DEAR HARRIETTE: I am currently dating my camp crush. We went to the same Christian sleep-away camp when we were younger and reconnected later in life. We have been dating almost two years, and I can’t help but think this is fate. I am at the age when I would like to be engaged soon, and I believe I am with the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I wanted to know your take on fate. Do you believe in fate when it comes to love? -- More Than a Camp Crush, Salem, Massachusetts
DEAR MORE THAN A CAMP CRUSH: First, I think it is wonderful that you and your camp crush have found each other, and it seems like a promising relationship. Two years together is a good amount of time to get to know each other and to begin to see if you can build a future together. To figure this out, you should talk about your hopes and dreams, your preferred timeline for getting married and starting a family -- everything. In this way, you will be able to figure out if you are a match for the long haul.
In terms of fate, I’m not personally a believer in that. I do believe in grace. Given that you two met in a Christian camp, it is likely that you believe in the power of God’s grace and guiding hand in your lives. Sharing faith is another way that you can strengthen your commitment to each other.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am not sure if I am going down a dark path in terms of my drinking habits. I am from a family of two alcoholic parents, and my older sister is also an alcoholic. I enjoy drinking for the social aspect of it, and I do not think I have a problem. However, the last couple of weeks, some of my friends have been making comments about how much I drink and how I act when I do drink. I’m thinking of attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting just to see what goes on in them and see if I belong there. Do you think this is the right next step for me? -- Am I an Alcoholic?, Chicago
DEAR AM I AN ALCOHOLIC: The fact that you have the awareness to ask the question is a great start. Given your family history and your own recent incidents of drinking too much, it is wise for you to seek help. Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent way for you to get support and gain insight into your own behavior. There should be many meetings available in your city. They are free, too. Go to alcoholicsanonymous.org to learn more.
Even if you decide that you are not an alcoholic, it is smart for you to monitor your drinking habits. If you find that you are drinking more than one drink per day if you are a woman and three drinks per day if you are a man, you put your body at risk.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)