Dear Abby: I think she’s flirting with me, but I’m not sure what to do about it

DEAR ABBY: I’ve read your column for years, frequently taking advice you provide to others and applying it to my circumstances.

I have developed a mutual bond with a woman who is 30 — 28 years younger than myself. She’s a waitress at a diner I frequent.

I’ve seen her children grow over the past six or seven years. We have had many meaningful conversations and shared our highs and lows. She’s naturally friendly.

Three or four years ago, she began sharing casual side hugs when I arrived. I never ask for them. Over the last year, these hugs have become more intimate — not in a sexual way, just a deeper bond of friendship. We occasionally IM when she’s off work, but I don’t see her socially.

Lately she has been teasing that she’ll be my next ex. I reciprocate the flirting and teasing. I believe there is a mutual attraction. If not for the age difference, which I’m OK with, or the fear of causing issues with our friendship, I’d ask her out.

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Societal taboos weigh heavily on my mind, and I am pragmatic.

Should I or shouldn’t I? Or am I reading too much into our friendship?

UNSURE IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR UNSURE: Not having witnessed the chemistry between the two of you, I couldn’t say. However, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The next time you see her, after one of those “more intimate” hugs, tell her teasingly that you have been thinking about her comment that she’ll be your next ex and ask if she’d like to have dinner with you sometime. Her response will tell you if you have been reading too much into the friendship.

DEAR ABBY: I have been with my husband for seven years, and I’m tired of having the same fight every day. He smokes marijuana, and I hate it.

It has been a constant battle for years. We tried therapy, which helped for a while, but he goes back to smoking behind my back. We tried to reach a compromise that he smoke only after a certain time of day, but it still leads to fights.

He shuts me out when he’s doing drugs and says I don’t care about his happiness because it’s something he enjoys, and I am taking it away.

I love him so much, but I hate drugs and don’t like who he becomes when he’s smoking.

I want to have a baby, but I am uncomfortable with drugs being in the house. I feel like I can’t trust him to be alone with a baby when he’s high.

I don’t want to leave him, but I can’t take it anymore. Having the same fight every day is exhausting, and it’s had a really negative impact on our marriage.

I want him to choose me over this, but if I give him an ultimatum, he’ll hate me. What do I do?

ANTI-DRUG IN ILLINOIS

DEAR ANTI-DRUG: Give your husband that ultimatum and pack your bags. If you prefer the father of your child not have a marijuana habit and he cannot quit, then, as much as you may love him, this person isn’t The One for you. Sorry.

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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.