Dear Miss Emily:

I am a 26 year old female and have been living financially independent of my parents, since I graduated from college three years ago.  Since then I have been through a lot with relationships but have come out the other side much more independent and happy.  I met my current boyfriend 9 months ago.  To tell you that I have never been happier is an understatement.  He is kind, respectful, hard working, and everything I have ever looked for in a serious relationship.  We have decided to move in together.  When we move we will have been dating for 10 months.  My mother couldn't be more excited.  She is very happy for me, because I am very happy.  My father is a slightly different story.  He is very upset that I am doing this.  He thinks that I am rushing things too quickly.  He believes that I should wait another year.  He has gotten so upset that he has gone to my extended family to talk to them about this and has since called to report that they all now think I am making a huge mistake.  My question is that I want to be able to make my boyfriend feel welcome around my family, because his family has been so welcoming to me.  I understand that my father loves me and just wants to see the best for me.  But he has made me feel alienated from my extended family, as well as making it difficult for them to get to know my boyfriend and see why it is that I am so happy.  How do I take a proactive approach to ease the transition? 
Stuck In The Middle

-----------------Miss Emily's advice-------------

Dear Stuck:

Needless to say, your father has handled this like a petulant child, and he may regret it one day.  That said, I believe his concern is rational.  Moving in with someone is a huge commitment, and with just nine months under your belt with this guy, he might view this as a possible set-up for greater disappointment if things were to go south for his baby girl (again).  Could he also be thinking "If my daughter is good enough to live with, she's good enough to marry!"?  Short of stopping your plans to proceed with what you envision to be domestic bliss, in my opinion, you are going to have to suck-it-up and approach this like a grown-up woman who can, and will face this obstacle head-on.  If it's possible, tell your father, respectfully, that although you disagree with him and the way he's handled things, his opinion does matter. You have taken his concerns into consideration, but still feel you are making the right choice, at the right time.  If things don't work out, this should not have an "I told you so" ending, and let him know that you deserve better than that. Your father has made up his mind, for now, but not forever.  Include your boyfriend in some of these discussions, in order to remind your father that his daughter is moving in with a man of character and conviction.  Do not let your boyfriend sit on the side-lines, only to appear ambivalent or detached.  Reach out, by phone or mail, or invite the "naysayers" to a party to show this extended family that you care enough to want to include them in the next chapter of your life.  If they are decent people, they will open their hearts to your boyfriend and treat him with kindness.  Were they to be obstinate, and not let this man into their lives because of some rigid belief system, it would prove that you were never their main concern from the get-go.  But at this point, feeling alienated from them is premature.  They disapprove, they haven't moved and left you no forwarding address!  Good luck, and keep me posted.