DEAR AMY: I have a boy problem! Ugh, I don't think I've said that since my late 20s. I am 40 now and until I met "him" just three months ago, I had pretty much decided I would be single forever. I was fine with that. Then HE came along. It was instant attraction for both of us. He approached me and we were immediately smitten. We exchanged numbers and texted nonstop for two days until we were both available for a "proper date." It was one of those great first dates. Remember those? We closed down the restaurant. We talked about everything, from work to current events, to where we see ourselves in five years. The next night, I met his 9-year-old daughter, and a couple of weeks later, I met his best friend and her husband. We were officially a couple and making big plans. You couldn't keep us apart. Then he got distant. He asked me to be patient with him because he was falling fast, and he was scared. I didn't hear from him for about a week, then got a random "how are you" text in the middle of the day. I responded, then nothing again. Radio silence. That was a few weeks ago and now he's back, acting like nothing is wrong. I want to ask him about it. I want to know where we are, but I don't want to scare him. I truly believe that he cares about me and that he does want this as much as I do. HELP! — S DEAR S: Passionate velocity often crashes into a sort of nascent relationship terror with equal force. What happens next, however, will help to set the stage for the rest of your relationship. He (and you) made a rookie mistake by bringing his young daughter into the mix. Meeting the child of a single parent is something you should do maybe at the three-month mark - not the day after your dream date. Yes, he was moving too fast. You were, too. His actions, and his absence, should now be the subject of a deep and honest conversation. Is he someone who cuts and runs when he is stressed, confused, scared, or unsure? Was he in another relationship that he was exiting from during his distant time from you? Did his daughter freak out at the idea of him seriously dating? Can he talk endlessly about work and current events, but not describe his own feelings in any detail? You will find out. If you are really into this guy (you obviously are), you should be courageous enough to describe your own feelings and concerns, and ask whatever questions you want to ask, without the fear of scaring him off. If a calm and forthright conversation about your budding relationship frightens him, then maybe he is not (currently) available to you. Understand that this single parent is already in an important relationship - with his child. DEAR AMY: I live in a suburban area with large homes and large lots between them. Now that spring is here, I am spending as much time as possible outside, gardening. Gardening is my passion — I spend much of the winter planning out my garden beds and combing through seed catalogues. The other day one of my neighbors called me and (more or less) chewed me out for violating the area's "shelter in place" order. Honestly, I was so shocked, I didn't know how to respond. Now I'm wondering if I have somehow done something wrong. Can you weigh in? — GROWING GARDENER DEAR GARDENER: Grow in peace, my friend. Digging in the earth on your own plot, while maintaining a healthy distance from others, does not expose you — or anyone else — to the coronavirus. Furthermore, if you expand your efforts to put in a few extra rows of vegetables, you will have healthy food to eat and to share come harvest time. Dear Amy: Responding to the current COVID crisis, I'd like to share the following observation: I think people are becoming "more so ..." If they were kind and thoughtful and inclined to be loving before, now they are more so. They are finding ways to help, and finding those who need help, whether it is through sharing their time, money, or kindness. And those of us who were angry and scared and suspicious before, sadly, are now "more so." — LARRY DEAR LARRY: This is astute. I'm going to carry your wisdom with me for a long time. You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.