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by Abigail Van Buren

Nurse Gives New Relationship a Troubling Prognosis

DEAR ABBY: I am 62, very healthy and youthful, and work full time as an R.N. I recently started dating a 67-year-old man I met on a dating site. We go out, do various things together, laugh and seem to be compatible. My concern is, he has significant heart disease.

He has had stents put in and is on multiple meds. He also has moderate kidney failure. I'm realizing he's actually very preoccupied with the state of his health because he talks about it often, and he sees physicians as well as a naturopath and myofascial release specialist.

We were taking my dogs for a walk recently and he said he didn't feel well. He fell, and his defibrillator went off. Another time we were on a trip and he couldn't walk far before saying he needed water, and he also wanted to be sure there was a bathroom close by. Another time we were attempting to have some intimacy and his defibrillator went off, which put a damper on the mood.

Should I stay with this guy when his general health is so poor? It is affecting me -- and us. I do not want to be a caretaker, although at the same time, I do have compassion for him. -- HEARTSTRINGS PULLED

DEAR HEARTSTRINGS: What a sad situation. It shouldn't take a medical background to see what the future holds, at least for him.

This is a new relationship. Not once in your letter did you mention the depth of his feelings for you or yours for him. He does -- and probably will continue to -- need looking after. Because you stated you are not prepared to do that, tell him now while he's well enough to find someone who would be.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Health & Safety | Aging