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OCCASIONAL HOOKUPS KEEP FLAME ALIVE FOR 10 YEARS

DEAR ABBY: I have known "Justin" for 10 years. I'm very interested in him. I'm sure he knows it, but we have never talked about it. Once in a blue moon we "hook up," and I'm usually the one to set the date up.

We're friends on social media, but weeks -- even months -- can pass without our speaking to each other. Justin and I have no mutual friends, so I can't "accidentally" bump into him at gatherings or anything like that.

I honestly don't mind hooking up with him because he's the only one I do that with. But it does hurt when I don't hear from him afterward. What should I do? It's obvious I'm head over heels for him -- he can't be that blind! -- PLAIN JANE IN STOCKTON, CALIF.

DEAR JANE: If Justin was interested in more than an occasional hookup, he'd be the one calling you, and it wouldn't be once in a blue moon. Ten years is long enough to chase an emotionally unavailable man. If this was meant to be, it would have already happened, and you'd be more than friends on social media.


DEAR ABBY: I'll be 30 soon. My friends and I have drifted apart because we're all in different stages of our lives. Some of us still frequent the bar scene, others have gotten married or dropped off the radar. My closest friend is so wrapped up in "mommy blogs" and all things "baby" that she's no longer able to discuss much else.

I don't have children, and I'm tired of going to bars. I'm in a happy, committed relationship, but neither of us wants to focus on marriage for a few years. How do people connect with others at this stage of the game? -- FRIENDLESS IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR FRIENDLESS: One way is to expand your interests. You and your boyfriend should join groups and meet people with whom you'll have some things in common. If you're interested in politics, the next two years should give you plenty of opportunity to meet new people. Volunteering is another way to expand your circle of acquaintances. While you won't make dear friends overnight -- friendships usually take a while to grow -- the more people you meet, the greater your chances will be of developing meaningful relationships.


DEAR ABBY: I am a 20-year-old college student who is a virgin. I think this is the time to date people and get a better understanding of who I am and what I like in men. When I tell guys I'm a virgin, they don't want to talk to me anymore. When is the best time to bring it up, and how do I do that in conversation? -- DIAMOND IN THE EAST

DEAR DIAMOND: You may be jumping the gun and announcing your status prematurely. The subject of one's virginity -- or lack thereof -- is relevant at the time when there's a reason to anticipate there will be intimacy in a couple's relationship.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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