DEAR ABBY: My husband of 37 years passed away four months ago. When we were first married, we were happy, but his drinking increased and he turned into a miserable, mean drunk. When I decided I'd finally had enough, he got sick and could no longer work, and I felt obligated to take care of him. More than a decade of my life was spent looking after him, for which he rarely, if ever, expressed appreciation.
One month after his funeral, I was contacted out of the blue by my high school sweetheart. I was reluctant to respond at first, but I decided it couldn't hurt to meet him and enjoy dinner and conversation. The attraction was immediate. It felt like we were back in high school. It has been three months now, and we are ready to take our relationship to the next level. He makes me feel better than I have ever felt in my life. My children know how miserable I was for decades in my marriage, but I'm still concerned about how they'll feel about me seriously dating so soon after becoming a widow. -- LONGING FOR LOVE IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR LONGING: If you explain to your adult children that you and your friend from long ago have reconnected, they shouldn't react badly to the news. However, a word of caution: This is still a budding relationship. If by "taking the relationship to the next level" you mean becoming intimate, you are an adult long past the age of consent. However, if it means dashing off to marry this person, take more time before making a formal commitment. Doing that will enable you to observe how he reacts in a variety of situations -- including whether you agree about issues you feel are important, as well as how he reacts when he's frustrated or angry.