Desperation Is Not Appealing

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 is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.