DEAR ABBY: I wrote you about a year ago regarding my difficulty in finding a single, educated, relationship-minded man. You advised me to lower my high standards and date outside my preconceived notions of who Mr. Right was - - someone younger or without a college degree.
I dated several men who matched the description. At best, things were uninteresting. Taking your suggestion to "get off my high horse," I have been involved for six months with a man slightly younger than I, with a high school education and children. He's a good man, a good father, and treats me like a queen. However, we're completely incompatible. Intellectually, we're miles apart.
Much as I care for him, I am breaking up with him. I have returned to school to work on my MBA and would rather be single the rest of my life than live a lie for the sake of love. The one thing I have learned from this experience is a newfound fulfillment in being single. -- STILL LOOKING IN NEW ORLEANS
DEAR STILL LOOKING: I wish you luck in your search. Over the years I have met people from all walks of life and developed affection as well as respect for their street smarts. I hoped it would work for you. Sorry my advice didn't turn out the way it was intended, but I'm glad you got something positive out of it anyway.
I'm often asked if I hear back from those whose letters I publish. Curious? Read on:
DEAR ABBY: You printed my letter July 6. I signed myself "Adrift in Anderson, S.C." I want you to know things have since improved. My husband and I finally talked, and we decided to work things out. I found a better job and we put our house up for sale. He's doing something different now, too. Money is no longer tight and the pressure is off.
The main thing is, we talked to each other and realized we need to focus on what made us want to be together in the first place. I decided to follow your advice and did exactly what you suggested. And I understand what you mean about not being able to "unring the bell."
Thank you for caring and for printing my letter. Hopefully there won't be any other people texting for divorces they don't want! Sign me ... ANCHORED AGAIN IN S.C.
DEAR ANCHORED: Thank you for the update. I'm pleased to know your situation has improved. Texting may be convenient, but nothing replaces eye contact.
DEAR ABBY: I'm "Sad Dad in Arizona," whose letter appeared May 2 with feedback from your readers on July 2. My wife has a terminal illness and our 15-year-old son didn't want to attend her funeral when the time came. I'd like to thank you and everyone who took the time to write and offer advice.
I'd like to update you on my situation. My mother died recently and my son did attend her funeral. He was apprehensive at first, but handled it much better than he thought he would and he was glad he went.
My wife and I have been going to the Mayo Clinic, and they have given us some hope. While there's no cure for her, there is a medication that may extend her life at least a few more years. On a side note, she finally located her birth father, who lives in another state. She went to visit him and her newfound family before she starts her treatment, which will make her too sick to travel. The visit went well.
A lot can change in a few months. -- FORMERLY SAD DAD
DEAR FORMERLY SAD: I'll say! Your last sentence says it all. I'm sure my readers will be as pleased as I am to know your wife is doing better for now.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
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