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Dear Abby: At what point does a man finally give up hope of finding a mate and accept that he may end up alone?

I’m 29. I never had a chance to date in high school. My family farms, and when I was 14, my grandfather could no longer help my dad. Dad couldn’t take care of things alone, so I would go out and help him the minute I got home from school every day. Between the farm work and keeping up with my studies, I had to grow up fast.

I graduated with a 3.5 grade point average, but because I had no time for dating, this part of my development has always been off.

I have been set up by family and friends, tried meeting people in groups and on online dating sites. So far, it has been to no avail. My last actual date was two years ago. Friends tell me I’m a good guy, so I can’t figure out what has gone wrong.

I never regretted helping my dad when he needed me, but I wish it hadn’t come at such a steep social price.

Am I doomed to a lonely life because I “did the right thing” when I was in high school?

Midwest Farmer

Dear Farmer: A quick online search would show you there are women who would be very interested in meeting someone like you. Go back online and start researching dating sites for farmers and ranchers. While I can’t guarantee you’ll meet your match, it would be a good place to start. I wish you the best and hope you will let me know I have guided you in the right direction.

Dear Abby: I have been going through some tough times during the last few months. I have handled them as well as I can, but something just pushed me over the edge.

I’m not formally educated. I have no college education. I graduated from high school, but I was home-schooled and people tend to not take me seriously when they find that out. I opted out of college because I couldn’t afford the loans. I love to learn and have continued to educate myself.

But today, someone I respected told me I’m not as smart as he is because I never went to college. He outright called me stupid and said I should stop pretending to be intelligent.

Abby, I am skilled with my hands. I own my own business and spend most of my time reading on various topics. When I told him his comment hurt me, he laughed and said that just proved I wasn’t as intelligent as he is. I know he’s not right, but I can’t stop thinking about it. Can you help me?

Street Smart in Alaska

Dear Street Smart: Gladly! The individual you were talking to isn’t intelligent; he is a classless boor who tries to make himself feel superior by putting down the people around him.

If you are as smart as you say that you are, you will avoid this man as though he has an infectious social disease. This is very true, because cruelty can be contagious.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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