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by Abigail Van Buren

Academic Overachiever Feels He's Socially Behind the Curve

DEAR ABBY: I am a 20-year-old male living what appears to be "the dream." I have completed my bachelor's degree, and I'm starting what will more than likely be a prosperous career. Still, something important is missing.

All my life I have always felt very isolated. Although I have been able to develop "friendships," the more I progress in life the more these friendships slip away.

I have been unsuccessful in finding a mate, and I am embarrassed to still be a virgin. Is there something horribly wrong with me that drives people away? -- LONELY GUY, MONTREAL, CANADA

DEAR LONELY GUY: I doubt it. You have accomplished a lot for someone your age, and the way you did it was by focusing your energies on your studies rather than your social skills. Now that you are starting your career, begin joining business-affiliated groups so you can widen your circle of acquaintances. This will help both your business and social lives -- which will eventually blend together.

Give yourself some time and please do not obsess about the virginity issue. I am sure you will meet someone who will accept and value you for the person you are, and the condition will resolve itself.