DEAR ABBY: After a year of separation and divorce, I have decided to dip into the online dating world at 45. My plan was to carefully select three to five men over the next few months and just date, without diving into a relationship or into bed.
To my surprise, the first man I met, "Darren," is a great guy. He treats me wonderfully, is respectful, makes me laugh, and I love spending time with him. Now I'm no longer interested in meeting anyone else. But I am forcing myself to stick to "the plan."
Darren is aware of this. He respects my decision, but says he'll convince me to choose him. Am I making a mistake by continuing to date others? I have real feelings for Darren and feel awkward about continuing with my plan. I think I should guard my heart. Perhaps dating others will help me take things more slowly. Any thoughts? -- CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC
DEAR OPTIMISTIC: If you hadn't met someone as compatible as Darren, I would say full speed ahead with your plan. But if you feel awkward going out with others, then you shouldn't be doing it.
This is not to say you should rush into anything with Darren. It takes time to really get to know someone. Take the time because in the early months of a relationship, both parties are in the "selling" phase. You can always decide to go back to Plan A.