DEAR ABBY: I am a woman who is in love with my former high school coach. I don't know if I should tell him. I first realized I loved him about a year and a half after I met him. We had an extremely close relationship, but it was not inappropriate. He is 13 years older than I am.
After two years of getting to know him and forming a strong friendship, he moved across the country for work. Since then, I have entered college and we see each other only on holidays and in the summer. Every time I see him, we go back to our normal, wonderful relationship as though nothing has changed.
I was in denial about my feelings for him. I told myself it was puppy love and couldn't work out because of the age difference and the distance. But after four years of pining for him, and several failed romances with others, I realize I deeply love him. We have a unique connection, but he has a reputation as a "player," so I can't be sure he feels the same. I don't want to ruin what we have, but I want more. Should I finally reveal my feelings? -- HURTING BADLY IN NEW ENGLAND
DEAR HURTING BADLY: You and your former coach are both adults. I see no reason why you shouldn't tell him how you feel. However, if he responds affirmatively, please be careful about how you proceed with this relationship. As you said -- he has a reputation as a player, and men with a craving for variety can be very unreliable.