DEAR ABBY: I'm a widow in my mid-60s -- attractive, petite and active. I hate being alone. I have a friend I'll call Barney who is in his 70s. Barney's a wonderful dancer and a polished gentleman. We've known each other for 10 years.
About a year ago, our friendship evolved to the next level. We became intimate. I fell in love with Barney and thought I had finally found my soul mate.
Last month, I asked this wonderful man if he was looking for a committed relationship. Barney's answer shocked me. He said he didn't want to fall in love because he'd been hurt too many times. Then he told me he is also in a relationship with someone else! I was devastated. I cried all the way home. Barney still calls every day and invites me out. When I hear his voice, I melt.
My best friend, "Bea," is having a 60th birthday party next week. She has just informed me that Barney is coming and bringing his girlfriend! Abby, the only reason Bea invited Barney is that she and I both thought he'd bring me. I'd like to call him and ask him not to come and embarrass me. Or should I just stay home? I really need advice. -- HEARTSICK IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR HEARTSICK: Your "soul mate" either suffers from a sensitivity deficiency, or he's trying to send you a message: "Don't count on him, because he has a girlfriend." I sympathize with your disappointment, but don't let it stop you from attending the party. While you're there, get the lady's phone number and invite her for coffee. She might be interested to know how much the both of you have in common.