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Dear Panel,

I am 16 years old and am in a very serious, special relationship with my boyfriend. In January I am leaving to study abroad in France for six months. I'm excited for the oppurtunuity but all I can think about is leaving my boyfriend. I want to stay together but I don't know if he does. I don't know how guys feel about that. I know it's a long way off but it's already consuming my thoughts. I just really love him and I don't know how to talk to him about it, and how to deal with it if he doesn't want to stay together. I know he loves me also, I just don't know the sacrifices he'syelbtblk.gif willing to make.

Leaving too soon

Mare Answers:

When I was 19, I turned down a chance to go to Paris for Thanksgiving because I was afraid of flying.  To this very day, I could kick myself for not going! My sister went without me and had the time of her life.  Going to France is what experiencing life is all about.

Plan a special time to say good-bye so you can hug and cry and get it out of your systems.  Decide together what your arrangement is going to be while you are separated.  Will you date others?  Will you write daily?  If you stray, does the other one want to know?  Make sure you both are clear on what the agreement is.  Then, stick to it.

Maybe you want to go with that it's-o.k.-to-date-others scenario.  The men of France can be very intriguing...


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