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by Abigail Van Buren

Young Man With Few Friends Seems Not to Want Any More

DEAR ABBY: I am a nice, charming, likable young man in my mid-20s. I have almost no friends. I rarely see the ones I do have because they don't live in my province. I can count the number of people I consider friends on one hand. I am close with my family, though none of them live close enough to see regularly. I work from home, so there's no one I come in contact with daily except my husband, whom I love dearly.

I know there are things I could do to meet more people and make friends, but I don't really want to. Maintaining friendships feels like more work than it's worth to me. I don't dislike people and I'm certainly not a snob. But when I have a conversation, it feels like I'm trying to be interesting for their sake and I don't really care about them, and I wonder why they seem to care about me.

I'm not bitter or lonely, but I don't think this is normal. Should I accept that this is who I am, or should I worry? -- LONER IN TORONTO

DEAR LONER: Excuse me, but there are contradictions in your letter. If you weren't concerned that there was something to worry about, you wouldn't have written to me. Now it's time for you to talk to a counselor and take a deeper look at what's really going on. My intuition tells me there may be issues you need to address.