DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over a month, and we've been having a great time. He's a couple years older and has a job, and I'm still in college.
He recently started discussing how he could move to the city where I'm in school and how we could move in together, get married and adopt kids. We're both way too young to be discussing that! The conversation made me uncomfortable, and I'm worried we will have to break up. How should I handle this situation? -- Not Altar-Bound, Philadelphia
DEAR NOT ALTAR-BOUND: Your boyfriend is excited and in love. There's something very sweet about his commitment to your relationship.
Some couples figure out they want to be together from the outset of their relationship and then make it work. It doesn't sound like this is where you are, though, which is fine.
It's time to have a talk with your boyfriend. Tell him it feels to you as if he is moving too fast. Tell him what you like about your relationship, but also tell him that you do not feel ready to think about making the kind of plans he is recommending. Tell the truth. If you haven't really thought about settling down and when you want to do that, say as much. Talk about where your head is. Acknowledge that you appreciate his pledge of love and commitment, and then ask him to slow down.
You may need to say "no" to his ideas if you are not ready to move forward, because you don't want him showing up ready to be your roommate without your OK.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend and I attend different schools, and I recently discovered that someone she used to have feelings for currently has feelings for her. Her friends are encouraging her to break up with me so she can date him. Even this guy's brother, who doesn't know I'm the one dating her, has been encouraging him to go after my girlfriend, regardless of the fact that she's in a relationship.
I think the way they are acting is offensive to anyone in a relationship. What are your thoughts? A friend who knows the guy's brother offered to speak to him on my behalf. Should I take her up on her offer? -- Feeling Betrayed, Cincinnati
DEAR FEELING BETRAYED: I think you should go to your girlfriend and tell her what you know. Express your concern about these people who are trying to break you two up. Ask her directly if she wants to stay in a relationship with you. Ask if she has begun to like this other guy again. Talk enough to figure out where her heart is.
If it seems like there's a chance for the two of you, ask if she would like to speak to the naysayers by herself or with you to ask them to back off. I like the united-front approach to asking others to stand down.