Dear Toni I'm 16. I met this guy on the internet and we had an online relationship for a few months. We never met in person, but we did talk on the phone. All my friends knew about us. But recently we broke up. I don't want my friends to know the relationship failed, but I really need to talk about it. Do you think if I should ask him to meet in person and discuss the matter? Cyber Girl Oh Webby Here I was, thinking the younger generations were more aware of Web safety and etiquette than those of us who grew up when cassette tapes were still cool. At the risk of sounding like your mother, the internet is a dangerous place, and people you meet there are not always what they seem. The internet is an amazing tool - it allows us to find out information we would never have bothered to look up at the library, it means we can keep in touch with friends and family on the other side of the world at the push of a button, and it gives us the capability of befriending people we will never actually meet. It has also proved a successful way for adults to meet like-minded potential partners. But it also has an incredible capacity for danger. Hardly a week goes by without a news report of yet another young girl being fooled into meeting up with the supposed love of their life who, rather than a handsome, young fellow teen turns out to be a middle-aged serial killer. Sorry to be harsh, but sometimes shock tactics are the only way to knock sense into a person. Far from worrying that your friends will tease you if you tell them about your break-up, real friends will be supportive, and help you get over the upset. Tell them. Share your feelings. It's best to get it off your chest. With your friends' support, my advice is to move on. There are plenty of guys out there, and it's only a matter of time before you meet a flesh-and-blood individual whose company you enjoy and whose advice and support you can receive face-to-face. You're too young to waste time on a guy you may never meet. Hi Josh I'm really worried about the financial crisis. Everyone is talking about it and although nothing has happened to our family, my friend's father lost his job. My parents are just so tense all the time and I think my dad is overworking because he's afraid to lose his job. What can I do? Helpless Hey Mr Anxious It's true that everyone's talking about the economic meltdown/ crisis/ tsunami. And with good reason - jobs are on the line, people are spending less, and nobody really knows what will happen next. But there's only so much that worrying will achieve. There are things you can do to lessen your parent's concerns. For a start, you can offer to help out more at home so they can relax. Learn some simple recipes, and make dinner for your family a couple of times a week. (If you take the leftovers to school for lunch, you don't have to worry about spending money in the canteen.) And help with the housework - it's not as hard as you might think. Not only will this give your folks a break, you'll learn basic life skills that will serve you well later in life. If you need to talk to someone about these hard times, the Boys and Girls Clubs Association of Hong Kong have a hotline (2520 6800) and lots of advice. Dear Toni Help! My girlfriend dumped me because she said I'm too 'clingy'. I just don't get it. What do they want? Alone again Ah, Lonesome! The age-old question! What do girls want? We want a guy who is as sensitive as a woman but, ultimately, acts like a man. If we wanted to be followed obediently and constantly gushed over, we'd get a dog. You know that saying 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'? It's ancient wisdom that the less you see each other, the more you'll miss each other. It sounds like your ex-girlfriend needed more time apart from you to be able to miss you. Don't blame yourself completely - maybe she just didn't know how to appreciate you. But whether you two are going to try to work things out or move on, it's worth bearing certain things in mind. Don't be tempted to call her five times a day when once or twice will do, and don't schedule your life around hers. It's good to have some friends and interests that you two keep apart and make that heart yearn. Take this time as a newly single person to pursue your passions - and don't give them all up just because a girl comes into the picture! After all, nothing makes us lose interest faster than a guy whose only interest is us - unlike the perfume, real obsession kinda stinks. speak up! Do you need an answer to a problem and don't know who to turn to? Growing up can be hard, but Toni and Josh are here to help. Whether it's about school stress or jealous friends, e-mail email@example.com and they'll lend a sympathetic ear.