Q: I am a widower and a parent of two wonderful children who lost my wife almost four years ago. I have been trying to get out socially and date, but it seems harder now than it ever was before. I was fortunate to find true love before and I believe that I can find it again, but many women hear of my situation and run the other way. Some are so insecure they can't handle the fact that I was married before. They feel like they are being compared to a ghost. Others want to be the only woman in my life. I think it is a little unreasonable for them to expect me to never mention my late wife in conversation.

Steve: If it were just one or two women running off, I'd say it was their problem. But when you have the same result repeatedly, that makes it your problem. Just how much do you talk about your deceased wife? Have you ever gone on a date and not mentioned her? I'd focus on resolving your feelings about your deceased wife and how open you really are to a new love.

Mia: I have to admit, being involved with a widower sounds really tough. Because you'd never live up to the dead ex, would you?It might take time to find someone who's up for it. And I agree with Steve, you should look at how you are on these dates. Of course, over time, you'll reference your late wife. But if on a first date, every sentence starts "My late wife and I," you may have a problem.

Q: I am almost 23. In high school, I dated this wonderful girl for two years. We came to a halt after we graduated, but kept in touch. I made a series of really bad decisions with her and find myself regretting them constantly. We talk regularly now, about things such as moving in with each other and getting married. I am currently in a relationship where the person has put an expiration date on it. She says "I love you" a lot but she also becomes distant and cold toward me and becomes hostile quick. Should I tough this out? Or capitalize on my high school sweetheart?

Mia: So you're in a relationship, but talk a lot with your high school sweetheart about getting married? That sounds bad for everyone. Maybe your actual girlfriend is acting mean because she senses you have a foot out the door. And without knowing what the bad decisions were - robbing a bank? smuggling drugs? - it's hard for me to know if the ex is a good option. Maybe you should dump both of them and start over.

Steve: Let your current relationship expire. Give your old girlfriend a try, but don't be surprised if you find flaws in that relationship as well. My instinct tells me you're not mature enough for a serious committed relationship. *