:Dear Abby: My only daughter, “Claire,” who is 25, has always had a strong work ethic. Her boyfriend “Charles” has never held a job, either during college or in the year and a half he has been out of school. They were living with his parents until Claire accepted a one-year job overseas. Charles followed.
Claire’s salary isn’t great, so I know she has little money saved, but she wants to start planning her wedding when they return. Should I stick with tradition and pay for it or listen to my head, which is telling me I don’t want to see her marry Charles until he has held a full-time job for at least a year? I think she can do better, but I suppose she could also do worse. They do seem to love each other.
:Dear Mother: Listen to your head. When Claire returns, let her know that she and her fiance will be paying for the wedding. It will be an introduction to the financial realities she and her husband will encounter after their marriage. Later on, when they’re considering buying a home, you can give them the money that might have been spent on the wedding as part of their down payment — if they are still together.
:Dear Abby: How do I break up with friends who I love but have nothing in common with anymore? I’m married with a child, but as a new business owner, I don’t have time to meet their needs. How do you tell people in a loving way that you have appreciated their friendship in the past, but it’s over? We have grown apart.
:Don’t Have The Time
:Dear Don’t: Is it possible that your feelings are temporary, and that you are simply overwhelmed by the demands of your new business? If so, I’d hate to see you end friendships with people you love. Relationships don’t always remain at the same level or have the same intensity. Rather than cut the people off entirely, explain that you can’t be as available because you have a new business and don’t have the time. It would be kinder.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.