DEAR ABBY: I have been single for a couple of years. I have always been levelheaded when it comes to romance, but I'm finding myself unable to control my feelings about the new man I'm seeing.
"Brent" is smart, intelligent, sweet and loving. We have been dating for a little over a week and he has already given me keys to his place. (I have a roommate, or I would have given him my keys, too!)
I love him. He loves me. I am so happy. I feel calm and confident about how we're progressing. This is a first for me. I know it's unusually fast, but my parents got married six weeks after they met, and they're still happy together after 37 years.
Love at first sight is rare, but I think this is it. Your thoughts? -- WOWED IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR WOWED: I'm glad for your parents, but because they married six weeks after they met does not mean you must repeat history. Right now, you and Brent appear to be caught up in a whirl of endorphins and adrenaline. Because you asked for my thoughts I'll share them: Slow down until both of you have your feet back on the ground because that is how solid relationships are built. Your folks were an exception to the rule. If you don't believe me, ask them.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 62-year-old male. My problem is I have never been married, and when I go on dates, women always want to know why I'm still single.
The reasons are financial and also that I'm allergic to cats. (A lot of women own cats.) I have never made much money, and I live with my mother. I can't afford to move out, and even when I had a place of my own, it didn't make much difference. I'd like to be married, but this has become a catch-22. No one wants to marry me because I have never been married.
I have looked this issue up online and it is a huge problem; women definitely discriminate against never-married men. Sometimes I wonder if I should lie and say I'm a widower. What can I say to women who interrogate me about this? -- SEARCHING FOR A MATE IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR SEARCHING: If you lie about the fact that you're a lifelong bachelor, at some point the truth will come out and your credibility will be shot. That's why I'm advising you to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Your marital status is nothing to be ashamed of. Not everyone is meant to be married. You say you are 62 and live with your mother because you can't afford to live on your own. Has it occurred to you that you might not be able to afford being married?
Also, marriage is a big adjustment for anyone -- male or female. There is no guarantee that a person who has become set in his or her ways can successfully make that transition. This is not to say that you shouldn't have companionship, but you don't need a wife for that. A good friend -- or several -- could provide it.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)