I have a wonderful problem. My boyfriend’s parents treat me like one of their own, and we get along fantastically. We live several states away and plan to get married in the next year or so. Whenever we visit his parents, they are endlessly generous with meals and experiences. They are planning a big family vacation overseas this summer and have included me in it, with all expenses paid. They are also very casually affectionate, signing group emails as “Love, Mom and Dad” and ending group phone calls with “Love you guys!” I appreciate this, but I am nervous about accepting such generosity from nonfamily members and hesitate to express casual intimacies with them. I have no qualms about calling them Mom and Dad after I marry their son, but we’re not even formally engaged yet! I send thank-you notes and flowers regularly for their generosity. My question is: Is that enough? Do I risk coming across as cold-hearted or selfish for not being able to reciprocate financially or emotionally?
—Lots of Love, but Not Family Yet