DEAR ABBY: My dad died when I was young. He and Mom had a beautiful marriage. Mom was in a long relationship following his death and has been single for three years now. She has been spending lots of time with a family friend who lost his wife some time ago. They have known each other for years, even when Dad was alive.
She goes over to his place for romantic dinners, they talk on the phone at least once a day, and he helps her with anything she needs around the house. He goes above and beyond to show her he's interested in her without actually saying those words, and he has told her she needs to take him more seriously when he invites her on trips because she laughs it off.
Mom flip-flops between being interested and being convinced he doesn't want a serious relationship. Everyone around her thinks she's crazy not to give it a try. I don't know how much I can push her. I haven't seen her this happy in years. I think she's scared and nervous, and I also think she'll regret it if she keeps rejecting his overtures. I think the ball is in her court now. I need help convincing her to pursue this. What can I do? -- HOPEFUL DAUGHTER IN CANADA
DEAR HOPEFUL: Tell your mother it's time to stop laughing and have a serious conversation with this man. Their relationship stands no chance of progressing further if she isn't willing to allow it.