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Longtime Attraction Is Still Stymied by Age Difference

DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing a woman who is 21 years younger than I am. She says she loves me, but I am hesitant because of our age difference.

We have known each other for years. She had a crush on me when she was 16, but I was married at the time, and she was too young. We made love a couple of times when she was in her 20s because I was divorced and she was single.

Now it's 10 years later. I'm in my late 50s; she's in her 30s. We are both single, and she wants to take care of me for the rest of my life.

She brings me lunch every once in a while, which I am amazed at because it's a long drive from where she lives. I worry about what other people will think, but she doesn't care and says she wants to love me and care for me because she knows what I am about. I grew up with her uncles and aunts and am good friends with them.

She's tired of dating people her age because she says they are immature. She has three kids and has never been married. I love her and want to take care of her, too, for the rest of her life. Should I listen to my heart? -- AGE IS A NUMBER, IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR AGE: You have known this woman for many years. It is not as though she's a stranger with three children who has approached you. Are the fathers of the children contributing to their support? If they are minors, what will be your role in their lives? These are important considerations. But how other people feel about your union should not affect your decision.

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