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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Who's Single Again Becomes A Social Misfit Following Wife's Death

DEAR ABBY: I am a middle-aged man who lost my wife to cancer 2 1/2 years ago. We had no children.

I'm now feeling very alone. I don't seem to fit in anywhere. My old "guy" friends avoid me, and our married "couple" friends leave me out because I am not a couple anymore. I understand that, because they all do "couple" things. But even my family seems to have set me aside. When my wife was alive, we would be invited to my siblings' homes for dinners during the holidays and other times. Now I often don't even get a phone call.

There are times I feel like I have been cast off by everyone. Please help, Abby. -- LONELY KANSAN

DEAR LONELY KANSAN: I'll try. With most married couples, the wives are the ones who make the social plans. This may be why you aren't hearing from your "couple" friends. Why your family would choose to exclude you at a time when you need them is something I can't explain. But they may tell you if you pick up the phone and talk to them about it.

Because you find you have time on your hands and no prospects, it's time to establish yourself as an eligible single male. Research singles groups in your area. Go online and put your profile on some of the singles sites. Get involved in volunteer activities. Join a dance class, a yoga class, a gym. There are plenty of women out there waiting to be found, but you won't find any of them sitting home waiting for the phone to ring.

Read more in: Death