Dear Miss Emily:

 I have been dating this really great guy for a year and a half now. I've known him for many years, and we started dating in college. The only problem with our relationship is that I feel like he is very attached to his family. Not that it's a bad thing, but I'm very independent. I still love my family and see them when I go back home (I'm in college), but I make time for other things too. He relies a lot on his family for EVERYTHING and it makes me wonder how our future will be if we ever take things to the next level and get married. I don't want it to always be about his family.  What about mine? I feel that because his family is bigger, he will gravitate more towards them. What should I do? Should I talk to him about it? This has caused problems between us in the past.

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

Sure, you should talk to him about it in earnest, but don't be surprised if he still thinks you have your head on backward.  I mean, "Gee, why can't you be in love with my family as much as I am?"  In fairness, there might a woman who would think this is the best possible situation -- assuming "the family" were to embrace a newcomer, welcome that person as a family member, and respect instead of expect that person to see everything through their eyes.  If marriage is a possibility, you need to be absolutely positive (note his actions, and not words) that you and he are on the same page with this before you make any commitment.  And be sure that your feelings are legitimate and not because you are needy and insecure over his devotion to them. Large, fun families are great, but not to the extent that they always come first -- and if a spouse were to complain, he or she would be perceived as being a bitter and angry person who "just doesn't get it."  If his people are as special as he thinks, they will understand that you cannot get together with them on all holidays and birthdays, because you have a family (and may have a family with him, someday), and these families will be priorities, as well.  If you think he is incapable of understanding this, he may already be "married" to his family and you should make a graceful exit.