I’m 27, female and lonely. No matter what I do, I just don’t get the attention of men.
I don’t think I’m ugly, but I don’t believe that I’m attractive; I’m just a common woman who’d like to form a family at some point. Sometimes it feels as if that time isn’t coming. What am I doing wrong?
Lift yourself up. Start with what’s inside you emotionally – spend time with the people you care about, and do things together that you enjoy.
Give your image a boost with simple feel-goods – anything from a fresh haircut to a new lipstick is a step towards seeing yourself differently.
Define yourself as an individual with your own value, not woman-in-waiting for a man. Go to movies you want to see, and join local events for the fun or learning they offer, not just to meet guys.
Take up an activity (even a walking group) for the physical benefit of feel-good endorphins as fitness.
I’ve taken this positive “lift-yourself” approach because, at 27, it’s not unusual to feel you’re missing the boat as some similar-aged friends are finding partners.
However, if your feelings of loneliness have become a heavy internal burden that’s causing depression, I urge you to see your doctor for a health check, and a counsellor who can help you work on your self-image.
Years ago, my brother married a wonderful woman who had three young children. We raised our children together, worked together and were as close as sisters.
During their ten-year marriage, I saw my brother as a very controlling and emotionally abusive person. It was my (secret) opinion that they should separate, which they finally did.
There was the usual bitterness and “fast ones” on both sides. She didn't play fair financially (according to him), or give her children the permission they needed to visit him (temporarily), and he was hurt.
She said she wanted to protect them from some of the blame he inferred that they had for not reaching out to him right after the divorce while they were rallying around their mother.
He therefore shunned them, even ignoring them in public which was very hurtful to the children who were actually missing him.
My brother now doesn’t want anything to do with me because I kept my relationship going with his ex and her children. His new wife claims I’ve hurt him irreparably.
He rejected invitations to two of my own children's weddings in order to punish me. He also judges me for the very amicable breakdown of my own marriage, which he rightfully blames me for.
I love him but feel he uses emotional blackmail to control everyone else and can never be forgiving or see the big picture.
But... have I wronged him by remaining friendly with his ex? Or is it my responsibility as his sister to leave her too?
It’s NOT a sibling responsibility to give up a dear friend.
You say you “love” your brother, which is generous, but his unforgiving lean toward “emotional blackmail” will always be a problem between you.
Take a step towards him by saying that you do love him and would like to get together with him and his wife.
(Note: he likely also didn’t attend the weddings because he thought his ex might be present).
But be prepared for disappointment, as anyone who wouldn’t acknowledge his own children in public carries some cement in his heart.
Still, reaching out is worth a try.
As my friends and I age/have kids, etc., we don't see each other as often as before.
Yet when I've reached out periodically, some say they're busy. So, I’ve implemented a "three tries and I'm out" standard: If they decline all, I won't make another effort to get together. I don't want to seem needy, persistent, or unable to "take a hint."
But, as a result, there are some I haven't seen or had meaningful contact with, in a few years.
Is this too harsh? I'm unwilling to ask to their face "Do you still want to be friends?"
My Friendship Rule
Rarely with human interactions, is there a “one-rule-fits-all.” Most people with young kids are truly busy, and often settle for texts.
Try being more specific - invite a few friends to meet somewhere: your place, a restaurant, etc., at a post kids’-bedtime-hour like 9pm.
If no one accepts, make some new friends.
Tip of the day:
Do not confuse sibling “love” with respect, when there’s meanness and manipulation involved.