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Dear Abby: I’m 37 and still single. I have never been able to keep a guy around very long. They have all given me different reasons, but the main theme is that I’m “too independent and better as a friend.” I’ve kept some of my exes as friends, so there haven’t been hard feelings.

I have accepted that I’m going to always be alone. I have come to terms with it and made a fairly decent life for myself. My issue is, everyone keeps insisting there’s someone out there for me. But when I’ve asked them to help set me up on dates or introduce me to a friend, they haven’t been willing, even though they’ve done it for others many times.

I “get” that I’m fat and not attractive, so maybe they don’t think I’m worthy of dating their guy friends. But how do I get them to stop pushing me to date, especially when they won’t help?

I also hate it when they ask me why I’m not a mom yet when I would be such a good one. Uh, hello! It takes two to make a baby!

I have lost friends over this since it’s tough to hang around with people who pity me for being solo and can’t accept me for who I am. What do I do?

Lonely, But OK

Dear Lonely: Tell these friends you know they think they are trying to help when they say these things, but the truth is it makes you feel terrible and to please stop.

Next, recognize that the time has come to enlarge your circle of friends. While it’s true there may be a special someone out there for you, the chances are slim to none that he’ll find you hanging out with this group.

You are by far not the only overweight individual in this great nation of ours, and many of them are happily coupled up. Nobody has everything. People who focus on their positive qualities and make an effort to develop them are attractive. If you stop dwelling on your perceived flaws and work to develop the things you have to offer, the results may surprise you. (This goes for both sexes.)

Dear Abby: I am writing this to relieve a heavy burden I have carried for many years. I’m 16 and have had a crush on this girl since I was 9. I fell in love with her the first time I saw her, and have never gotten over it.

I have always had a problem expressing my feelings. I have been very shy from the day I was born. Now that I’m older, I have more confidence and have lost most of my shyness. What should I do after years of barely talking to her?

Not So Shy Anymore

Dear Not So Shy Anymore: Now that you have more confidence, start talking to her. You don’t have to declare your love in the first conversation, but her reaction will tell you if she wants to have some sort of relationship with you, even if it’s only friendship — and that’s an auspicious beginning.

One way would be to volunteer at an organization that serves the underprivileged so your daughter can see for herself how lucky she is. Another would be to do as some other parents do: Mention on the birthday invitation that any gifts will be donated to a cause you and your daughter agree upon. And if you are asked why, be honest and upfront about it.

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

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