd-Tamara.com. Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.

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