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Ask Ellie: There's so much more to life than marriage at 35

Advice: At 35, you have years ahead, and no need to rush them. There’ll be new friends and potential partners to meet. Take your time.

Dear Ellie: My birthday is soon and I’m dreading it. I’ll be 35, still single, a loser. My last boyfriend said to me when we broke up after a year of living together, “You’ll never get married because you’re too old.”

I get it, and it makes me feel hopeless. Even my closest friend said I shouldn’t go out with her that night as I’ll just end up crying when I go home because I’m living with my mother again since my breakup.

My mom’s my greatest supporter. While raising me and my brother after her divorce, she got a job that she excelled at that gave her huge satisfaction.

By comparison, I feel like I haven’t achieved anything much.

I’ve always worked, always done well, but never in just one job with a career path. I have very good skills as a part-time fitness trainer and teaching basic technology to older people struggling with it.

My one satisfaction with myself is that whenever I work with people, they show great improvements and appreciation.

But it doesn’t give me a whole and happy life at an age when I should be settled with a partner.

Have you got any advice that can get me there?

Hopeless at 35

You’re so much more than you realize. Age concerns are irrelevant in your current and future life, since 35 is a common turning point.

You can go anywhere on your own and pursue any interest that takes you to meet new people. You can take courses in anything that interests you, hike with an outdoors group, etc.

Age 35 isn’t diminishing your future. It’s your own self-image that’s turned on you. Plus, an ex-boyfriend who tried to shame you. The good news is that he’s gone.

You have years ahead, and no need to rush them. There’ll be new friends and potential partners to meet. Take time to learn about them and discover who they are at their core.

At 35, it’s time to celebrate yourself!

Dear Ellie: I’m a senior, losing friends who’ve died or moved away. One woman living nearby became a friend, though we had little in common. She now has partner number three, which reflects her personality. She frequently tells others what they should be doing.

She has other good qualities, but since becoming a senior she’s also become a user. She only calls when she wants a ride somewhere. She’s never offered to pay for gas.

Recently, I got COVID-19. I was fully immunized, so didn’t get acutely ill. I stayed home until I tested negative. My husband and son had both had COVID earlier. My husband attended a COVID clinic due to other health issues, but the physician there declined to prescribe antivirals for him. I didn’t see a doctor. I have a degree in nursing and decades of experience, but I called Telehealth where a nurse agreed that I should continue to stay home.

I emailed my friend revealing I had COVID. She didn’t read the email. I hadn’t been in contact with her but my husband had been before I tested positive. When told, she launched into a tirade. I told her to call Telehealth. She hung up on me. She still hasn’t apologized.

I don’t need people like this in my life, though she didn’t always behave like this.

Feeling Sad

Blame COVID, fear, and her personality quirks. She’s a long acquaintance, not a consistent, caring friend.

Most seniors face new pressures but adjust where possible. Others, like her, fight age, people, and circumstances. Step back a while.

FEEDBACK Regarding the woman approached at a dinner party by a male stranger seeking a hookup with her (Dec. 26):

Reader – “Yes, tell your husband but also inform the party’s host why you left abruptly. This man was vulgar and profane toward you and you had every right to say so.

“We women must learn to stand up for ourselves at the moment of such behaviour and not care about the fallout. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but to confront someone means that you’ll draw attention, which should happen when someone’s being vulgar.

“Whether by our nature or how we were raised, women seem conditioned to hide occurrences like this in social circumstances and not rock the boat, i.e., the social event then taking place.

“Going to the host of any event is what women should do with such a rude encounter. Explain the situation that occurred, and leave.”

Ellie’s tip of the day

Don’t measure yourself by anyone else’s concept of your present and future. Live your dreams, and love yourself at any age.

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