DEAR AMY: Last winter, a girl and I were working our way toward an intimate relationship when she broke it off, badly. She was the first girl that I ever got that close to; it hurt a lot.
I got severely depressed. In a futile effort to try to win her back, I agreed to remain friends with her. Any time we hang out, however, I'd either give her the cold shoulder or try to get closure as to why she ended things between us. I was texting her often, sometimes angrily, sometimes lightheartedly, in an effort to feel ... loved, I suppose.
Now we aren't friends but are at least friendly to each other. I'm attempting to get back into the group of friends that she and I share, even though I know I'll see her from time to time. The problem is, being in a small city, everybody knows everybody else through some aspect, and so I'm always running into someone who knows her or knows someone she dated, and it gets hard sometimes.
I've come a long way, but I still have a lot of work to do. She's always on my mind, taking up a lot of thought. I don't want this. I've been trying to get over her by making new friends, attempting to hang out with them as often as possible, and also by trying to get a new girl in my life. Every girl I get interested in ends up being unavailable in some aspect, and it's getting tiring and frustrating.
Should I focus more on trying to make friends and just enlarging my social circle, or should I try to find a relationship? I feel the relationship will do the best job of taking my mind off of her, because then I'd have someone else to focus on. — 22 and Confused
DEAR CONFUSED: The worst reason to engage in a new relationship is to get over another failed relationship. The reason your attempts to have relationships with other women are failing is because you are not ready. Other people can sense your insecurity and anxiety.
Finding another person to obsess over will not fix what ails you. You need to work on yourself, boost your confidence and realize deep down that you have something real to offer to the right person. You should work on your friendships, especially the primary friendship in your life, which is the one you have with yourself. If you continue to ruminate about this failed relationship and find you cannot shake off your depressed feelings, you should pursue professional counseling.
DEAR AMY: I am a 17-year-old high school student, and I recently broke my hand during a school baseball game. I was in obvious pain and had to go to the emergency room.
It has been a week since I broke my hand and had surgery, and not once has anyone from my school or coach called or emailed me to see how I am doing!
I recently went to my team's seniors night game, and the coach asked me to keep the stats for him. Even though I was in a cast and a sling, he didn't even acknowledge me by name or ask how I was feeling. Should I call my coach and ask why he hasn't contacted me or should I just let it go? What do you think I should do? — Injured
DEAR INJURED: I can completely understand why this is upsetting to you. It is the height of insensitivity for this coach to disregard your well-being in this way.
I don't recommend that you call him, but you could send him an email. You say, "Now that the season is over, I want to thank you for coaching us this year. I'm sorry my broken hand prevented me from finishing the season, and I'm disappointed that you didn't acknowledge it after it happened."
DEAR AMY: One more note of support for your smack down on "AG," the selfish father who complained that his teenagers were receiving checks for only $25 for their birthdays. I was stunned at his letter and very happy you took him to task! — Fan
DEAR FAN: Hundreds of readers have responded similarly. Thank you all.
(Send questions via e-mail to askamytribune.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Amy Dickinson's memoir, "The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them" (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.)