DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Please help me from falling into a deep depression. A few years ago, I found the strength to divorce my husband after years of physical and verbal abuse. I've gotten over it. We're OK now, for the sake of our children and he has a girlfriend so he's not bugging me. Recently I was dumped by a man who turned out to be a commitment phobe and world class liar. but I would still like to find a nice man and have a good relationship. Unfortunately, my divorced and widowed friends have given up and don't want to go out to places where I might meet a man and I'm too shy to go alone. What am I to do, resign myself to being single for the rest of my life? -- On the Verge of Depression, Winnipeg
Dear Verge: You need a new pack of single friends who also want to have fun and find romance. Adventure for Successful Singles (775-3484) is a sports, arts and social activity group for singles of both sexes that will bring you a lot of new single friends. The trick is to join on your own and open yourself to new people. Don't drag along the negative girlfriends who have given up on love! This group does as many as 65 activities a month and goes all summer, too. No one is throwing you together with anyone, though romances happen on their own.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've got advice for Trapped whose sister shunned an annual family birthday party because she, like everyone else, didn't get a formal invitation. And now the mother, who lives with Trapped, is giving her the silent treatment. She should shuttle her mother to her sister's, if she continues not to be polite, civilized and uncompromising and won't speak! I've had problems with my sister all my life, and haven't associated with her the last 10 years. She thinks that life goes a certain way and then applies it to our life. She went behind my back and got power of attorney for my parents and lied for years about it. So much for relatives. We do not need them. -- I Do Not Care, Winnipeg
Dear Do Not Care: If only that could be true for you, but it isn't! You may have given up, but you're still deeply angry and that means you still care. In fact, it hurts a lot when you talk about it. I can hear it, off the page. And who can blame you? Close relatives are not supposed to be mean, kind and dishonest, but some are. You can cut them off but it still hurts. It actually helps you to have a little bit of civil contact, like a Christmas and birthday card. Then it doesn't feel so much like a cold war. Holding that anger in, is hard on you. Being civil reduces the anger level. In the end you're not enemies anymore, though you're not close. That feeling is much more "normal" and won't stress you. Consider doing it for your sake.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Wpg, R2X 3B6, or email firstname.lastname@example.org