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by Abigail Van Buren

Widow Learns How to Survive After Loss of Beloved Husband

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a woman for the past three years and have never felt this strongly about a person in my life. She's 51 and I am 65. I can't figure her out.

I see her only at her convenience and have yet to meet any of her family or friends. She says that ours is the best relationship she has ever had, that I'm the "complete package," she loves me very much, and there is no one else. She has a summer place in my area, and when she's there she invites her family and friends, but I have never been included.

When I confront her about this, she says, "I prefer to keep my private life and family life separate."

I am very family-oriented and include her in all my family functions, which she says she enjoys. We have broken up several times over this. Abby, I dislike being a part-time lover, and it is driving me nuts.

Should I stop seeing her, or give her an ultimatum? -- PART-TIME LOVER IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR PART-TIME LOVER: The woman's behavior is insulting, and if you have broken up over it in the past, then she is doing it deliberately -- without regard for your feelings. Giving her an ultimatum will probably result in your not seeing her again -- but do it. You have nothing to lose.