DEAR ABBY: I'm 36, doing very well in business, single and deeply in love with a 58-year-old woman. She has been a neighbor since I was in grade school. She's petite, pretty, intelligent, cheerful and looks my age.
My parents moved to Florida when I turned 27, and I bought their home just so I could be near her. On my 33rd birthday, I begged her to cook for me. We had dinner and too much wine and ended up in bed. We don't live together, and she often tells me to find a younger woman. I have tried to gift her a car, jewelry, etc., but she has refused them all.
Our families are against this. I'm going crazy trying to convince her I love her. When I told her I've loved her since middle school, she laughed. My parents say I am insane, though they love her dearly. Am I? Help, please. -- IN LOVE IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR IN LOVE: Insane? No. When people are in love, they sometimes think emotionally rather than rationally. The 22-year difference in your ages may be why your parents are calling you insane.
Rather than try to "buy" your neighbor's love with gifts, try to get her to tell you how she does feel about you and about what happened the night she cooked you dinner. If it was only because she had too much to drink, she may be embarrassed that things went as far as they did. If it was because the attraction is mutual, you should explain to her that while it may be unusual, these kinds of relationships can be successful if both parties are mature. Example: The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, and his first lady.