Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Tween Takes Stock of Life and Wants to Make Changes

DEAR ABBY: I am a friendly, 23-year-old woman who likes to make new friends all the time. Recently, though, I have had a few "bumps" and I'm not sure if I may be doing something wrong.

I tried to befriend one girl who was an acquaintance from high school. I found her on Facebook and sent her a message. She replied that she was glad for the surprise e-mail. I sent her a reply, but she never returned one. I also tried to add her as a friend, but she declined.

Then there's the girl who is the sister of one of my male friends. I found her on Facebook, too, and sent her an e-mail. It was the same story. I got a friendly reply -- then nothing.

I met the third girl online at a different friend-type site. She said she was "so glad I messaged her" and the same scenario repeated. I'm confused. Am I making some mistake or just picking the wrong people to befriend? -- EVERYONE'S PAL, EUGENE, ORE.

DEAR PAL: What matters in life isn't the number of friends one has, but the quality of the friendship. Friendship does not usually happen spontaneously, it takes time and common interests among acquaintances to build.

Instead of trying to make friends all the time, concentrate on trying to nurture relationships more slowly on common interest sites. The approach you have chosen may strike others as a little too aggressive. Also, stop depending on online sites and venture into the real world, too.