Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

How soon is TOO soon to attend an out-of-state engagement party with your new girlfriend? Moving and not sure whether to tell your estranged friend that you are leaving town?

DEAR NATALIE: I have been dating a woman for just a few months and she invited me last minute to her sister’s engagement party out of state. Is our relationship too new to attend the party? --UNSURE

DEAR UNSURE: It really just depends on how you are feeling about her. Is this someone that you could see a future with? Is this just a “good time” for the moment? What is your motivation? If you really reflect on things and decide that you think there could be a future here, then I say go for it. Have a great time, meet the family and enjoy the party together. However, if you have trepidation about this, then hang back. Just remember this: You may not know which path to take, but spending a whole weekend with someone can really help open your eyes to who this person is, who you are when you are with them, and if you mesh with her family or not. I say go for it!

DEAR NATALIE: I had a falling out with a friend, but I am moving and wasn’t sure if I should reach out to her to let her know. The last time we talked, it was a mess. I told her that I had a crush on her and she freaked out. She hasn’t spoken to me in months but I feel like I should at least let her know I’m moving. What do you think? --BROKEN-HEARTED GIRL

DEAR BROKEN-HEARTED GIRL: I remember you reaching out about this issue when it first happened, and I am sorry that she still hasn’t allowed you back into her life. In this case, I don’t really see the point of opening up that old wound unless you consider yourself a relationship masochist. You don’t deserve to have someone continually reject you or hurt your feelings, and you don’t have to be putting yourself in that position. In fact, moving might be a good way to start fresh and put the past behind you. She doesn’t need to know where you are going and you don’t need to tell her. But, if you are still debating this, ask yourself what you would say to her. What is your reason for telling her? What are you hoping to gain? Maybe going through it in your mind can solidify your decision one way or another. But at the end of the day, when we give our energy to people who aren’t worth it, it only drains us further.

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Be on time. In fact, be a little early for networking events. If you are someone who isn’t comfortable in large groups, arriving early ensures less people and less pressure. Plus when fewer people are there, it’s more likely you will connect with someone instead of getting lost in the crowd.

Please send your questions to Natalie Bencivenga to her email,; or through postal mail to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Follow her on Twitter at @NBSeen and on Instagram @NatalieBenci

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)