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by Abigail Van Buren

Boyfriend's Family Invitation Will Be Opportunity to Learn

DEAR ABBY: I am an inexperienced college student in need of relationship advice. I am involved with a wonderful man who attends the same college. We are deeply in love; however, our hometowns are on opposite sides of the country.

This summer, I may have the opportunity to work in his area. His family has graciously invited me to live at their home, which would lower my living expenses considerably. It would also be a wonderful chance to spend time with him and his family. As this relationship is nearly my first, I realize my naivete could get me into trouble.

I feel miserable at the idea of being away from him all summer, so I don't want to turn down the offer. Are there any reasons why living with his family for 10 weeks could threaten or damage our relationship? Let me know if you think I may be getting in over my head. -- OPTIMISTIC IN OLYMPIA, WASH.

DEAR OPTIMISTIC: If you and this young man are serious about each other, spending the summer with his family will give them a terrific opportunity to get to know you -- and you to see the environment in which he was raised. Since you have mentioned no objection from your parents, and it's always wise to "look before you leap," go for it. At the very least, it will be a valuable learning experience.