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by Abigail Van Buren

Promising Relationship Ends When Woman's Ex Pays Surprise Visit

DEAR ABBY: I am a 70-year-old widower. For the past year I've been dating a woman, "Celeste," and our relationship was growing closer (we were intimate, and we seemed to be becoming a couple). Because she's a big fan of a particular performer who was going to be in our area, I bought tickets for us two months in advance. They were quite expensive. Celeste knew about it and was eager to go.

On the day of the performance, when I went to pick her up, she informed me that she wouldn't be able to go. A friend had just come into town (passing through on business) and surprised her with a visit. She apologized and promised she'd explain later that weekend.

Well, the man turns out to be a former beau she hadn't seen in about a year. Celeste seems to think I should be OK with her canceling our date, but I can't help but feel she was wrong to do it so she could spend the weekend with a former lover. (What am I? A consolation prize?) I ended the relationship over the brush-off she gave me, but she is trying to renew things. Was I wrong to take this as serious enough to end the relationship? -- PERPLEXED EX IN MISSOURI

DEAR EX: You were not wrong. Celeste stood you up, which was, to say the least, inconsiderate of your feelings. (Did she offer to reimburse you for those tickets? I'm betting she didn't.) She's trying to renew the romance with you (for now) because her former beau's visit ended. When he called, she should have told him she had a previous commitment and honored it. That she didn't shows she is self-centered and will continue to be if you allow it.

Eligible men your age are a hot commodity. It shouldn't be too hard to find someone who appreciates what you have to offer. Move on.

Read more in: Love & Dating