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8:25 PM Sat, Feb. 23rd

Dear Abby | Lovers aren’t the only ones who celebrate Valentine’s Day

Dear Abby: Valentine’s Day is here and, to be honest, I don’t know much about St. Valentine. So I wonder if he meant the day to only be about lovers.

Is there any reason I shouldn’t send valentines to my friends? Why should anyone feel bad because they’re not “with” someone? If you love and/or care about a person, can’t you send them a box of chocolates, a card or some flowers? It seems to me this should be a time of year you can let a buddy know you appreciate him, or let your brother, cousin, sister, neighbor or co-worker know you care.

It doesn’t have to be mushy. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Abby! – Tim in Syracuse

Dear Tim: Valentine’s Day may have started as a celebration of romance and romantic love, but it has broadened to acknowledge other kinds of love and affection. There’s absolutely no reason you cannot celebrate the way you described.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Tim, and to all my readers, for whom I have great appreciation and affection.

Dear Abby: My brother is a 59-year-old widower. He has dated a few women over the years, and he’s very afraid of being alone.

The woman he is with now has made it clear that she is with him because he can provide financial security for her. She’s pushing him to move in together and get married, but only after he sells his house and buys a new one. She said she could never live there because his deceased wife lived there. However, she is unable to contribute anything financially, so this would all be out of his pocket. He looks past all of this.

I have told him I’m worried about her using him for his money, but he doesn’t want to hear it. How can I get through to him? – Wise Sister in Pennsylvania

Dear Sister: You obviously can’t. However, his lawyer might be able to deliver that message more effectively than you. This is why you should strongly encourage him to have a talk with his lawyer before he sells his house or formalizes his arrangement with this lady, who has made her objectives crystal clear.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.