Dear Abby: I am a senior in high school in a long distance relationship. My boyfriend, “Grant,” and I live two states apart and have run into each other a few times. He is four years older than me. We met three years ago, when Grant was 19 and I was 15, and became friends through an online joke. However, he had a girlfriend and we were nothing more than friends. I developed feelings, but he did not reciprocate because I was a minor. Later, after he and his girlfriend broke up, I told him how I felt and we became a couple. That was 10 months ago.
Grant asked me to be with him next year, and I have decided to do so. His college tuition and housing are paid for, and he wants to help pay for mine while we pursue a personal relationship.
Some of my relatives know about my decision, but the two family members I live with do not. They are very serious and old fashioned in their beliefs and do not respect my relationship in any way. I don’t know how to explain my decision to move 900 miles to a state where neither Grant nor I have friends or family. I’m looking for any possible advice. – Big Plans in Indiana
Dear Big Plans: I’m glad you’re asking for advice on this because I have serious doubts about what you’re planning. If you move forward with Grant (as generous as the offer may be), you will be depriving him and yourself of an important aspect of the college experience. This is an opportunity for each of you to complete your education as well as grow and define yourselves as individuals. You’ll both meet new people and develop interests apart from each other, which is both challenging and healthy. Please don’t deny yourself or take for granted this important experience.
Dear Abby: Our family is worried for my brother. He has changed since he met and married his wife. There was a “wonder” child. Access to the child is limited – even my parents, who visit only once a year, must schedule a visit at least two days in advance. My brother rarely steps out of the house now. He has started questioning my parents about their will. He is asking to be dropped out of the family business, which he has said many times that he definitely loves being a part of.
Abby, I know you usually stand aside and offer support when asked, but some of her decisions, such as wanting to leave the family business, will have a serious negative impact on the entire family. Is there anything we can do? Related older brothers in Washington
Dear Big Brother: Your brother’s wife seems very controlling. is she ok I ask because you wrote that he has always loved the family business. Because his buyout request will affect everyone, all principals – including your brother – should meet with your attorney as well as your financial advisor to discuss what this means for all of you. If it is happening because of your brother’s wife, don’t let him alienate her. Assure him that you will always be there for him no matter where his path takes him.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. contact dear abby www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.