Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!)
When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm either "too independent," "too outspoken" or "not girly enough."
I don't want to change myself or pretend to be someone I'm not. One minute they like that I'm independent and can fend for myself; the next they don't like that I don't depend on them to pay bills, etc.
Why is it always a double standard? Men like strong women until they are with one. Then they can't handle it. Maybe I'm too much for the men where I live. Is it possible for me to find someone? – Independent Female in Louisiana
Dear Independent Female: Welcome to the wonderful world of dating. While some may think of dating as a popularity contest, it's really more like sifting for a gold nugget. It takes a lot of people years to strike gold – and it's the same with dating. Is it possible to find someone? Absolutely! But it takes time, stamina and a sense of humor to survive the process.
Dear Abby: I had a baby girl a month ago and I live with my in-laws. My husband isn't here right now because of his job.
They are great and very helpful, but I never have any private time with my daughter.
Every time she cries, my sisters-in-law pick her up. When she wants to sleep, they always take her away from me to put her to sleep. Even when I breastfeed, they are always in the room with me.
I can't seem to tell them no or ask them to get out of the room. I mean, they are very helpful, and they are leaving in a month for another country, so I understand they want to be with her as much as they can. However, I would still like some time alone with my daughter. Advice? – New At This in Houston
Dear New At This: As a mother, it's up to you to assert yourself and do what is right for your baby. Find the courage to tell your in-laws that you are grateful for their assistance but want privacy when you nurse the baby. It is important that your daughter bond with YOU, and if your sisters-in-law are always tending to her needs, it may be more difficult for you when they leave. I'm sure your pediatrician would back you up.
Dear Abby: Would it be OK for an 80-year-old man to take a 50-year-old woman to supper? We often talk together at church. – Lou in Wisconsin
Dear Lou: Only if she says yes.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.