Dr. Mary Jo Podgurski is the founder and director of the Washington Health System Teen Outreach. She responds to 6–8 questions from young people daily and has written 'Ask Mary Jo' since 2005.

Q. I’ve read your column ever since you taught my sex ed class in high school. Last week’s column resonated. I wanted to share two things: First, I remember you teaching about healthy relationships in school. I thought I knew everything there was to know about sex when I first had your class, and I acted all cocky – I was a hotshot jock and my buddies looked up to me. I thought I didn’t need your class. I went because my mom pushed me. 10 plus years later, I’m here to tell you how wrong I was. I knew it right away, but I was too proud to tell you. You saw right through me. Your class was more about life than sex, really. It made me think, every time. You helped me see I was going about relationships all wrong.

My second reason for writing is because I went through an unhealthy relationship in college. Most people think only girls make those kinds of mistakes and settle for the wrong person, but I sure did it. I was flattered by my first college girlfriend’s attention. She was beautiful and I felt good showing her off. Then, I realized she was shallow and self-focused. I broke it off. A few years later, she cheated on my friend. Relationships are important, no matter your gender. Your advice to the teen was great. Be you now. I just got engaged to the right person. She was worth the wait. Thank you for mentoring me.

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