DEAR ABBY: I am the third woman in my husband's life. "Don" had two loves before me. Last week, his first love, "Kristin," called him out of the blue and told him she'd had a horrible dream about him. She said she had awakened sobbing, convinced he had been severely injured or was in some kind of trouble. Kristin went on to say that she had looked him up on the Internet after her dream, and lo and behold, she'd discovered that he works only blocks away from her. She asked him to have lunch with her.
My sixth sense is usually excellent -- and it is screaming that this gal is on the prowl. Her third marriage is shaky, and I believe she has my husband in her sights. Don disagrees. He says I should trust him; he hasn't seen her in 40 years and it would be a harmless lunch.
I say he would be starting down a slippery slope.
Don and I have been married 20 very happy years. Even though I trust Don that nothing physical will happen, I'm afraid old feelings will be rekindled.
Am I unreasonable in asking Don not to see this woman? -- SCARED ON THE EAST COAST
DEAR SCARED: There is nothing unreasonable about telling your spouse that the sudden appearance of his first love has made you feel vulnerable. It's honest communication. According to my mail, it is not unusual for old flames to flare up again.
According to professor of psychology Dr. Nancy Kalish -- author of "Lost and Found Lovers: Facts and Fantasies of Rekindled Romances" -- such romances are wonderful for single, divorced and widowed men and women. The success rate for them is high, 72 percent overall.
However, in her original sample of more than 1,000 men and women, more than one-third of the reunions began while at least one of the people was married to someone else. Her ongoing research since the advent of the Internet and reunion Web sites reflects that that percentage has more than doubled. It should be noted that these people were not always "looking for trouble." What began as an innocent contact simply didn't remain that way. Half of those who said they'd had affairs said they'd had happy marriages and would never have cheated with anyone other than the person from the past.
Conclusion: Married men and women should know the risks before contacting an old love.
DEAR ABBY: Six months ago I lost my wife of 18 years to cancer. I now feel ready to test the waters and begin dating. My problem is I don't know where to begin.
I am in my mid-40s, in good physical shape, and financially comfortable. However, my circle of friends is small, and Internet chat rooms and singles bars have no appeal for me.
Have you any suggestions for someone who wants companionship but doesn't know where to look? -- SINGLE IN SACRAMENTO
DEAR SINGLE: The more people that know you are eligible and looking for a serious relationship, the quicker you will meet someone. Start letting people know that you are now ready to begin dating. Make a list of things that interest you -- anything from cultural events, politics, charitable causes, bowling, square dancing, etc. -- and get involved in some of them. All of them provide opportunities to meet new people.
TO MY MUSLIM READERS: Happy Eid al-Fitr.
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