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by Abigail Van Buren

These Family Ties Bind Too Close for Comfort

DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old woman who is dating a 47-year-old man I'll call Roy. My problem is I don't know how to break it to him that I am no longer interested. It seems to me our relationship is based solely on sex.

Roy tells me all the time how much he loves me, but I think it's the sex he loves. From my perspective, we really don't have anything in common.

He is currently separated from his wife and has a 16-year-old daughter who doesn't know about me. Roy lives in another state, but we see each other often.

Last week he told me that when his divorce is final, he wants to marry me. I was OK with it until I did some serious thinking. Roy asked me if I had a problem with his age, and I said no -- although the fact that he's old enough to be my father does bother me.

I don't know what to do, Abby. If I break it off with him, he's not going to take it well -- I just know it. But if I let our relationship continue, I'll feel like I'm leading him on. He's talking about relocating to be with me. How should I handle this mess? -- TRAPPED IN NEW ORLEANS

DEAR TRAPPED: Don't feel guilty -- just be honest. His age DOES matter to you. Level with him before he further disrupts his life to be with you. He may not take it well, but it's better than his giving up a job and relocating, only to be disappointed later.