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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Looking for Decent Guy Should Take Friend's Advice

DEAR ABBY: "Melody" has been my best friend since we were in the fourth grade. (We're now in our 30s.) Over the past few years, Melody's life has changed. She separated from her husband, lives alone and shares custody of their three children.

She started dating almost immediately after her separation, going out with almost anyone who showed her a little attention. She's now involved with a man who told her he's bisexual and has never taken her out on a date. (Still, he never hesitates to call and ask her to clean his bathroom or cook him a meal.) She's always crying on my shoulder because she ends up with losers, yet the picture she has on her profile on all the dating sites shows her in a skimpy bikini.

One evening Melody asked me why she can't attract a "decent man." I told her that she needs to love herself before she can be loved. I also mentioned that if she wants to stop attracting sleazy men, she should consider changing her profile picture. She became angry and hasn't spoken to me since.

As a friend I felt it was my responsibility to tell her the truth. I want to help get her life back on track in a positive way. Was I wrong to be honest with her? -- HAD HER BEST INTERESTS AT HEART

DEAR HAD: Your straight answer clearly wasn't what your friend wanted to hear, but you did the right thing by being honest with her. In light of the length of your friendship, call and offer her an apology "if I hurt your feelings." Let's hope that once she cools off, she'll appreciate that you said something important. Because of the way she's advertising herself on her profile, it's little wonder the men she's attracting are looking for nothing more than two headlights and a tan. Yipes!