Tito asked me to marry him, but not for the happily ever after. He had AIDS — a death sentence in the early 1980s. He wanted his property to go to his partner, Michael, but his father disapproved. After Tito’s death, I was to wait a few years, then sign everything over to Michael. I was honored by Tito’s trust and might have said yes, but his father relented, allowing Michael to inherit Tito’s assets, though he would not be invited to the funeral. Forty years later, I miss my friend. Would he be married to Michael if he were alive? — Lynn Tamayo

“Why can’t you find someone?” my parents asked when I was 26. “He’s not here yet,” I said. “He’s in Africa.” (I’ve always been slightly psychic; my parents have always been slightly skeptical.) As the “Dating Diva” at Manhattan’s Learning Annex, I felt confident in my ability to help myself and others “find a mate or just a date.” In my 40s, I still felt confident but relied less on my “dating tricks.” One rainy night, I bumped into a tall man who rolled his R’s. Today, my South African husband says he loves me and our daughter in Afrikaans. — Estelle Erasmus

Our mother, Vilma, would kiss our foreheads when departing for work. I’d get ready for school knowing we would reunite late at night. My sister, Angie, would grab my hand and say, “We’ll be OK.” Lonely after

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