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

by Abigail Van Buren

Dad Anticipates Tough Talks With His Teenage Daughters

DEAR ABBY: As a father of two teenage daughters, I have a question about couples living together. Do relationships that start this way have a higher failure rate than those that don't? What should be considered when a young girl has the "living together" question presented to her by a young man? And most important, what can I as a father do to help my daughters make an intelligent decision about this, other than just "load my shotgun" (LOL)?

As always, thank you for broadening my wisdom horizon and giving me examples of solid advice from which both my and my family's life have been enriched. -- LONGTIME FAN IN OHIO

DEAR LONGTIME FAN: It depends upon whether the couple living together are engaged to be married and their level of education. From what I've read, the higher the level of education, the more stable the couple will be. If the question is presented to your daughters, ideally you will have gotten to know the young man, and the relationship will have developed beyond the casual stage.

However, I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of your girls being independent, self-supporting and completing their education before they decide to do this. One of the most common reasons women remain in unhappy marriages/relationships is the fear they can't survive on their own.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce | Love & Dating | Sex & Gender