DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two years, although we have known each other for almost seven years now. He is sweet, compassionate, always puts me first and is the best friend and romantic partner I could ever wish for.
My question is, is two years too soon to know that I want to spend my life with him? We have discussed getting married and we would both like to, but I have heard countless stories about couples divorcing because they didn't wait long enough before getting married, and I don't want to be one of those people. Please help. -- LOVING IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR LOVING: In many cases, two years is long enough for a couple to meet, know they are compatible, become engaged and marry. Having known this man for a total of seven years, I would like to think that you have had a chance to observe him in many situations and possibly in other relationships. I would hope that you have both dated others and gained some experience.
What concerns me is that you felt the need to write and ask me this question, because it makes me wonder if you are completely convinced that your marriage would last forever. Premarital counseling might put your mind at ease, and that's what I recommend.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for two years. He keeps asking about a tattoo I have on my ankle and making fun of it. The tattoo is small and has my initials, or so I tell him. I think he knows I'm lying. A guy I dated had the same initials and we got matching tattoos, but I have never admitted it to my husband. Am I lying? Should I tell him whose initials those really are? -- INITIALLY CONFUSED
DEAR INITIALLY CONFUSED: Many people today have tattoos, and some of them include the names or initials of former boyfriends, girlfriends and spouses. You should have fessed up at the time you were being married. The problem with lying about something as trivial as this is that it makes one wonder what else you would lie about.
I see several possible solutions: First, tell your husband the truth. The second would be to have the tattoo removed. The third would be to add your married initial to the ones already on your ankle, at which point they WILL be your initials and yours alone -- unless you're still using your maiden name.
DEAR ABBY: I have noticed that you often tell people to talk to a spiritual adviser. As an agnostic, I am curious whom you would recommend I speak to. -- RICK IN DENVER
DEAR RICK: In a case like yours, talk to someone who is not personally or emotionally involved with you, such as a licensed counselor.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)