DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is in college and has just started dating a guy who is a year older than her. I have met the boy a couple of times and like him. He seems like a responsible person who treats my daughter well. Because he is a year older than my daughter, he has already graduated and gotten a job.
I am worried about how my daughter acts with her new boyfriend. Everything she does seems to revolve around his schedule and what he wants to do. I can see her losing some of her friends and her drive to do anything independently. I need some advice on whether I should intervene and say something to my daughter or leave her alone to make her own decisions. -- Concerned Mother, Washington, D.C.
DEAR CONCERNED MOTHER: Sadly, the chances that your intervention will change your daughter’s course are slim to none. And you know that. Your daughter is flexing her independence. Rather than pushing back, stay in the flow. As long as she isn’t hurting herself, just listen. Learn about how she is living her life. Of course, if she has a boyfriend, she is spending less time with her single friends. Don’t make a big deal about that unless she is totally isolating herself and is showing signs of being in an abusive relationship. Pay attention and learn from her. If your daughter stops seeming happy, jump in and ask more questions. It could be, though, that she is settling down -- for now. Ideally, you should get to know the boyfriend better so you have a sense of who you are dealing with.