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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Is Ready to Disengage From Seven Year Courtship

DEAR ABBY: I met the most wonderful lady about eight years ago. I'll call her "Evy." We've been going together ever since. About seven years ago, I proposed marriage and she said yes, but we are still not married. She makes excuses one after another that "things come up." She had a very bad marriage with an alcoholic husband who abused her. He died about 20 years ago. We're both in our later years.

Abby, I love Evy very much. She's been on public assistance for many years, and I have been helping her financially. The problem is, the financial aid I'm giving her has become quite a burden. It has escalated a lot.

Evy tells me she loves me and that we'll be together eventually, but it doesn't happen. I don't want to lose her, but I can't go on this way anymore. She lives with her sister, and to put it bluntly, I can no longer maintain two households. Neither Evy nor her sister works, and I see no way for me other than putting an end to being a good Samaritan. I'm very frustrated and would appreciate your comments. -- NEEDS LOVE AND COMPANIONSHIP

DEAR NEEDS LOVE: It's time to put away your checkbook and move on. You have waited long enough and given far too much. If you and Evy were meant to be married, it would have happened a long time ago.

DEAR ABBY: I was struck by the letter from a woman who felt she wasn't coping well with empty-nest syndrome. She said she had been to her local bookstore and had asked the clerk to help her find a book on the subject. The clerk was unable to direct her to what she needed, and was somewhat flip regarding the woman's personal distress.

Abby, please remind your readers to use their local public library. Bookstores are wonderful places, but bookstores are just what the name implies: stores. Bookstores stock what will sell. Many times when a book is no longer popular, bookstores will no longer stock it.

Libraries are collections of information. Today's libraries contain a wealth of information, developed to help people meet their personal informational, educational and recreational needs. Most are free of charge, with their services available to anyone who walks through the door.

Abby, you wouldn't recommend that people seek counseling from a non-professional. Well, locating information is the same. Librarians are trained information specialists. Please remind people to ask the librarian if they cannot find what they need. Thank you! -- DONNA R. BERRYMAN, FARMINGTON, MINN.

DEAR DONNA: You're welcome. Readers, if you're shopping for information, your local library is an excellent place to begin.

CONFIDENTIAL TO 'WISH THERE WAS A WAY': Don't give up.

"Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways;

"Where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses." (Arlen Price)

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