Dear Amy:

My girlfriend and I broke up recently.

We were together for almost three years and lived together for a year and a half.

She just turned 21. I am 27.

We are completely honest with each other, so I had a feeling that something was wrong, and I asked her if we needed to take a break. She said that she had been thinking about that lately.

We have our little fights, but that's not the problem.

She said that she was "due" time to herself because she went directly from her last relationship to dating me when she was 18 (though she did live on her own for a year before moving in with me).

I am so in love with her and know in my heart that we were meant to be.

I am now staying elsewhere for what we decided would be one or two months in order for her to think and spend some time alone.

Now I just don't know what to do. Should I wait out the two months, even though I believe that she is going to need more time than that? Should I hold on to whatever little bit of a chance we have of getting back and living together?

Or do we move out completely, live separately and try to patch our relationship slowly?

With every day that passes I grow sadder and more confused.

Heavy Hearted

You should move out, not only to give your girl some space, but also to get yourself out of relationship limbo. Granted, relationship limbo is a necessary state while you both figure out what you want to do, but you don't help matters much by sleeping on a buddy's couch and starting each day by wondering if your girlfriend is ready to welcome you back.

This is terrible and heartbreaking for you, but you need to realize that, at 21 and 27, the two of you are very likely at very different stages of life. You are ready to settle down, and she is ready to spread her wings.

I hate to fling this old cliche at you, but this is a case of, "If you truly love her, let her go."

If she comes back, then you truly were "meant to be."

Dear Amy:

I have another suggestion for the "Pining" grandmother who wanted to connect with a special child that she knows. I think that "Pining" would be interested in Big Brothers Big Sisters. This program matches adults with a child, based on similar interests.

In an age where unstable homes are becoming more common, a lot of children find themselves without an adult role model. "Pining" has a lot of love to lavish on a child, and both parties would benefit.

I was a "Little Sister" for several years and still keep in touch with my "Bigs."

Cario Stewart

A fantastic suggestion! The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization is frantically attempting to reunite "Bigs" and "Littles" who were separated from one another by Hurricane Katrina. Testimony from both Bigs and Littles speaks volumes about the relationships forged between these adults and kids. Readers interested in learning more about this 100-year-old mentoring organization should check out www.bbbsa.org.

Dear Amy:

Responding to the question of splitting the check 50/50,original letter from Dining and Whining ran 8-1, responses ran 8-30 and 9-9. st my husband and I are the ones who order cocktails in our group and always pay more than our share. However, one couple, non-drinkers, never offers to pay their fair share when the check comes.

My husband is easygoing and just shrugs it off, but I finally got tired of it, and last night I asked for separate checks. They looked shocked, but I told them that I read in your column about 50/50 bills and realized that I would never want to have them pay for our higher tab.

I don't think that they will be asking us to meet them anytime soon, and I did notice that this time around, they ordered the most inexpensive meal.

Vic

You are very crafty, my friend.

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