DEAR ABBY: I'm a 41-year-old divorced mother of two and grandmother of two. I own my own business, God blessed me with my first home two years ago, and I'm happier than I have been in years.
I'm writing because I have been seeing a man for about six months whom I met at church. We have attended the same church for about two years. "Gavin" has never been married, has no children and doesn't want any.
We have a great time together. We act like teenagers in love. I know he's not seeing anyone else because we spend too much time together. Gavin calls me four to five times a day, brings me lunch at work and takes me out to eat all the time. He constantly buys me presents and helps my daughter out with money when things get tight. He has even helped me financially a few times and refuses to let me pay him back. I am falling in love with him.
My problem? Every time I try to let Gavin know how I feel, he tells me not to let that happen. It's not what he wants, and he wants me to stop. (Yeah, right! Like I can turn my feelings on and off.) Anyway, he says we are not a couple, and I am free to do whatever I want to do.
Am I asking too much to want us to take this relationship to a new level? He shows all the signs of being in love with me by the way he treats me. His mixed signals are confusing. Am I really that naive? -- UNSURE IN GREENSBORO, N.C.
DEAR UNSURE: You are not naive. Hope springs eternal in the breast, and you are only human.
When a man tells you he wants you to be free and to do whatever you want to do, what he really means is he wants to be free to do whatever he wants to do. As much as Gavin cares for you, it's not enough for him to make a lifetime commitment. So, if being married is your goal, recognize that this honest, but reluctant Prince Charming is not for you.