DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Harper" for two months. He now involves me in his family dinners and events on a weekly basis. I feel weird going to family functions that include his mom, dad, brother, sister, and their spouses and kids. Sometimes even extended family members and friends attend.
Harper loves including me, but it's overwhelming because it feels too soon to spend so much time with them. My anxiety has me in a panic during nearly every visit. I'm having a hard time saying no because it's all so normal for Harper. I dread going to his family's for dinner for fear that it will turn into "card night."
Harper's ex-girlfriend was fine with being included in everything. I feel like I'm stepping into her shoes, and I don't like how it feels. Harper never forces me to go, but I have to find a way to tell him it's not necessary for me to accompany him every week. I don't want to offend him or his family. Help! -- TOO MUCH, TOO SOON
DEAR TOO MUCH, TOO SOON: You need to recognize that Harper is extremely close to his family and that his idea of a good time is seeing and interacting with them. If you continue to date him, you will have to accept that his family -- including extended family, friends and card nights -- will be a large part of the package.
Many women might welcome being wrapped in the embrace of a large, warm family, but because you feel otherwise, it's time to level with him and tell him that you're finding this overwhelming.