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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have never been moved to write in response to a letter until I read "Concerned About My Girl in Kentucky" (May 9). It was from a mom who was worried that while her daughter "Celia" had no problem attracting men, she has a problem keeping them.

My intelligent, caring, creative, adventurous and beautiful daughter had successful, handsome and wonderful men throwing themselves at her. A couple of dates and they were never heard from again. When I asked, "What's the problem?" she would shrug her shoulders. I thought she was being too picky, and when the right man came along he'd sweep her off her feet and all would be well.

One day, my daughter came to me and said she had met someone. I said, "Tell me about him." She replied, "Who said it has to be a 'him'?" My daughter was just as surprised as I was to discover she is a lesbian.

She is now in a relationship with a wonderful woman. I'm glad she realized this at 25 instead of 55, after living a life that wasn't hers because she thought that was what was "expected." She's happy now, and so am I. -- PROUD MOM IN ROCHESTER, N.Y.

DEAR PROUD MOM: Thank you for sharing your daughter's happy revelation. The following responses may offer other interesting insights for "Concerned" to consider. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: You suggested Celia ask her friends for feedback. My very attractive friend "Jan" has had two failed marriages and four short-term relationships. In the last five years, she has had many first dates -- only.

She asks, "What is wrong with these guys? Don't they know what they want?" None of us will respond because Jan isn't really looking for an answer, and we're all afraid of being the target of her wrath. It's always the other person's fault. When a friend tries to be helpful by offering gently worded suggestions, this friend gets her head bitten off and returned on a platter.

Some people don't want to improve themselves because they're content to complain and blame someone else instead of taking their own inventory. -- BACKING OFF IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR ABBY: My mother's dream was to have all her children married with six or more children and living happily ever after in wedded bliss. My dream was to live alone with five dogs in a quiet, rural area. "Concerned" may be putting too much pressure on her daughter, causing her to rush into relationships and scaring the men away. Celia needs to sit down and figure out what she wants for herself. Then, maybe, the man of her dreams will come to her. -- REALISTIC READER IN MICHIGAN

DEAR ABBY: I had a friend in college who was smart, beautiful, funny and a great cook. But she rarely had a second date. Her problem was she never shut up! She was constantly talking and, even when engaged in a conversation, she would frequently interrupt and carry on without listening to the other person. If she had asked me why men avoided her, I would have told her the truth, but I was never given the chance. -- IS IT MY TURN TO TALK?

DEAR ABBY: Speaking as a guy who has regretfully had to pass on three "Celias," I know there is one likely possibility that her friends may not realize or have the heart to tell her: Lose the cats. -- NOT A DEVOTEE OF CHAIRMAN MEOW

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