DEAR ABBY: I am 25, and my boyfriend and I have been together since high school. We have now decided to take our relationship to the next level by living together.
When I brought up the idea to my mother a few months ago, she was against it. She said if I do this it will change my relationship with her. My boyfriend and I are college graduates, have good jobs and are self-supporting. If things work out between us, we will most likely be getting married next year.
I am an only child and I don't want to hurt my mother or have our relationship change, but I want to be able to live my own life. I would like her support, but don't know how to tell her what we have decided or if it would be worth breaking the special bond between my mother and me. -- ONLY CHILD IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ONLY CHILD: Stop beating around the bush and tell your mother what your plans are. At 25, you are old enough -- and this relationship has gone on long enough -- that moving in together is a natural progression toward a permanent commitment. Her resistance is based on fear of what your independence from her will mean -- to her.
However, if you truly can't decide whether cutting the umbilical cord is worth it, then keep things as they are -- and remain her little girl forever.
DEAR ABBY: I am a teenager who has liked this guy for a long time. We've been best friends forever, and I have liked him for two years. Recently he asked me out, and I was ecstatic -- at first. I still like him, but every time I think about him or I'm around him, or anything about him comes up, I get this horrible nausea. I have actually vomited because of it. How can I like him but he makes me feel ill? Is there a way to remedy this? -- LOVESICK IN PHOENIX
DEAR LOVESICK: Severe anxiety can cause someone to have the symptoms you have described. It's not unlike the feeling one has when riding a roller coaster. You appear to be suffering from an extreme case of young love, and there is no medication that can cure it. Try to remain calm, and your symptoms should subside over time.
DEAR ABBY: Your column often provides helpful tips to your readers. May I suggest that you remind those who are, or know someone who is, college-bound never to hesitate to apply for as many scholarships as possible -- regardless of how small.
My local conservation association has been giving scholarships for 11 years. Some years we get no applicants! The amounts are $500 and $1,000. This money could pay for books, lab fees or go toward tuition, but we get few applicants. Many fraternal organizations also give out numerous small scholarships. These all add up and can help to reduce the college debt burden we hear so much about.
It's never too soon to start. There are middle school and high school contests, too. Now is the time for students to start their college funds with all the prizes and scholarships they can accumulate. -- HELPING THE NEXT GENERATION
DEAR HELPING: I'm sure many families will thank you for this reminder. Readers, many small scholarships are available -- and the thing to do is talk to your school counselor and research online or at your local library. Indeed, it's never too soon to start looking.
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.)