Dear Abby:

"Lonely in Georgia," the woman who divorced her cheating spouse eight years ago, wrote that she's miserably lonely. I know how she feels.

I was widowed four years ago, and when I was ready to date, it seemed impossible to find "Miss Right." By a stroke of good fortune, I discovered an online dating service that matched me with people with shared personality traits and interests.

My first date was with a lady with whom I immediately felt comfortable. We have been seeing each other for six months, are engaged, and intend to be married soon. I hope "Lonely" finds this helpful.

"Eureka" in Arizona

Congratulations to you both. Very few people are lucky enough to strike platinum on the first try. I wish you every happiness. Read on:

Dear Abby:

I was divorced at 44, and decided to finally do something I'd always wanted to try: country-western dancing. I went not knowing anyone. When a gentleman asked me to dance, he didn't mind that I was a novice. He led me through the basics. He also mentioned free lessons offered by the establishment, and I decided to go. I soon got to know the regulars (even experienced dancers took lessons). Eventually, I met the man who would become my husband. We have been married three years, and I have never been happier.

Happily Partnered Again

I have often said that if you want to meet new people, get involved in a new activity. My longtime personal assistant, Olivia, also met the man of her dreams, Richard, while square dancing -- and I agree that it can be fertile territory for romance.

Dear Abby:

I, too, divorced a cheating spouse. "Lonely" should consider talking to a therapist to help her regain her self-esteem. After I did it, I focused on attending events and functions where I could meet the kind of man I was interested in. I chose museum and gallery exhibitions and the theater, and went with girlfriends. I met a wonderful man at a group for over-35 singles. "Lonely" should get out and enjoy herself. I'm sure she'll find the person she's looking for.

Been Through It in Georgia

No one ever met anyone by sitting at home and brooding. The most important thing is to put yourself out there.

Dear Abby:

My engagement went sour, an abusive relationship followed, and so did many disappointing dates. I decided to stop looking for a man and focus on things in life that truly made me happy. I began substitute teaching and mentoring high school students. It was then that the man of my dreams walked into my life. We married a year ago and are having the time of our lives. Please tell "Lonely" not to give up. Men are attracted to women who are happy and self-fulfilled.

Married and Still Getting Offers

Right you are! As my mother often used to say, "Happiness is the best cosmetic." And so is a positive outlook. Read on:

Dear Abby:

I was divorced for 16 years before I met Mr. Right four years ago. All it took was living and enjoying what I had instead of worrying about what I was missing. Most men and women over the age of 40 recognize the signs of someone "on the hunt." It is a huge turnoff.

Happy in Fallon, Nev.

I agree. And that is why I advise people to involve themselves in activities where they can improve their community. There are many ways to do it -- work for their political party, as a hospital volunteer, Habitat for Humanity. Even if they don't fall in love, they can make some wonderful friends and make a difference.

(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate