DEAR ABBY: I'm a senior (girl) in high school and have been dating a sophomore even though he's less than a year younger than I am. (I'm very young for my grade.) We have a lot in common and I think we both love each other a lot.
Next fall, I'm planning on going to a local community college, but I won't be too far away. I think my boyfriend has more interest in the military or a vocational career than college, but he's very serious and mature for his age. I know college will be a chance for me to meet new people and I don't want to limit my chances, but if I'm still interested in dating him, would it be "proper"?
I was already hesitant about dating him because he was younger, although I knew if the situation was reversed it wouldn't be a problem. Assuming everything still works out between us, is it OK for a college girl to date a high school boy? I'm not sure how to handle this. I know things may change before fall, but I'm getting anxious about it now. He has already said that he would still like to date me if I want to, so it's basically up to me. -- ANXIOUS IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR ANXIOUS: As far as I know, there is no rule forbidding a college freshman continuing to date someone who is still in high school. Because the choice is yours, I suggest you just let this play out.
College will present you with a chance to widen not only your range of interests, but also your circle of acquaintances. You owe it to yourself to take advantage of everything that college offers. If you wish to continue seeing your current boyfriend, do so. However, it would be better for both of you if it is done on a non-exclusive basis for the next few years.
DEAR ABBY: Several times recently when I have invited people to parties or dinners at our home, they have surprised me by responding with not only their regrets but also with a counteroffer. For example: "Sorry, we're busy the evening of the 22nd, but could you have us over the following Thursday?"
How should I respond to this? I'm trying to invite them for a specific event, not open a negotiation. It feels like the subtext is that our schedule is less important than our potential guests' and we should be prepared to entertain them whatever day they have open. On the other hand, this has happened so often I'm starting to wonder if social obligations are now being handled in the same way as business meetings and I should just adjust to it. What's your opinion? -- COUNTEROFFERS IN LOS ANGELES
DEAR COUNTEROFFERS: You should entertain on the schedule that's most convenient for you. If someone has a conflict, you should (sweetly) tell the person you will miss having them. Period.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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