DEAR ABBY: I am 20 years old and have been living with my boyfriend, "Doug," and his dad for the past year. Doug is my best friend, and I'm in love with him.
My problem is I'm ready for us to go out into the world and get our own place, but Doug is not. Lately we have been fighting a lot over little things -- but sometimes it's the little things that count.
The three of us live in a one-bedroom apartment. Doug and I have the bedroom, and his dad sleeps in the living room, which means we have to go to bed at night even when we're not ready.
I love to cook and I long for my own kitchen. Not only is there a lack of privacy, but there is no place for me to put all my nice things.
I am ready to grow up and leave the nest, but my boyfriend isn't. His dad gives him money all the time, and we don't pay rent. Doug feels we've got it made. He doesn't understand my desire for independence.
What should I do? I don't want to leave him. Every time we kiss, it's like the first time. -- READY TO GROW UP AND MOVE OUT IN FLORIDA
DEAR READY: You have some hard choices to make. You may love Doug, but at this point you both want (and need) different things. You have matured and are ready for independence. He is still financially and emotionally dependent on his father. This may be a case of the right person at the wrong time. Please don't put your life on hold waiting for this young man to grow up. It could take a very long time.