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Publication: Dear Abby
Dad's Date Disappear When They Hear Of Troubled Daughter

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            ABBY - June 2, 2008 
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ABBY: I am a 54-year-old divorced father of one daughter. 
I'm fit, look good for my age and earn a good income as a 
consultant. I'm not rich, but I own a condo and have a 
sizable retirement fund.

I have a strong desire to remarry, but I have some 
"baggage." My daughter, "Danielle," is bipolar. She has
done nothing since graduating from high school last year 
but get into trouble. Danielle has been arrested for drugs 
and stealing, and hangs out with a rough crowd. My ex-wife 
does not have the inner strength to throw her out, which 
would probably be the best thing for her. This is out of 
my control, but still, women I date lose interest in me 
when they learn about my daughter.

I hate to lie, but I think I may have to start when we 
trade information about our children. Theirs are often 
very accomplished, so the contrast is terrible. Should I 
make up some half-truths until the time is right to tell 
the whole story? I'll follow your recommendation. 

EMBARRASSED: Your daughter suffers from a mental illness. 
She belongs in treatment, not on the streets. That your 
ex-wife hasn't thrown her out isn't a reflection of weak-
ness, but a measure of her strength of character.

You and your ex could both benefit from joining a support 
group -- and I have one for you. It's the Depression and 
Bipolar Support Alliance. Since it was founded in 1986, 
it has grown to more than 1,000 support groups nationwide, 
and offers advice and online information for persons with 
depressive and manic-depressive illness and their families. 
To find a chapter near you, call toll-free (800) 826-3632 
or visit its Web site: http://www.dbsalliance.org.

Under no circumstances should you concoct any "half-truths" 
in an attempt to cover up your situation. A woman who would 
write you off because you have a sick child doesn't sound 
like much of a catch. And any woman with a head on her 
shoulders would resent having been misled. 

I don't know where you're finding the women you've been 
seeing, but I recommend you fish in other dating pools. In 
a support group you might meet someone with whom you have 
much in common.

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ABBY: I live in Chicago and commute to and from work each 
day on the El train, which is typically crowded. There are
never enough seats to go around. What surprises me is the 
lack of thoughtfulness that men show when it comes to
seating. It's extremely rare for a man to offer a seat to 
a lady. In fact, I have watched men race past women to grab 
seats. Just the other day, there was a very pregnant woman 
on the train and not a single person offered her a seat.

I'm not trying to portray females as the needy, weaker sex, 
but some chivalry would be nice. In this age of equal rights, 
am I outdated in my thinking? 

NEEDS A SEAT: I don't think so, but there are those who 
would argue with us. With more people using public 
transportation because of increased fuel prices, seats are 
at a premium. One would hope that the commuters would 
practice good manners, but if a man didn't offer a pregnant 
woman his seat during the commute, I would offer her mine
rather than force her to stand on swollen feet and ankles.

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

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