DEAR ABBY: What are your thoughts on marriage? Is it an antiquated practice? I don't know if I really want it, or just because society and social media deem it important.
- Cindy via Twitter
DEAR CINDY: I don't consider marriage to be an antiquated practice at all. In a sense, marriage is a "team sport." It won't succeed unless the team members are dedicated to a common goal and are willing to sacrifice selfish needs to achieve it.
In my opinion, the reason so many marriages fail is that individuals go into it for the wrong reasons. No one should marry because "society" and "social media" deem it important. When you meet the right person, you won't be ambivalent about spending your life and creating a family with that individual.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 14-year-old girl in middle school. I have never seriously dated anyone, and the one time I did I felt trapped. My friends think it's weird that I have never dated a guy and they call me a lesbian. I just want to finish my schoolwork and wait until high school to start dating. I don't want to feel weighed down by anyone. Is there something wrong with me?
- Confused in S. Carolina
DEAR CONFUSED: Something wrong with you? Good grief, no! In fact, I would go so far as to say there is something right with you. Not every teen - and that goes for boys, too - feels ready to date at 14.
It makes me angry that your "friends" would call you something you're not just because you're not doing what they're doing. If it persists, your parents should talk to the school about it.
Preferring to concentrate on your studies and waiting until high school to date is nothing to be ashamed of - it's something to be proud of.