Dear Abby: I am a woman in my early 20s and in my first serious relationship. I adore Paul. We have a wonderful, respectful relationship. One day I hope well be married.
By JEANNE PHILLIPS
I feel strongly that we should not live together before we are married. He feels couples need to know each others habits fully before they make a lifelong commitment.
I understand the financial and emotional convenience of sharing a home. However, I believe that marriage changes a living dynamic whether you have lived together or not. Conflicts that arise post-marriage can be faced with a greater sense of resolve, knowing that a formal commitment has been made.
Abby, whats your take on this? What can I say to Paul and friends to defend my old-fashioned logic? Traditionalist in Chicago
Dear Traditionalist: I dont think you should argue with them at all. Just say that although many couples live together today without marriage, YOU arent comfortable with it. You are not the only person who feels this way. In my opinion, this is something that couples should work out between themselves.
A terrible carpool companion
Dear Abby: My next-door neighbor Rod and I work at the same place, about 10 miles from our homes. He has a medical condition that prevents him from driving. Until recently, he took the bus, but that route was stopped, so he now relies on his wife for transportation every day. She works and also takes care of their three kids.
Last summer, I drove Rod for a while, but he was a terrible carpool companion. He was perpetually late, and Id have to wait for him in the morning and after work. He would brag nonstop about how good he is at his job and then want to stand around in our driveway chatting instead of just going inside.
He never offered to pay for gas or compensate me in any way and seemed unable to find other arrangements when I had to work late or run errands after work, which made me feel trapped in his schedule. I finally got tired of the hassle and made an excuse to stop driving him.
There is no real reason I cant take him now except that he was such a pain in the you-know-what. But I feel guilty when I see his wife loading up all their kids to make the drive.
Whats the right thing to do? We may be neighbors for a very long time. Kind Commuter in Madison, Wis.
Dear Kind Commuter: I recognize your generosity in extending yourself to your co-worker, who apparently never learned the basics of carpool etiquette. Because you got nothing positive out of driving him, I do not recommend you start again. However, if you would like to do his wife a favor, see if there are transportation services for people with disabilities in your city, and if there are, give that information to her.
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