Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Wish I had one:
“I met him online and I'm so lonely without him!”

Hey Terra,

I met this guy in a chat room. He was really funny and nice and we messed around a lot (like talked raunchy and stuff). I started liking him a lot. I think he liked me back, but the thing is he is from another state. I feel so lonely without him and I doubt we will ever meet. I feel really desperate for a boyfriend. I'm only 13, but it's driving me absolutely crazy that I don't have one. It's making me really moody now that he isn't here. What should I do about my feelings? It's making me insane!!!

Lonely One Online

Dear Lonely One Online,

Meeting guys in chat rooms isn't a great way to find good boyfriend material. Why? Because a person can PRETEND to be anything he or she wants to be in a chat room. And there's no way that you can tell that he is being honest. You think this is a teenage boy you are chatting with... Maybe he is and maybe he isn't. Often adult men go into chat rooms and pretend to be teen boys so they can chat up 13 year old girls like you who are "really desperate for a boyfriend."

Would you go up to a complete stranger and start to "talk raunchy" with him? Of course not! But somehow you think it's safe to do that in a chat room because the guy doesn't know you or where you live, etc. You may already have given this guy your real name, phone number, etc. This isn't a game and girls like you can get in big trouble like this.

When you "talk raunchy" in a chat room you are sending the message "wanna have sex with me?" That may not be what you really want to say, but that's the message the guy gets. You're not a hooker so why are you doing this?

What would your mom say if she knew you had done this? If you haven't told her (or wouldn't want her to find out) that's because you know this isn't a good thing to do.

Stop thinking this guy is the love of your life. He's a stranger and you can't get to know someone talking raunchy in a chat room. You can't trust anything that's been said.

Stop putting yourself in danger.

You want a boyfriend then get involved in activities through your community and give yourself time to get to know boys and give them a chance to get to know you as a person in the real world. That's the safe way to meet someone.

This may not have been the advice you were hoping for, but I care about you and I don't want you to get hurt.

One more thing I wanted to talk to you about... Why do you think you are "really desperate for a boyfriend"? Do some of your friends have boyfriends and you feel left out? If you had a boyfriend, how do you think your life would be different?

Write back and we'll talk some more.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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