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by Abigail Van Buren

Childless Woman Is Losing Touch With Friends Who Have Kids

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 28-year-old woman with a fantastic job, a wonderful boyfriend and many friends whom I love dearly. I'm the only one without a child.

Maybe I don't understand because I'm not a parent myself, but all my friends can talk about is children. Whereas before, we were interested in each other's lives, I feel like my concerns and accomplishments are being brushed off. An example: I was excited to meet up with a pal to talk about my promotion, but the hour-long dinner was spent mostly teaching her child how to walk between the tables of the restaurant.

I enjoy hearing about my friends and their families, but I feel they are no longer interested in me. Am I expecting too much because we're at different points in our lives, or am I a bad friend? I'm growing resentful, and I don't like it. Any words of wisdom? -- STILL RELEVANT IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR STILL RELEVANT: You and your friends are at different stages of life. When you were in your teens, you and your friends would talk about dating. Then, as you grew older, the conversations revolved around college, jobs and marriage. As people experience the later stages of life, they talk about other things that are going on in their lives -- children, grandkids, aging parents and, finally, their own health concerns.

You'll maintain and enjoy these friendships longer if you understand that. In the meantime, try to set some "adult time only" with your friends.

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