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Dear Dish-It, I Have a Chat Room Boyfriend

Dear Dish-It,

In the chat room I've got a boyfriend. I really don't know him that well. Duhhh!! It's A CHAT ROOM. Anyway, how can I get to know him more? The freakiest thing about it is b4 I started going out with him I liked someone else?? Help!!! Im so confused.
Confused lil' girl

Dear Confused lil' girl,

This is such a valid Q. One of the coolest things about the internet is being able to meet lotsa new peeps, make some great new friends, and maybe hook up with someone special. So you've done just that. You've got some guy in chat that you are cyberdating. Hmmm, here's the bad - it ain't safe to hook your boy up with your 411. He may be the real deal and that's sweet, but what if he isn't? Think about it - you're thinking about giving someone your personal whatever, maybe even your digits. But he's a stranger, using a nick and he might not even be a guy. He could be a girl. And trust this, cuz I've worked in chat rooms before. I've seen girls posing as guys and the flipside. Or worst - what if your boy turned out to be stinky old BaBa on his laptop (you know what I mean) in his trailer, lookin' to reel in anyone he can hook up with. Cyberstalking and a lot of other really scary dirt starts online in a chat room. And even when chat is monitored (like it is here) nothin' is absolutely tight... nothin' but you playing it safe.

I know that having a nick and being anon is fun - you can be what you want. You can tell stories that might not be totally straight up or are just pulp fiction. And that's all fun and games, but remember the other person is probably playing at the same game. So, just to be safe keep the dating in the chat room, keep the conversation simple. Read "I like Mandy Moore, how 'bout you? What kinda movies do you like? Do you play on any teams?" Just don't include personal info like the name of your school team, what position you play and what city you live in. Personal info like that just lets someone out there know how to find you... even if they don't know your real name. If you really, really want to get to know this boy, bring the 'rents up to date. Let them know you want to exchange emails (tell your boy to do the same with his 'rents.) If your 'rents keep six - then you might be good to go. So have fun but be smart. Just cuz you're sittin' in your room, chattin' away with some guys, doesn't mean there's no danger.

So, ya gotta burnin' question? Need some love directions? Thinkin' 'bout stuff like depression, sex,how ya feel 'bout YOURSELF (that's called "self-esteem"), boyfriends, girlfriends, losin' old friends, bullyin' or peer pressure, but too scared to ask the parents? Don't be scared to .

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