DEAR ABBY: I'm a 27-year-old mother of three in the process of divorcing a man I have been with for seven years, during two of which we were married. We have remained civil up to this point, although he is hurt because I'm the one who ended things.
I decided to jump right back into the dating scene. I have been out a couple times, but I haven't really been looking for anything specific. My thinking was "whatever happens, happens."
But two months ago I met a guy at work. He's involved in a bowling league, and he invited me to come watch him one Friday. When I saw him away from the job, I fell in love. We really hit it off! We have a ton in common, I have already been introduced to most of his family (whom I love!) and every time we are together, there is never a dull moment.
With my divorce and all, am I moving too fast? It has only been a short while, but the feelings I have for this man cannot be ignored. -- OVERCOME IN OHIO
DEAR OVERCOME: Yes, all of this is moving too fast. While I'm not advising you to ignore your feelings, I urge you to slow things down. If your relationship with this person is what you think it is, it will stand the test of time. You both have a lot of getting to know each other ahead of you. You have a divorce to get through, with all of the emotions that go with it. This man may be your Prince Charming, but only time will tell for sure.
DEAR ABBY: My father was never very involved in my life. He had a successful career, but gave it up to pursue one he thought would be more enjoyable (movie producer), which meant he has a very unstable income. Our family has struggled with money ever since.
I heard recently that Dad was kicked out of his house, and I have no idea where he is now living. He has been doing drugs and other questionable things that are uncomfortable to hear about or to discuss with him.
I'm applying to colleges now and need money, so I feel obligated to keep in contact with him. That way, I can make him pay for some of the applications since Mom can't do it alone. I don't know what to do. Everyone I ask tells me to cut off contact with him, but I feel trapped. Thoughts? -- TRAPPED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR TRAPPED: I'm sorry your father has been such a disappointment. But if you expect a drug-using, recently evicted deadbeat to fund any portion of your college education, you are dreaming. You should not feel you can depend upon him for anything.
My thought is that you should find a job ASAP to help you fund your college applications yourself, and make an appointment to talk with a counselor at your high school about this. I'm sure it won't be the first time he or she has heard about a predicament like yours, and perhaps he or she can suggest some scholarships or financial assistance for you. Your local library or the internet would be other good sources for researching what's available and if you qualify.
DEAR READERS: Finally, 2016 is over! Out with the old year, in with the new one. Please accept my heartfelt good wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. And, as I caution you every year -- if you are partying tonight, PLEASE be safe! -- LOVE, ABBY
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)