Dear Annie: Acting for the right reasons?

Dear Annie: I moved from the city to the country about 20 years ago, and now that my husband is deceased, I plan to return to an urban environment. I have spent many hours researching different locations, including using the internet and driving through neighborhoods, and I believe I’ve found a centrally located area that is upscale but affordable. Basically, almost everything I’m looking for is at this location.

The problem is that in the past year, I have been dating a guy who also lives in that area. I am in love with him, and I’ve told him so -- even though I’m sure I will never hear those words from him, simply because of his nature. But he calls me every night, and we see each other once a week, so I know that he is fond of me. The reason I told him I love him is that over the past few months, he has developed an illness that is going to result in a rather complicated surgery. I felt that he should know how I feel, and I knew I would regret not having told him if something should happen. I am 65, and he is 70.

Truthfully, I could search around a different city and find a similar location with the same amenities. I am not religious, and I am very conscious of the limited time that we both have here on this earth. How do I know whether I’m moving there for him or I’m moving there for me? — Moving Motivations

Dear Moving: You don’t need a polygraph to figure out whether you’re lying to yourself. You just need your heart and a willingness to listen to it. So take this two-question test.

1) Would you still move to this town if this man didn’t live there? 2) How would you feel if you two broke up six months from now — committed to building a life on your own in your new town or inclined to pack up and move elsewhere?

Be deeply honest in this self-evaluation and you’ll make the decision that’s right for you. Fudge the answers and you’ll only be cheating yourself.

Dear Annie: I am a 76-year-old man and 5 feet 3 inches tall. Oftentimes, people think I am a lady. For instance, while on an Alaskan cruise, I visited a glacier by helicopter. A woman in the group came up to me and asked, “What’s a nice lady like you doing on a trip like this?” I informed her I am a man and always have been. I am in no way a transgender individual. This is certainly not the first time this has happened. I asked my close friends whether I look anything like a woman, and they all said no, not at all. I have fairly short hair and am a flat-chested man. What would be a good response to give these individuals? — Mr. Flat Chest

Dear Mr. Flat Chest: Keep it simple. Something like what you’ve been saying, such as “Actually, I’m a man,” is perfectly sufficient. They might feel embarrassed, but you shouldn’t.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.