Dear Abby:

I am 37, never married, and have never even dated much. I am quiet, shy, overweight and plain.

I have been seeing a man who is 42 years old, and who has also never been married. He has proposed, but I haven't given him an answer because I don't think I really love him. He is very good to me and treats me like a queen, but there is absolutely no spark. (There's also no sex. He's impotent and has no plans to do anything about it.)

My question is: Do I marry him and "settle," just to be married, or do I live the rest of my life alone? Is it better to take this chance and marry my best friend, or should I wait for a Prince Charming who might never arrive?

Please answer this question in the newspaper. I don't want anyone to know I'm such an indecisive fool.

Wavering in the Midwest

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to your question. Some women have married "Prince Charming" only to have him turn into an abusive frog. Other women have married their "best friend" and lived happily ever after.

That you're not attracted to this man and he's unable to perform could be either good or bad, depending upon how important sex is to you. However, if you're considering marriage to him only because you're afraid you'll never attract anyone else, I urge you to go on a diet, get into an exercise program, and consult the best cosmetician you can afford about a makeover. Beauty may be only skin deep, but the way you package yourself can affect the way you feel about yourself. And once you improve your self-esteem, your luck with men could change for the better.

Dear Abby:

My daughter, "Allie," was in a terrible car accident five weeks ago. She's still in a rehabilitation center and will be for several more months.

The driver of the other car has just died from the injuries she incurred in the accident. Allie was at fault. She had been drinking. She feels terrible, as one would expect, that she is recovering and the other woman is being buried. Allie would like to send the family a sympathy card. Is this the appropriate thing for her to do?

Confused Mom

In circumstances like this, a card would not be appropriate. At the very least, your daughter should write the family of her victim a letter of abject apology. And once she has been released from rehab, she should seek help for her alcohol problem and counseling, if necessary, to help her deal with the guilt.

(c)2005, Universal Press Syndicate