Dear Abby

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - Abi­gail Van Buren

Se­cret en­gage­ment should stay se­cret awhile longer.

DEAR ABBY: I have been dat­ing my boyfriend, “Derek,” for four years. Af­ter a night of emo­tion-filled dis­cus­sion, he asked me to marry him. I said yes, but it has al­ways been a dif­fi­cult idea for me to wrap my head around. I’m turn­ing 21 and although that may be old enough for some peo­ple to get mar­ried and have kids, it scares the heck out of me.

I love Derek and I want to marry him one day. He as­sured me we could stay “en­gaged” for a few years, but it still makes me un­easy. We don’t have a ring yet, and we agreed we wouldn’t tell our fam­i­lies un­til we get one. It doesn’t feel real be­cause there’s no ring and no one knows — could that be why I’m so ner­vous?

I need a sec­ond opin­ion and some ad­vice on whether to wait to tell any­one or tell peo­ple now. — COLD FEET

DEAR COLD FEET: An en­gage­ment with no ring and no an­nounce­ment hardly seems like an en­gage­ment at all.

That’s why you and Derek should re­think mak­ing any an­nounce­ments un­til you both feel ready to take such a big step. When the time is right, the idea of mar­riage and chil­dren will make you feel happy, not fright­ened.

Frankly, I think your fears may be well founded be­cause you have had lit­tle life ex­pe­ri­ence — and once the ball starts rolling, stop­ping it may be com­pli­cated. That’s why you and Derek should re­main in a hold­ing pat­tern un­til you are more con­fi­dent about what you want to do.

DEAR ABBY: Although I am not con­sid­ered bad look­ing, I’m not ex­tremely beau­ti­ful ei­ther. Guys find my friends pret­tier than me.

For a few years I have been think­ing about get­ting a nose job. My par­ents say I need to wait for all my fa­cial fea­tures to ad­just to my grow­ing body to pre­vent fa­cial dis­fig­ure­ment in the fu­ture. I think that’s just an ex­cuse. When is the right age to get a nose job? — ALABAMA TEEN

DEAR TEEN: This is a ques­tion that should be an­swered by your per­sonal physi­cian. You didn’t state your age, but I don’t think your par­ents are stalling. Ac­cord­ing to We­bMD, it is very im­por­tant that be­fore a young per­son has a nose job the fa­cial bones have reached “adult size.” The usual age for girls’ noses to ma­ture is 15 or 16. (In­ter­est­ingly, for boys it is a year or so later.)

DEAR ABBY: My fa­ther had a son with a woman while he was dat­ing my mother. Mom made Dad choose be­tween her and his son. He chose Mom and has had no con­tact with the boy.

Dad doesn’t want to in­ter­fere with his now-grown son’s life. I, on the other hand, would love to reach out and meet my half­brother.

Would it be over­step­ping bound­aries if I do this? — SOME­ONE’S SIB­LING IN MICHIGAN

DEAR SOME­ONE’S SIB­LING: I’d be cu­ri­ous to know how you be­came aware of your half-brother’s ex­is­tence, be­cause I’ll bet the topic wasn’t dis­cussed in your home. While I might have no ob­jec­tion to you reach­ing out to your half-sib­ling — be­cause I am not emo­tion­ally in­volved — your mother will feel be­trayed and an­gry. If you de­cide to move for­ward, be pre­pared.

TO MY MUS­LIM READ­ERS: It is time for the break­ing of the Ramadan fast. Happy Eid al-Fitr, ev­ery­one.

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