Dear Miss Emily:

I  have been in a very serious relationship with my girlfriend for about two years now. She is 18, and I am 17 (almost 18). I have actually asked her to marry me and she said yes recently so now we are engaged. I realize this is a young age to do such a thing, but we plan on waiting before we actually get married until we're settled down and have a house and such. It's more of an absolute sign of devotion to each other in the strongest way we could think of. We've been dating long distance (Me in Wisconsin her in Missouri) and have fallen even more for each other because of it. It has taken extreme trust of one another and being totally honest in every way about everything. And this is where the problem begins:  Because honesty has been very important to us, she told me about a boy she was going to see a movie with who had been trying to get her to date him ignoring the fact that she and I have a serious relationship. She went to the movie, strictly as friends (and I believe her). Then they started having conversations; nothing bad, just getting to know each other as friends will. And I understand that was all she was doing; making a friend. But she recently told me that she felt some sort of "spark" between them, and that they had a lot in common. She says she loves me with all of her heart, but wants to explore this and see if he would just be a close friend or more. I want her to be happy, and I'm really glad that she didn't do this behind my back and was open with me, but I'm not sure what to do. I feel horribly uncomfortable letting her do this because I'm afraid I'll loose her, but if she can find someone that can make her happier closer to home than I am, I love her too much and want her to be happy too much to stop her. She's told me to tell her what I think and how I'd feel, and I plan to tell her honestly, but I don't know whether I should let her go through with this or not. Can I get some advice?

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

Because you're so very mature about this, I'm not sure I can add any real insight. I think you know you can't stop her from having feelings for someone else. That spark could be thwarted, however, by not seeing this guy. That said, I think the decision rests squarely at her feet. Surely she knows that, by pursuing this, it could alter or irreparably damage your and her plans for the future. However, if you two are ever going to be together in marriage, and make it successful, she will need to understand the true meaning of commitment. If she doesn't understand that, now, there's not much you can do other than remind her yet, I repeat, leave the final decision on seeing this guy up to her