DEAR ABBY: Because of your vast readership, I am writing to you in the hope that by printing my letter, perhaps other women (and probably some men) will learn from my mistakes.
Three years ago, I had a torrid affair with a man right after my divorce. This guy was so charming that before I got wise to him and broke off the relationship, I had lent him a considerable sum of money. I had no promissory note, so all was lost.
A year later, I met someone I thought was perfect for me. He was absolutely beguiling, attentive as could be, and he made me feel terrific. He was very well thought of, and an outstanding man in the community.
A few months ago, he was short of money, so I lent him my entire savings with the understanding that I would be repaid in full within the next few weeks. I was "in love," trusted him, and didn't want to "insult" him by asking him to sign a note. Well, so far, I've heard every excuse in the book as to why he can't pay me back, and I'm afraid this will have to be settled in court. Also, I am dealing with the humiliating realization that this guy never really gave a hoot about me.
I made two major mistakes: lending the money in the first place, and not getting it in writing.
Abby, please find room for this in your column as a warning to other women who let their hearts rule their heads. -- RIPPED OFF IN COLORADO
DEAR RIPPED OFF: Nobody can tell it like the person who has been there. Too bad you will never know how many women will benefit from reading this letter.