DEAR ABBY: This letter is in response to "Wants to Be Loved in Pennsylvania," whose fiance refused to set a date because he said she "loved him too much." There is one strong, practical, inescapable truth. Almost NO single man, including her fiance, thinks that marriage is a good idea. He associates it with getting old, becoming settled and being tied down. Almost ALL fiances need a strong jolt to upset their satisfied complacency and to make them realize how important and necessary their woman is to them.
She should make herself unavailable to him. No ultimatums, no blame-placing, no arguments. Just a clear announcement that he obviously has different future goals than she, and that she is immediately separating toward hers. And stick to it! If it's meant to be, he will quickly realize that she is essential to his happiness, and he'll discover (as have millions of other married men) how happy and fulfilling the dreaded marital life really is.
Take it from this 79-year-old married man who faced and made that fortunate decision as a 40-year-old bachelor. Believe me, almost all men need that strong kick in the pants to awaken them to what life is really all about. She should stop kicking herself and direct it where it will do some good. -- JOHN H. STEINEMANN, SAN DIEGO
DEAR JOHN: You may speak for a percentage of men of your generation, but you don't speak for all of them. Many men want to be married -- and they want it more than some women do. That's when they write to me. Readers, something tells me this letter will generate some interesting comments from many of you.