DEAR ABBY: Although I agree with you that "'Dee'-Voted Friend in D.C." (Dec. 26) needs to stop lying to her friend and building up false hopes, I think you missed the mark with the rest of your advice.

Believe me, Dee knows she's overweight and that it's negatively affecting her social life. She's just not ready to deal with it.

"Dee-Voted" didn't indicate that Dee has even asked for her advice or help, so maybe she should consider her own motivation. Does she really just want to help her friend, or does she want Dee to conform to her standards?

Abby, friendship is acceptance. If she's truly a friend, "Dee-Voted" will simply enjoy Dee and remain supportive until that special guy who can appreciate her comes along. Believe me, he's out there.

"" G.D. IN BOZEMAN, MONT.

DEAR G.D.: You make a valid point. Although most of those who responded disagreed with my advice to "Dee-Voted," I feel it is important to address the issue of the health risks &

heart disease, diabetes, stroke, joint pain &

related to people who are overweight or obese. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: As a chubby person myself, I'm sick and tired of the myth that extra pounds mean you can't find love. I have never been a thin person, but I've rarely been a single person.

I firmly believe that there is a shoe for every foot, and finding that shoe has more to do with having confidence and being true to yourself than being thin. I have known many women who have lost 50 pounds or more only to find the problem wasn't their appearance. It was something much deeper in their personalities.

If Dee is striking out with the men in her life, my advice is to look in a different social circle for a date. If the men she's aiming for can't see past her size, I'm not sure why she'd want to be with them anyway.

"" CHUBBY AND LOVED, ALEXANDRIA, VA.

DEAR ABBY: Do you think Dee isn't aware she's overweight? I'm a lot like her, only I'm 100 pounds overweight.

Dee should drop this "friend." Nobody needs friends who are condescending or pity them. Instead of trying to find a man in a bar or restaurant, where appearance is all that is considered, she should try other avenues.

There's plenty of love for everybody, and chances are it's not only her weight that's keeping the right men away. For me, it was the chip on my shoulder &

the belief that I wasn't good enough because I was fat. Once I made peace with that, I've had them ...

"" KNOCKING DOWN MY DOOR IN MICHIGAN

Dear Abby is written by , also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.