Hi Guys

Hi guys,

How are things?

I'm a bit embarrassed to be writing this email - I've never even texted in for a competition - but I really need to get some decent unbiased opinions.

My name is Niamh. I'm 28 and I've got a bit of a problem.

Basically it boils down to this. I lived at home until a few years ago - I'm from Limerick - I went to college locally and never did any Summers away and although my life wasn't boring, it certainly wasn't varied.

When I hit 25 my best friend was moving up to Dublin so I decided to make a break and move as well. And its been great. In a way its like been back in college except I don't have my mum checking my timetable and waiting up to make sure I get in safely at night.

The thing is, the closer I get to 30, the more my friends are settling down. Engagement rings are flashing, some wedding invites have been sent and Noelle - the girl I've been sharing a flat with for the last three years - is moving in with her boyfriend. They've been together two years and I'm delighted for them- honestly - before you start to think it, let me tell you this isn't a letter from a desperate single. I too have a boyfriend.

Its the boyfriend thats the problem. I've been seeing John about eight months now and I really like him. I do. He's funny, he's got a good job, he's got his own place, he ticks all the right boxes on the boyfriend checklist. I don't even have to look for commitment from him. He's offering it up on a plate!

John thinks I should move in with him instead of looking for a new place by myself when our lease is up next month.My friends think its a great idea - they love him!-, the single girls in my office say I should snap him up and there aren't that many men for the taking, let alone good looking ones that you actually like. My mother is even happy to bypass the living in sin dilemma to see her daughter settling down at last.

I'm not so sure. Its not that I don't like him, because I do. But I don't know if its forever. How can anyone know that after eight months? As well as that I like my life. I like being free to go off drinking after work and not worry about someone waiting at home. John and I have a really good time together too but how long will that last. No matter how good the sex, eventually we're going to start fighting over stuff like who didn't replace the toilet roll. Where's the romance in that?

The other thing is - if I do move in- how do I know it won't be a waste of time. If I'm living with him we could just get in a rut and accept it because thats what psuedo married and married couples seem to do?

Am I crazy to even consider his proposal or crazy not to?

I don't know if I'm just in a state of arrested development, stuck in my early twenties, or if I'm thinking like a logical 28 year old. The consesus among my friends seems to be the former.

Would you read this out and see if anyone else out there is in - or has been in - the same position. I'd love to know what they did, or even what they think.



*** I have changed the text in bold to protect "Niamh's" identity - Ray ***