Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Who Lost Daughter's Ipod Should Replace It Posthaste

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Ethan," and I have graduated from a prestigious four-year university. We have stable incomes and bright futures ahead of us, and we're planning and saving for a wedding within the next two years.

The problem is, we feel like oddballs in our group of friends -- ostracized and shunned. They feel our level of commitment is too great for our ages and that it's wrong to want to marry so young. My friends constantly say bad things about Ethan, and I'm tired of defending our relationship. Is there something wrong with being committed? What can I say to my friends the next time they put down my relationship? -- YOUNG BUT SERIOUS IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR YOUNG BUT SERIOUS: You and Ethan are out of school. Planning a wedding in two years doesn't appear to be rushing into anything. You do not have to "defend" your relationship to anyone.

Tell your friends you feel lucky to have found "the one" so early, and that you wish them luck in their own searches. Tell them that when they put Ethan down, it shows a lack of respect for your judgment. And start looking for other couples with whom to socialize so you're not so dependent upon this group. If they are uncomfortable with the idea of including a "committed couple" in their circle, then you and Ethan may have outgrown them.