Dear Abby: I gave up dating and, 30 years later, I’m lonely

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DEAR ABBY: I am a 70-year-old male former teacher and social worker. I stopped dating 30 years ago because the only women I had loved had all dumped me. I felt I was only a temporary convenience to them.

Since then, I haven’t been romantically involved with anyone so I would not be dumped again. However, I am lonely for female companionship and afraid I’ll die without ever having had another girlfriend.

I’m not attracted to women my age, and I don’t see younger women being attracted to an overweight old guy who isn’t even scraping by on Social Security. Dating services don’t screen their members. Is there a solution for this problem? — HOPELESS IN MISSOURI

DEAR HOPELESS: I’m sorry women in your age range don’t qualify, because it would be easier for you if they did.

To be appreciated for the person you are, you will have to meet through mutual friends, church or an activity you enjoy — something that will allow women to see the strengths you have. However, if that doesn’t open some doors and some hearts, because you’re looking for unconditional love, consider adopting a puppy.


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DEAR ABBY: My middle-schooler noticed that the family of one of her classmates is struggling financially. The boy wears eyeglasses with a crooked frame and one missing lens. His clothing and shoes are shabby and worn.

Not knowing the student or his family, I know my options are limited. They rely on public transportation, and none of the other students know where they live.

Education is paramount to getting out of this jam. Without something as simple as glasses, I’m afraid it can’t be done.

Do you have any recommendations on how to help get this student a pair? Since I don’t know the family, how do I even offer a ride to an optometrist’s without fear of being labeled a kidnapper? — TRYING TO HELP IN THE WEST

DEAR TRYING TO HELP: A diplomatic way to handle it would be to discuss this with your daughter’s teacher or the school principal.

I agree a child who can’t see the blackboard has little chance of academic success. If you would like to provide transportation or pay for glasses for the boy, speaking with school staff would be the path with the least potential for embarrassment.

DEAR ABBY: I am currently in a relationship that’s great except for one thing. She knows what “buttons” to push to make me angry, and she’ll continue to push them. No matter what I do, she’s in my face.

It just seems she wants to argue until I reach the point of exploding. I try to walk away, go to another room, ignore her, tell her she’s making me angry — yet she continues.

I’m all for being able to walk away and then talk about it later — and I have confronted her on this. What do I do? — FRUSTRATED IN FLORIDA

DEAR FRUSTRATED: What do you do? You break up with this toxic individual who enjoys goading you to the point of exploding, and find a woman who is a lot more compatible.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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