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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple Flirts With Marriage for a Second Time Around

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Nick" for more than a year. We have both been married before -- Nick's a widower, and I am divorced. He says he cares for me, but doesn't feel passionate about me, nor does "love" describe how he feels about me.

We are intimate, are great friends and spend almost every day together. He treats me great, dates no one else and I can be myself around him. But am I cheating myself by accepting the status quo? Our intimate times aren't satisfying because of the lack of emotional ties, but I'm torn because I enjoy his company. I am confused. Any words of wisdom, Abby? -- NOT QUITE FULFILLED

DEAR NOT QUITE FULFILLED: You and Nick are friends with benefits. Because you have no future with him beyond what you have now, and because intimacy with him is not satisfying because of his inability (or refusal) to emotionally commit -- I'd have to say he's reaping more of the benefits. The status quo is a substitute for what you really want, and yes, you are cheating yourself.