Dear Dr. Romance:

I'm 17 years old and I have been with my boyfriend for 6 years. We have grown up together and he is all I know. We are very mature when it comes to our relationship and our sex life. I want to spend the rest of my life with him but there's a problem. I have made many mistakes in my past and have hurt him so many times. When I almost lost him I decided to change my ways and make him happy the way he deserves.

Although he forgave me, he can't stop thinking about it and often gets upset or angry. It haunts him all the time even though he believes I have changed. How can I help him? I just want him happy. Also how do I convince my friends and family that I'm serious with him? How long do I have to be with him for people to realize this isn't a teenage fling? After 6 years of being together I'm 2 months from turning 18 and I want to marry him with support of all the people I love but who doubt us.  

Dear Reader:

I'm guessing that you and your boyfriend have fought and split up a lot. Your whole family has observed this, and they don't believe the relationship is stable and secure, so they worry about you.

You say you're both very mature, but I have my doubts. You're trying to do very grown-up things, so you must act like a grown-up. I hope you have realized that once you break trust in your relationship, it takes a lot of time to repair. You have to decide if you're going to be a kid or an adult, and stop messing around. "Stupid Cupid" will explain what you need to know to have an adult relationship; "Couples Can Cooperate for Success" will help you learn how to work together,  and "Keys to a Happy Relationship" covers every essential area of your relationship.  Read them and share them with your boyfriend. When the two of you settle into a truly committed relationship, your family will be much more likely to  recognize it and support you.  How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free will give you tools and guidelines for creating a healthy relationship.


Couple and Free 4th Ed

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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.