Relationships 101:
Lost in Love?

by Bonnie Burton

It's easy to get lost in love when you find the right guy, but you gotta resist the urge to be around him every waking minute. The more energy you give to him, the less you have for yourself, so it's all about trying to find a middle point.

Answer these five questions to find out where you stand in your relationship. Then, check out our tips for how to be more than just so-and-so's girlfriend.

Are you his personal PR agent?
Endlessly bragging about your boyfriend's accomplishments to your friends is a dead giveaway that you're too immersed in your boy's life. It's cool that his band will be showcased on KUCB radio this week, but that doesn't mean your friends need hourly reports on it. Managing the fund-raising efforts for his football team's uniforms is nice of you, but don't go overboard and spend your savings on glossy flyers to impress him and his mates. Being supportive is great; being a groupie isn't. Also, think twice about dropping your friends and family to help out and spend time with your man - you'll have a tough time getting back in touch with them.

Do you buy him lots of stuff?
You can be sweet without turning into a sugar mama. A thoughtful gift once in a while is nice, but buying him a $700 snowboard just to show you care is way too much. If you keep buying your boy big (or little) presents every week, he's going to think he has to do the same for you. He may even dump you because he thinks he can't afford to keep up the Santa act. Or he might accept the gifts and simply not appreciate them. So save the prezzies for a truly special occasion.

Does your journal double as his biography?
Do your daily diary entries start off with, "Pete said the coolest thing today" or "Pete just got the lead in Hamlet"? Count the number of entries you've written that mention your boyfriend. If it's more than your entries about the cool things that are going on with you, it's time to focus on yourself.

Do you talk in the royal we?
Married folks do this all the time. Just listen to your parents some time - they probably do it too. When someone asks how you are, don't say "We're fine" just to include your beau. Your pals will wonder if you can be a person all on your own. Besides, he can answer for himself. You might know him well, but that doesn't mean you're a part of the Psychic Friends Network. Leave mind-reading to the phone psychics and speak for yourself.

Is he the subject of everything you create?
Was your last poetry assignment a series of haikus about his new haircut? Did you paint a portrait of him for art class? Did you learn to play his favorite song for your piano final? Chances are this new honey of yours has now become an obsession. If all your assignments and extracurricular activities revolve around him, do something different and concentrate on the outside world for a while. Who knows - you might find that you're worthy of a haiku about you.

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