Dear Dr. Wallace:

I’m a 19-year-old girl with everything I could ever ask for. The guy I’m dating is a mature, handsome, sweet, wonderful guy who is a great Christian and has a terrific influence on me. This is the happiest I’ve been in a long time. We spend quality time together, and he respects me more than any guy I’ve ever dated in my life. He puts no undue pressure on me to do anything other than to just be myself. We share good times, and we laugh a lot. It’s so easy to be around him.

My dilemma? He’s 17. My close friends don’t seem to have a problem with his age, but my family members and a few other friends think it is “gross, strange and just plain nasty.” My sister even told me that I was “robbing the cradle” by dating a guy so young.

Should I continue pursuing a relationship with him, or should I let him go because he’s two years younger than me? Please answer quickly and help me make my decision. I’m so confused.

— The Older Woman,

via email

Dear Older: Based what you have said in your email, your boyfriend is a keeper. Two years is not a significant age difference at 17 and 19.

The fact that some people make a big deal out of it when the girl is older is nothing but prejudice, and your critics should mind their own business. My advice to you is to stop being confused and continue being the happiest you’ve been in a long time.

Dear Dr. Wallace: I am aware that illegal drugs, when mixed with alcohol, can cause serious physical ailments — including death, in some instances. I’m the very cautious type, and I sure don’t want to mix anything. I’m very careful with what I put into my body. However, my boyfriend claims that the effects of marijuana are not multiplied by alcohol and that marijuana is so safe these days that many states have already legalized it. Is it true that marijuana can be safely mixed with moderate amounts of alcohol?

— Anonymous,

Springfield, Missouri

Dear Anonymous: It’s true that marijuana’s effects are not necessarily compounded by alcohol, but marijuana will stay in the body long after the effects of the alcohol have passed.

Write to Dr. Wallace at

Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.