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by Abigail Van Buren

Adopted Daughter Finds Mother Who Loves Her Like No Other

DEAR ABBY: Upon entering a relationship that has the possibility of becoming a lifetime involvement, when should a senior widower disclose to his potential future mate that, due to medical reasons, he'll be unable to fulfill any "bedroom responsibilities"?

Should discreet disclosure be offered before any close feelings develop, or should the subject wait -- however long -- until intimacy becomes the obvious natural progression?

Clearing the air early would give the lady an opportunity to amicably end the relationship. On the other hand, if I delay too long, a decision might never be required! Your thoughts, please. -- SPOKESMAN FOR MANY UNSURE GUYS IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR UNSURE: There is a difference between clearing the air early and making a premature announcement. Wait until you know the lady well enough to discuss the subject of sex without embarrassment to either of you. According to my mail, although many women are interested in a sexual relationship, not all are.

P.S. I don't know how long it has been since you discussed this subject with your doctor, but you should know that in recent years there have been many advances made in the area of male sexuality.