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by Abigail Van Buren

Marriage Founders as Wife and Husband Drift Slowly Apart

DEAR ABBY: I am a professional in my mid-20s and have met a great guy over the Internet. I'll call him Randy. Randy is in the military and stationed in Japan. The two of us have been e-mailing and calling each other daily for the past seven months.

Randy will return home next month and we plan to meet for the first time. Neither of us knows what to tell our parents about our Internet romance. I know for a fact that my mom and dad will not approve of my meeting someone in this fashion. But how else can Randy and I explain the "sudden" seriousness of our relationship? -- GENERATION X-ER IN CHICAGO

DEAR GEN-X-ER: I see no reason for either of you to be ashamed about how you met. Many people meet via the Internet these days and form successful unions. Granted, no one should make a decision in haste, but the Internet can be a useful tool in getting to know someone.