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Ask a Yankee Doodle Dandy: Is 30 Old?

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. To help us wrap up this past patriotic weekend, a person born on the Fourth of July will offer her common sense advice today. You can submit questions here.

Today's Question:

I'm almost 31-years-old and single. I broke up with my boyfriend of three years about two years ago because he cheated on me and I could not live with that any longer. I was scared to be alone, but I hoped to find someone who loved me and stood by me. Well it's been two years and nothing. I actually have been jilted by three guys whom I liked. They all came on strong and then just vanished. I've gone over it a hundred times in my head to see if I was doing anything to drive them away, but came up with nothing. So I don't know why three guys thought I was not worthy of being with. I'm finding it really hard to meet anyone now. I'm feeling disillusioned and my self-esteem has taken a beating for sure.

What's not helping is that I have a 25-year-old co-worker who is also a friend. She does not let one day go without reminding me how young she is and how everything is working out in her life. She is going to school for what she wanted and quitting the job that we work at together. She puts the job down, she puts me down for being 30. I'm just tired of listening to it.

Well between being single and listening to her talk like this, I feel like my life totally sucks. I feel like such a failure for being single still . . . for being at this job . . . for just about everything.

What do I do?

To see what our Yankee Doodle Dandy has to say,


Dear 30-year-old,

No matter how badly you are feeling right now, I feel like I should be directing my advice to your poor co-worker. Why is she so unhappy? She may act like she has it all, but trust me — something is eating away at her and that's why she is picking on you. When a person feels good about herself, she naturally wants to spread happiness. But don't waste your time trying to figure out her problem; just treat her kindly and make excuses to avoid hanging around her.

Now about you. I am sorry that you have had lousy situations with these guys. Obviously men find you date-able, but you have not met the right one. Oh well, you're only 30 years old; you've got so much time ahead of you. There are many women that I know who are in desirable committed relationships with men that they met after they were 35. The secret is: don't be influenced by guys who come on strong. When you meet a man, be sure to be yourself so he knows who you are from the beginning. Develop a relaxed attitude about dating. There is something very attractive about a woman who is slightly disinterested. Concentrate for a few months on being good to yourself. How about a little splurge to compensate for this dating pain? A facial, expensive purse, tickets to an opera?

About your job. If you really don't like it, investigate other opportunities. In this recession, you may want to thank your stars that you have a job, and find ways to grow a little at work. (Do not discuss this with your co-worker.) Every Monday, go into the office with a plan to do something differently, to change a routine. And each week, determine, by your actions and words, to improve the mood of one person at work, in your family, or circle of friends.

A wonderful love is in your future, and then you will experience not only fireworks, but also the lasting glow of a Roman candle.

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