:Dear Abby: I’m 15 and have been dating this guy for two weeks. I have known him for three years. I really like him and he makes me happy.
He has already told me he loves me, but I don’t say it back because I’m not going to say it until I’m absolutely sure I do. I know it bothers him, but Abby, am I right for not saying it back? Please answer fast because I need your help.
:Teen In New York
:Dear Teen: You are absolutely right. Although you have known this young man for three years, now that you are dating, the character of your relationship has changed. If he seems hurt that you’re not saying “I love you” back, just tell him you need time because this is all new to you. It’s truthful.
Dear Abby: I finished college a year ago and officially moved out of my parents’ house. I then moved across the country for a job.
For the past three months I have been dating this great guy. I never dated as a teenager, and while I talk to my parents frequently on the phone, I have yet to mention him because I’m shy about it and don’t know how they would react to me dating.
I don’t want the relationship to go on for months and not tell them because I feel like they will treat it as if I’m a teenager dating for the first time. This is a serious adult relationship and not like a teen’s first boyfriend. How do I tell them?
:Adult Relationship In Arizona
:Dear Adult: While you’re not experienced, you’re no teenager. Your parents can minimize the importance of your relationship only if you allow them to. Granted, you are a late bloomer — but you are also an adult. The longer you keep this a secret, the harder it will be for you to open up.