DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Jackson," and I have been in a long-distance relationship for two years. We recently learned that we both have been accepted to our "dream" college, which means we'll live close to each other for the first time. I'm excited, but nervous about what the adjustment will be like.
Jackson is my first boyfriend, so I don't know what it's like to be with someone who can physically be around all the time. Normally, we communicate by phone or video chat and lead our separate lives. But when we visit each other, our days just revolve around the two of us. I miss Jackson when we're apart, but I enjoy having the freedom to study, hang out with friends and have "me time" while still being in a happy relationship.
From what I have heard, college life is fun, but busy. I love Jackson and want to be with him, but I also want to make new friends and focus on schoolwork. (He wants that, too.) I'm afraid that once we get to college we'll either be so wrapped up in each other that we miss out on other stuff, or get so busy with school and friends that we never see each other. Jackson shares my concerns, but neither of us knows how to make sure we strike a good balance. Can you help us? -- ANXIOUS IN FLORIDA
DEAR ANXIOUS: You and your boyfriend need to be sure your priorities are in order when you get to school. First and foremost you're both there to get an education. And aside from academics, a part of that education is developing relationships and availing yourself of experiences beyond the field you will be studying. While spending time together is important, so is balance, so keep in mind that too much togetherness can distract from your studies or even become so claustrophobic that it kills the relationship.
DEAR ABBY: I was born in a small Midwestern town in the mid-1960s. An out-of-wedlock pregnancy then was a huge scandal, so my mother married someone who wasn't my father and my biological father vanished. I found out about it at 17 (not from her) and was told the name she claimed belonged to him. It's a very unique name.
I believe I have located him. Part of me wants to contact him -- not to get anything, just to let him know I exist. Allegedly, Mom told him she was pregnant and he refused to marry her, but her truthfulness leaves much to be desired. I haven't been able to find his email address, but I have found a street address.
I'm not sure if I should contact him or not. Would it be too much of a disruption to hear from a daughter he wanted nothing to do with 45 years ago? I don't want to upset him or cause problems in his life, but I need some closure. -- SOMEBODY'S CHILD IN ILLINOIS
DEAR SOMEBODY'S CHILD: It may not be a disruption, but it is certain to be a surprise. This would be easier if your mother's word was reliable, but you must work with what you have.
Write the man a letter explaining what you have told me, assuring him you want nothing from him, and giving him the details of your life, including your contact information. Send it by certified mail and request verification of delivery. Then cross your fingers that you have the right man, and that if he is, he has enough character to respond.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)