Dr. Wallace:

I’m 19 and dating a guy who is 25. He is handsome (I’m not so bad myself) and was a very good college football player. He even played professional football for a year, but had to quit because of a knee injury. I’m an insurance underwriter and the guy is a salesman and we both work out of the same office. We’ve been going together for about six months. Most of our dates consist of going to movies, concerts and football games.

After about a month dating this guy, I noticed that he had a mean streak in him. I was surprised how cruel he was to his dog and the terrible language he used when he was angry. Still, he was always kind to me and treated me well.

All that changed several days ago when his buddy and his wife invited us to watch a movie at their house. It turned out to be a porno movie and my date started getting aggressive sexually after we saw the movie. When I told him to stop, he told me that no one had the right to tell him what to do, so he continued being obnoxiously aggressive. Then I slapped him in the face.

All of a sudden he started choking me. I tried prying his fingers away, but his fingers were too strong. I thought he was going to kill me. It was a horrible feeling. I couldn’t breathe and there was nothing I could do to get air into my lungs. I thought of my family and that I would never see them again.

Just then his buddy came into the room and told my date, “leave her alone!” He did. I fell on the floor gasping for air. I wanted to cry, but I was afraid to. Suddenly my date was on his knees begging me to forgive him. He said that he just “snapped” and didn’t realize what he was doing. I did say that I forgave him and asked him to take me home. He did without incident.

I really did like this guy. I’m not so sure now. He keeps telling me at work that he is sorry and wants to prove that this type behavior would never ever happen again.

What should I do? My heart tells me to give him another chance, but my head tells me to get rid of this guy in a hurry. Please hurry with your response.

— Nameless,

El Paso, Tex.

Nameless: Those who listen to their head rather than their heart usually make the correct decision. Dump this guy immediately! This should have happened months ago!

Dr. Wallace: I’m a 14-year-old girl and I want to inform all teenagers to make sure they have a smoke detector in their homes. Because my parents placed a smoke detector in our house, our family is safe and sound.

Last week my older sister left a pan of soup heating on the stove and forgot to turn it off. Just after midnight, our entire family was awakened by the alarm because our house was full of smoke! After everything was under control, the firefighters told my dad that if we hadn’t had a smoke detector, our entire family might have died of smoke inhalation!

So, teens, please take my advice and make sure you have a smoke detector or two in your home! It could be the best investment your family ever makes.

— Lynn, Toledo, Ohio.

Lynn: Your advice to teens is greatly appreciated and 100 percent correct! Also, detector batteries should be checked monthly to insure they are in proper working order.

— Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.