DEAR ABBY: I am a 70-year-old widower with three grown children. My girlfriend is 53. We dated for several months before she moved in with me. I thought maybe with her living here I might fall in love with her. It has not, and will not, happen.
I hate to break her heart, but I know now that I will never ask her to marry me. I intend to remain single for the rest of my life.
How do I bring closure to this relationship? What are the words? I'm lost because this is a first for me. I was married for 40 years, and I just do not wish to be married again. How do I tell this nice lady? -- IN A BIND IN TEXAS
DEAR IN A BIND: Having the woman move in with you "hoping" you would fall in love with her was a huge mistake, and one you should not repeat. When you say what you need to say, have plenty of tissue handy and expect her to be tearful and angry.
Start by saying, "We need to talk." Tell her she has done nothing wrong, and it is not a failure on her part, but you realize that you do not wish to remarry. Explain that feeling as you do, it would be best if she moved. Offer to help her find a place if she has nowhere to go. You will be doing both of you a favor by being upfront now.
DEAR ABBY: I am a young, recently married woman. My husband and I are at the point where we're thinking about having kids. My brother married a close friend of mine not long after my wedding. My sister-in-law has a medical condition that may prevent her from having children.
I am very close to my brother and his wife, and I can see the writing on the wall. She brought up surrogacy once in passing, as a possible alternative if she can't have kids.
If I'm asked to be the surrogate, what advice do you have? I would be more than willing to consider it, but only after my husband and I have had our own children. Would it be selfish of me to also expect some compensation for my time and the toll it will take on my body? I want to be ready if and when I'm asked. What would be the best way to explain my reasoning to her? -- BACKUP MOM IN THE NORTHWEST
DEAR BACKUP MOM: You are an intelligent woman and you are asking good questions. You should explain your thinking to your sister-in-law as you have addressed them in your letter. It would be wise to consult an attorney who specializes in adoption/surrogacy to learn about the laws and procedures that apply in your state.
DEAR ABBY: I am an adult male with a longtime problem. Whether it's a sad or happy occasion, I start crying, sometimes sobbing. I try to avoid any situation that may cause this.
I am at a new point in my life where I can no longer avoid these situations. People think it's not normal. Please don't suggest I live with it. Is there a magic pill to control this? -- BIG CRYBABY IN BROOKLYN, N.Y.
DEAR CRYBABY: There is no pill that can help you control those emotions that I know of. And because it is causing you problems, I do not recommend you "live with it." I do think, however, that if you discuss with a therapist what it is about sad and happy occasions that causes such an extreme reaction that you could get quickly to the bottom of it and learn to better control those emotions.
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.