DEAR ABBY: I am 24 years old and was dating a man a few years older. "Rick" and I dated for two years, and lived together almost a year and a half. About six months ago, Rick was killed in a motorcycle accident. Had he lived, he would have been the one I married and spent the rest of my life with.
Here's my problem: Although I loved Rick with all my heart, I know that I am young and will have other relationships. I'll never forget Rick, and I'll carry him in my heart. I don't want to hurt Rick's family or give them the idea that I don't respect his memory.
I have been doing things with a male "friend" of mine, and it may get serious. Is it too soon? I know that the only one who can know that is me, but how do I handle the public relations aspect? Rick is gone, and my life must go on. -- CONFUSED
DEAR CONFUSED: It's all right to begin dating, but if you're considering living with this "friend" or making any announcements, I suggest that you slow down. Do nothing in haste, including an announcement to Rick's grieving family that you now have a relationship that may get serious. You are very vulnerable right now. Not only do you need time to heal from your loss, this new relationship needs time to develop.