WALLACE: I’m 20 and have a 2-year-old daughter. The guy I’ve been seeing is a dream. I love him very much and was thrilled when he asked me to marry him. After I told him “Yes, yes,” he added these chilling words: “But I don’t want your daughter to live with us.”

I did tell him that my mother would take my daughter full-time if anything ever happened to me. He asked if my mother would take her full-time if we got married. He said that he would pay for her upkeep until she turns 18 and that he would sign papers to insure this would happen.

I’m sure my mother would take my daughter and raise her as her very own child. Mom adores her and she feels the same way about my mom. I’m really finding it hard to decide what I should do. Mom is lonely and my daughter would be the perfect cure. My father ran away with his secretary and divorced mom four years ago. I haven’t heard from him since he left. He didn’t even tell me goodbye. I know that mom would do a great job of raising my daughter. I’d also visit both of them regularly.

I’d rather marry this guy and have him be my daughter’s stepfather and the three of us live together happily ever after, but getting married and having my daughter living with my mom isn’t a bad second choice. Your comments, please. — Nameless, Davenport, Iowa.

NAMELESS: If you think I’m going to tell you to give your daughter to your mother so you can get married, you have written to the wrong person.

Your daughter isn’t a pet — you just can’t give her away because some guy doesn’t want her around. You brought this child into the world and it is your responsibility to love and care for her. It’s not enough to visit her occasionally at Grandma’s house. She belongs with you full-time.

There’s only one answer for “dream guy.” No! Even if he changes his mind and agrees to live with you and your daughter, forget it. The chances that he’d be a good stepfather are slim to none. This is all about getting your priorities straight. Believe me, if you surrender your daughter to your mother so you can marry this guy, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment.

Sooner or later you will find a guy who loves both you and your daughter. A guy who loves you enough to also love your little girl is a guy worth waiting for!