DEAR ABBY: I’m 19. My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. Eventually we want to be married. Our relationship is great. We are committed to each other in every way. Of course, we have our disagreements, but neither of us has ever cheated.

I’m considering marriage now rather than later because I will be moving to Florida for school next fall, and he won’t be coming with me right away.

Abby, is it silly to think about marriage as a way to ensure that the distance between us won’t tear us apart? Or should I wait till I finish school? – THINKING ABOUT MARRIAGE

Wait until you finish school. The college years represent a significant intellectual and emotional growth spurt for most people. There is the possibility that by the time you’ve graduated, you won’t be the same person you are today – and neither will he. Please don’t be afraid of this. Growth is positive.

DEAR ABBY: My husband’s niece is being married out of state. I know we will receive a family invitation that will include our two teenage daughters. Our older daughter has a previous commitment. Our younger daughter will know only seven relatives at the wedding (including my husband and me), so she asked if she can bring a friend.

My husband says we shouldn’t take anyone else because it is a family invitation. He feels his family shouldn’t waste their money paying for dinner for a stranger.

I think he is wrong. At many weddings, several invited guests don’t attend.

I know it would be tacky to bring an extra person, but they are inviting four people and only four people would attend. My daughter could have company on the trip and a friend her own age at the wedding.

Please answer ASAP. The invitation will arrive soon. – WAITING FOR AN ANSWER

Your thinking is logical. However, to be absolutely certain that no one would be offended, ask the mother of the bride if your child’s friend would be welcome.

DEAR ABBY: I just got off the phone with my 14-year-old niece, “Megan.” What I found disturbing was the fact that she was home alone waiting for the tile man to come to the house. Her parents knew he was coming and had instructed her to stay home to let him in. Megan’s dad suggested that she have a friend over while the tile man was working.

I feel this situation is potentially too dangerous for a girl Megan’s age to handle. Am I right? – CONCERNED IN NORTHBROOK, ILLINOIS

Unless Megan’s parents had used the tile man before and knew him to be trustworthy, I agree that your niece was placed in a vulnerable position. It shouldn’t have happened.

While there may be safety in numbers, the girl’s father had no guarantee that a friend would be available. Please share your concerns with Megan’s parents if you haven’t already done so.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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