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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Is Ready to Disengage From Seven Year Courtship

DEAR ABBY: I met the most wonderful lady about eight years ago. I'll call her "Evy." We've been going together ever since. About seven years ago, I proposed marriage and she said yes, but we are still not married. She makes excuses one after another that "things come up." She had a very bad marriage with an alcoholic husband who abused her. He died about 20 years ago. We're both in our later years.

Abby, I love Evy very much. She's been on public assistance for many years, and I have been helping her financially. The problem is, the financial aid I'm giving her has become quite a burden. It has escalated a lot.

Evy tells me she loves me and that we'll be together eventually, but it doesn't happen. I don't want to lose her, but I can't go on this way anymore. She lives with her sister, and to put it bluntly, I can no longer maintain two households. Neither Evy nor her sister works, and I see no way for me other than putting an end to being a good Samaritan. I'm very frustrated and would appreciate your comments. -- NEEDS LOVE AND COMPANIONSHIP

DEAR NEEDS LOVE: It's time to put away your checkbook and move on. You have waited long enough and given far too much. If you and Evy were meant to be married, it would have happened a long time ago.