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Dear Abby: I’m not sure how you can help me, but I’d appreciate some input. I’m in my 50s and retired from the military. As a young man, I was so shy I couldn’t speak to girls.

I joined the military early and came out of my shell, but the demands of military life made it hard for me to meet or date anyone. Most of my adult life in the service has been spent taking care of soldiers’ emotional, financial and professional needs so they could do their jobs.

I can’t seem to convince women to date me. They say I “have no relationship history” so I don’t know how to compromise or share. I can change my wardrobe, I can lose some weight, but I can’t change my “history.”

What on earth do I say or do to convince women (both online and offline) to take a chance with me? I just want a chance to meet a special someone. Please help me.

– Frustrated in Texas

Dear Frustrated: You are the second longtime bachelor who has asked me this question in the last several weeks! I don’t know what pop psychologist came up with the thesis that never-married men are to be avoided. If anything, your letter shows how dangerous it is to make blanket generalizations.

A man like you has much to offer. You are stable, have no bitter ex-wives who will interfere in a relationship, no children who are still trying to “find” themselves or tell you they hate your lady friends, and no alimony. I assume you are financially secure, and after a life in the military, have taken care of yourself physically.

Perhaps you should mention this to the next woman who tells you she doesn’t want to date you because you have no “history.” You should not hesitate to post your single status on your profile. Intelligent women will want to meet you, get to know you, and be willing to help you create a history together. And those women who aren’t willing aren’t worth your time.

Got milk?

Dear Abby: What is the proper way to dispose of leftover milk in your cereal bowl? To dump it out is wasteful, to spoon it up like soup seems a bit much, and to drink it right from the bowl seems rather catlike.

Does the answer differ if you are in your own kitchen vs. a restaurant or other residence?

Got Milk in San Francisco

Dear Got Milk: If you’re in a restaurant, you should not lap liquid from the bowl. If you’re at home – anything goes. And if you have so much milk left in your bowl after the cereal has been consumed, you are pouring too much in and need to adjust the amount.

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.