DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I love my young aunt with a love that is unholy, according to my religion. I know I shouldn't fantasize about her but she is only a few years older than me. I don't see her very often, but she was here with her family recently, and I was going crazy just being around her. I am 17, and she's 25 but really young-looking. She is slim and beautiful and doesn't look anything like my own family because she's of mixed race. I dream about her day and night. What can I do? -- Miserable, Rural Manitoba
Dear Miserable: In real life, you can't go after everything you want or desire, like in those ridiculous soaps on TV. Some people are simply off-limits and messing with family members is definitely frowned upon. You don't mention her being attracted to you. Just as it is with hot-looking young teachers or your buddies' attractive girlfriends, or step-siblings raised together, it can't go anywhere. That's not denying it isn't a crush. Your best course is to try to stay away from her as much as possible, as it will only cause you physical and emotional upset. And start looking for a real girlfriend. Once you have a sweetheart of your own, you will notice a big decrease in interest in your young aunt.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Well, I should be too old for this kind of thing, but it appears I'm not. I pick up some of the older ladies for church every Sunday and one of them asked to be dropped off last, on some excuse. Then she invited me in for a home-cooked lunch and pies she just baked. How can a poor widower say no to that? I stayed all afternoon, playing cards and helping her with a few things, and then she invited me for supper. I chopped and she cooked, and we drank wine. I hadn't had such a good time since my wife died. We had so much wine that she offered me the spare room -- and then crept in and slid into the bed and put her arm around me. I'm too much of a gentleman to tell the rest. But now what? I don't feel ready to be committed to her after one night. Should I ask her out again, or pretend it didn't happen on Sunday and then maybe drop her off last again? -- Confused Widower, Winnipeg
Dear Confused: You sly fox. OK, you can drop the "poor widower" pose now, and admit you have happily rejoined the single world. The lady's move was either a manipulation to create a relationship, or just overwhelming desire for you. Who knows? Neither is bad, and you're smiling again, aren't you? Instead of pulling the Sunday move over and over, call her up for coffee on a Wednesday. Have an honest talk. Tell her where you're at with feelings and that you need to either go slow or do nothing relationship-wise yet. As a mature woman, she's probably not going to offer you a sex-buddies deal, but you might be able to date once in a while. Then, it's up to her if there's a sleepover and benefits afterwards. But don't count on it until you're ready for a romance.