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by Abigail Van Buren

Girlfriend Wonders When It's Time to Mention Her Implants

DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with a very special man who is five years younger. We met on an online dating site and have been seeing each other for several years. We are well suited for each other and very much in love. We have now decided to live together, with the possibility of marriage if it won't jeopardize our retirement incomes.

My dilemma is I have breast implants. I had the surgery 20 years ago when I was newly widowed and about to start dating again. I never told any of the men I dated, and I don't believe anyone suspected. My breasts look and feel natural and they have enhanced my love life tremendously.

Now that this relationship is serious, I wonder if I need to tell my guy. If he leaves after I tell him, then I guess he wasn't The One. I'd prefer not to say anything. I've had the implants so long, I feel they are part of me, not something foreign in my body. I am afraid he may have an altered opinion of my body after I tell him. Please advise. -- OLD, BUT NOT DEAD

DEAR O.B.N.D.: If you really believe he'd leave you after several years together because you told him you have breast implants, then he really isn't the man for you. I think you should level with him, because if one of the implants should need an "adjustment" or replacement, he will find out then and may resent the fact that you hadn't told him. If you two are happy together -- and it appears you are -- I seriously doubt it will create a wedge between you. Telling him would be better than feeling guilty that you didn't.