DEAR ABBY: I am a 38-year-old woman who has been dating a 41-year-old man for seven months. He's wonderful and treats me magnificently. Sadly, although I have always wanted children, he does not.
I realize my choice is either to stay in a relationship with a fabulous partner, knowing we won't have children, or end it, hoping I'll find someone just as wonderful who wants kids.
Your advice in making the hardest decision of my life would be greatly appreciated.
- Maternal in New York
DEAR MATERNAL: Many women in their late 30s find that conceiving a child is complicated, and it can also take longer than they thought. It has taken you 38 years to find this exceptional man, and it could take quite a bit of time to find another one who is so compatible.
Look at it this way: If you married "Mr. Wonderful" and learned afterward that he couldn't father a child, would you leave him? Insist on adopting? Or would you count the many blessings you do have with him and stay?
Many women are happily childless. However, if you're not one of them, you should take your chances and move on - remembering that there are no guarantees.
DEAR ABBY: I work on a busy street in San Francisco where smokers walk around puffing all day while ignoring those around them. Don't you think they should be considerate enough to smoke at designated areas only and not while walking with their secondhand smoke billowing around other pedestrians?
I have seen pregnant women and children inundated by the smoke as these puffers stroll by with no regard. We nonsmokers would appreciate their courtesy for others because we don't want to inhale what they're smoking. Can you comment?
- Hates that Habit
DEAR HATES THAT HABIT: I hate it, too, but unless there is an ordinance in your city that prohibits smoking on certain sidewalks, I think it's unrealistic to expect smokers who inhale not to exhale.