DEAR ABBY: I have never had a long-term relationship. My friends and family kept calling me out for it. I tried online dating and setups by friends and family, but nothing worked out. In fact, the constant questions only annoyed me more. With all my friends happily married and settled, I started resenting their intrusion into my life.
A couple of years ago, I decided to take a break from dating because I couldn't handle the stress anymore. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it. I never revealed this to my friends. After a few years of silence, my "well-wishers" began commenting again on my single status, and it annoys me to no end. I have started staying away from them.
Is there any way I can convince everyone that I am a normal straight male who just likes to be left alone? I enjoy get-togethers, as long as the topic of my singlehood doesn't become the joke of the day. Please advise. -- PRETTY COOL DUDE IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR PRETTY COOL DUDE: Talk to some of your close friends and tell them you are happy being single. Tell them their comments about your single status and being made to feel like the "joke of the day" isn't funny to you -- it's embarrassing. Tell them, just as you told me, that if it doesn't stop, they will be seeing less of you. Friends will be sensitive to your feelings, although occasionally they still may try to fix you up because some people can't resist the urge to matchmake.
P.S. Because all of your friends are married, try to form some new relationships with single people.