DEAR ABBY: Two years after my divorce, I met "Jake," a divorced man near my age (50-plus). After several dates, he suggested that we sleep together. He promised not to sleep with any other woman, but wants to continue dating because he doesn't want to be accountable to anyone.
Jake told me that one of his former girlfriends ("Melanie") has been a bright spot in his life, and he plans to continue seeing her. He takes her dancing, to the movies, to parties -- and he travels with her.
Two weeks ago, Jake invited me to accompany him to a party at Melanie's home. I accepted and went, but now I wish I hadn't. He stayed by Melanie's side most of the evening. They were holding hands and looking into one another's eyes, oblivious to all who were present. I was very uncomfortable, but I didn't want to make a scene. Later, Jake told me that he loved Melanie, but was not "in love" with her -- whatever that means.
It doesn't seem to matter that I was upset knowing that he is seeing Melanie and other women, too. In fact, he said that when he told her I was jealous, they both laughed.
He still wants to be intimate with me, but I'm beginning to think he's not ready for intimacy.
What do you think, Abby? -- SONIA IN SPRING LAKES
DEAR SONIA: At least Jake is honest and up-front about feeling that intimacy and an exclusive relationship don't necessarily go hand in hand. Think of him as a bumblebee in the garden of life -- entertaining to watch at a distance, but guaranteed to deliver a nasty sting if you get too close. Tell Jake to buzz off.