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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Caught in the Middle of Daughters' Growing Feud

DEAR ABBY: I am 19 and have been in love with "Jordan" for three years. I know he loves me, too. My problem is I am not sure where Jordan leaves off and I begin. He is older -- 27 -- and I almost feel like I haven't had a chance to become my own person.

My dilemma is that I'm afraid if I leave him and venture out on my own, I might lose him forever. I don't want to make a mistake. I am also afraid that if I leave him and meet someone, and it doesn't work out -- I'll be left all alone. Please tell me what to do. Everyone I ask has a different opinion. -- CAN'T DECIDE IN GREENVILLE, TEXAS

DEAR CAN'T DECIDE: As risky as it may seem now, take a break from Jordan. You didn't mention whether you are still in school. If you are, tell Jordan that you need time to concentrate on your studies and get involved with campus life. It's the truth. If you are not, then consider taking some classes to further your education and help you develop independently.

Before making a lifetime commitment to anyone, it is imperative to have established some independence both emotionally and financially. If your romance is so fragile that a little time apart will destroy it, then it wasn't strong enough to begin with.