DEAR ABBY: I am a woman in my early 40s. I have two children. I have never been married. Five months ago I met a fine man. "Mr. M." is in his mid-40s and was married for about four years in the late 1990s.
I am very much in love with Mr. M., and he has shown me how much he loves me in many different ways. However, he says there are no wedding bells in the future.
Do you think Mr. M. is afraid to make a commitment because of his divorce? Has a woman ever proposed marriage to a man? Is there anything wrong with it?
I have one more problem. Mr. M. likes to be all alone some days. And he takes long weekends to get away by himself. Is this common for a lot of men? -- CONCERNED IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR CONCERNED: There is nothing "wrong" with a woman proposing to a man; many women have done it. And yes, it is entirely possible that Mr. M.'s experience with divorce has left him marriage-shy. Since you are serious about him, pursue the reason for his statement that there are no wedding bells in the future.
While it's common for men (and women) to spend "alone time" and have separate interests, they don't, as a rule, involve spending long weekends away by themselves. Much depends on the nature of the pursuit that's taking him away, and how often he needs time to himself. If Mr. M. goes on an occasional spiritual retreat, I see nothing unusual about it. However, if he is a loner by nature -- the person who will be lonely is you.