Dear Abby: I am a 27-year-old woman who can't seem to find a man to call her own. Every time I search on websites or at gyms, I can't find anyone decent who lives nearby.
I met someone who took me to his house in Wisconsin for the holidays, but I live in Illinois. Ever since I slept with him (on the fifth date), he has come here less often — and when he does, it's never just to see me. He also texts less often than he did and has hinted that I should see other people here in town and keep him as a backup.
I'm desperate to find someone who will be there for me. I want to be married before my 30th birthday. I have tried everything, but all the decent men nowadays are already taken or not serious about forming a relationship. Hope you can help. — CAN'T FIND A MAN
Dear Can't: Your problem may be your desperation. When people are desperate, their anxiety can drive people away. The idea that you must be married by the time you are 30 is setting an artificial — and possibly unrealistic — goal for yourself.
It may be time to stop looking and begin concentrating on building a satisfying life for yourself without help from a partner. Once you accomplish that, you may find that both men and women find you more attractive to be around. I can't guarantee that it will help you to find a husband, but even if you don't, you will have a happier life. Not everyone needs to be married.
Dear Abby: I have twin grandsons. One is kind, mannerly and thoughtful. The other is rude, ungrateful and has a chip on his shoulder.
Every Christmas and birthday, my husband and I are generous with our gifts to them. One grandson thanks us, while the other does not even acknowledge the gift. I no longer want to continue giving the rude twin gifts, but I don't know if this is the way to deal with the problem. They will be 18 on their next birthday.
My daughter has never corrected the problem, and I know she will accuse me of favoring the kind twin. What to do? — GRAN IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Dear Gran: If it were me, I'd give the grateful twin gifts worth the usual amount of money and the ungrateful one a token present. And when your daughter accuses you of favoritism, tell her she's absolutely right and also why you no longer felt inclined to shell out to someone who didn't think your generosity was worth acknowledging. It's the truth.
Dear Abby: I am 53 and constantly worry about the future. Because my husband has had to change jobs for various reasons, we have no money fund for retirement, and it isn't offered at his current job. I worry so much about the future that it's keeping me from enjoying the present. How can I stop worrying like this so I can enjoy the present? — WORRYING TOO MUCH
Dear Worrying: You didn't mention whether you are currently employed. If you aren't, a way to fix your problem might be to start thinking about your own earning capacity and find a job so you can build a retirement fund. It's never too late to start.