Hey Lucia,

Your outlook and “tell it like it is” responses are always so insightful. I am a young 29-year-old “cub.” I have always been attracted to women older than myself. They provide an abundance of knowledge, sophistication and assertiveness; all qualities that I find make a woman sexy.

I recently met a woman who is 39, all of the above and then some. We work out together, have a lot in common, laugh and never get tired of each other.

We are not intimate and do not go on dates due to her current situation. She is separated from her husband, not divorced and has a child.

I respect their family situation/relationship, and that’s why I’m just going with the flow. I’m enjoying the company for what it is and not pressing any sort of progress at all.

She enjoys my company as much as I do hers; it’s a really easy flowing relationship. We do not call each other, but do exchange e-mails on a regular basis and see each other a few times a week.

We are personal with each other in the sense that we are very open and share pretty much everything about ourselves. I left the ball in her court as far as setting the pace goes.

I guess what I’m getting at is I think she is the most wonderful woman I have met in a long time. While the timing is off, deep down inside of me there is hope for something a bit more than a friendship, somewhere down the line.

I’ve learned from past situations to not set myself up for failure, and that’s why I’m trying to be casual about it. What do you think?

—Hopeful in Houston

Hi Hopeful,

You’re on the right track, but instead of trying to be casual, be casual. There is nothing wrong with developing a friendship first and seeing if that leads to more once she is divorced.

Of course, there is always a chance she may get back together with her husband, so you have to be prepared for that possibility.

I know you probably don’t want to hear it, but I also suggest that you date other women, if you’re not already doing it. This will help with not getting too focused on this woman who is currently not totally available.

Other than that, continue to go with the flow and see where it goes. Good luck!

Dear Lucia,

Allow me to put in a word for my specialty, preventive medicine. While condoning multiple casual liaisons by Guy in a previous column, you missed a chance to educate about the risks of STDs.

There is still a high risk for an unprotected “player” to get or give his gal a most unwanted gift. Don’t assume your readers know – push condoms!

Your column is always worthwhile, and your photo sure beats Dr. Ruth’s.

—Anthony Saidy, M.D., M.P.H.

Dear Anthony,

Thanks for your e-mail. You’re right. Silly me just assumed everyone is smart enough to always wear condoms.

Hi Lucia,

I have written to you a couple of times before, and you told me to get a life. I now agree with you.

My dad passed away seven months ago. I lived with him, took care of him and loved him. He was greatest the guy. I was very blessed.

Someone told me it’s not good to look for a relationship when you’re grieving. How long is a good time to wait?


Dear Julie,

I’m glad you finally realized you need to get a life.

How long you grieve is up to you. There’s no set amount of time. You will know when you are ready.

In the meantime, cherish the wonderful memories you have of your dad and the fact that you were lucky enough to have such a great guy in your life. Honor his memory by choosing someone who is worthy of you.

Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net.

Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net.

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Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.