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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Is Eager for Daughter to Earn Her MRS at College

DEAR ABBY: My mother won't stop nagging me about marriage. She insists that I "must" be married by the age of 22 and have kids by 25, which I think is inconceivable. Abby, I'm only 17. Marriage and boys are the last things on my mind.

I have told her that her "talks" make me uncomfortable and I don't plan on getting married anytime soon (if ever), but she won't let up. She keeps saying she knows she's right, and that when I'm 22 I'll thank her, which I know isn't going to happen. Other than this, she's great and we don't have any other problems.

She has been saying this a lot recently because I'm going off to college this year, and that's where she thinks I'll find a husband. How can I get through to her? -- VIRGIN TERRITORY

DEAR VIRGIN TERRITORY: It would be interesting to know why your mother feels this way. Could she have been born and raised in a culture in which early marriage and motherhood are expected of women?

With her mindset, I don't think you will "win" an argument with her over this. Be patient with her and when she raises the subject, point out that women of your generation are expected to complete their education and be able to support themselves financially before they marry in case the need arises later (i.e. divorce or widowhood). It's a fact. Women in the United States -- particularly college-educated women -- are now marrying and having children later than they did a generation ago.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Teens | Marriage & Divorce