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!
DEAR ABBY: When I was 25 I placed a baby girl for adoption. I made a decision I thought was best for her and for me. I am 50 now and still believe I made the right decision.
Last year she searched for and found me. I answered all her questions and eventually met with her and her parents. By all accounts she has a wonderful family and had a great childhood. We have stayed in touch through email.
She wanted to meet my family, but I put her off for months. Eventually I gave in, and she met some of my siblings and their families. She and her "cousins" get along well and stay in touch through Facebook or other social sites.
Abby, I feel nothing toward this girl. There is no maternal attachment. I did my job as a good mother and made sure she had the home I could not give her. If I never see her again it wouldn't bother me.
I have looked online for other women who feel as I do, but all I find are women in constant pain and sorrow over a child they gave up. I can't be the only woman who feels this way. I'm not looking for a way to change my feelings. I just need to know I'm not a cold-hearted freak. -- FINE WITH MY DECISION
DEAR FINE: You are not a cold-hearted freak. You're a woman who never bonded with her baby. Please stop beating yourself up for not feeling something for a person who is a virtual stranger. When I hear from other women who read this letter and who feel as you do -- please notice I didn't say "if" I hear from them -- I will share their thoughts with you. You have not been able to find a group online because they are not looking for support from others.
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