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by Abigail Van Buren

Former Felon Wants To Come Clean With His Matches

DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for 14 years and have dated some, but not a lot. I recently signed up for an online dating service, and here is my dilemma: I have a felony conviction from 25-plus years ago. It did not involve violence, drugs, sex, stealing, etc. It was for a white-collar crime. I received four years of probation, which I served without a hitch.

My question is not if I should tell someone about my conviction, but when. If I say anything at our first meeting, I'm pretty sure it will also be the last meeting. At the same time, I don't want it to appear that I was hiding it from them.

I might add, this is the only time I have ever been in trouble with the law. I'd appreciate your advice on how to deal with this. -- ONLINE DATING IN TEXAS

DEAR DATING: The time to tell someone about your conviction is when the relationship stops being casual. At that point, you should disclose that there is a chapter from your past that you think the person should know about -- and it's one that will never be repeated.

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