The Hamilton Spectator

I’m 35 and single. Is it all just hopeless?


Q 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 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

A 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.

Being 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 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!

Q 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 No. 3, 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 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

A 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.

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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