Salam,I wish to inquire about the formation of a close emotion bond between a male and female.I have formed a strong emotional bond with a very decent and pious muslim girl at school. With reluctance, we have had to discuss issues of marriage. We both understand that this relationship can lead to nothing less or more, and surely do not in any way call ourselves "girlfriend", "boyfriend".We are both very mindful of the necessary distance between a boy and girl in Islam, but do talk on the phone and spend time together, in relatively "public" spaces. There has been no physical components what so ever, and both understand there shall never be pre-marriage.I have been completely honest with my parents and this has not been kept a secret.The issue of age is however the problem.We are being doing our undergraduate degrees at the moment, and feel it too early to engage in anything formal, especially a marriage.I wish to know what would be appropriate, Islamically, for us to do so that we may not create a relationship not acceptable in the eyes of Allah? Is it to get engaged as soon as possible? Or is marriage the only channel through which we can spend time with each other? Or is this form of mere friendship for the next few years acceptable, given we never transgress?