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

by Abigail Van Buren

Young Woman Wonders How To Tell Parents About First Boyfriend

DEAR ABBY: I finished college a year ago and officially moved out of my parents' house. I then moved across the country for a job.

For the past three months I have been dating this great guy. I never dated as a teenager, and while I talk to my parents frequently on the phone, I have yet to mention him because I'm shy about it and don't know how they would react to me dating.

I don't want the relationship to go on for months and not tell them because I feel like they will treat it as if I'm a teenager dating for the first time. This is a serious adult relationship and not like a teen's first boyfriend. How do I tell them? -- ADULT RELATIONSHIP IN ARIZONA

DEAR ADULT: While you're not experienced, you're no teenager. Your parents can minimize the importance of your relationship only if you allow them to. Granted, you are a late bloomer -- but you are also an adult. The longer you keep this a secret, the harder it will be for you to open up.

One way to introduce the subject would be to start saying "we" when you talk about where you're going and what you're doing. If they ask who the "we" is, you can then tell them you met a man named "John" a short while ago, that he seems nice, that you are seeing him, etc. Be prepared for questions and don't be defensive. They should be overjoyed at the news you are dating.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Family & Parenting