DEAR ABBY: I'm a 29-year-old female and still a virgin. This decision is mostly based on my religious beliefs, but also because I haven't met the right guy. I have been struggling with this for several years because it seems my religious views and that of society are at odds. Rather than feel proud of my virginity, I feel ashamed.
At this point, I'm worried that if I tell a guy I'm a virgin, I'll be rejected. Throughout my teens and 20s, I believed that waiting for Mr. Right was the best route for me. Now that I'm older, it has become a constant weight on my shoulders. Our society places so much emphasis on sex. At 29, it seems I have failed in some way.
I met a guy recently and we both expressed that we had feelings for each other. I later found out that he had a girlfriend and two small children. I haven't seen him again, but I can't stop thinking about him. I thought he was a nice guy, but I feel so disappointed.
I'm concerned about my future. I'm afraid I won't meet the right guy and that I'll make a bad decision with the wrong guy. Any advice or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. -- WAITING IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR WAITING: All single people face the dilemma you are facing at one point or another. Too often, they make painful mistakes that they later regret. You, however, dodged a bullet. Virginity is a gift that can be given only once. Rather than feel disappointed, be glad you didn't waste it on a man who is already in a relationship and has two children to support.
You say you are religious. If that's true, have enough faith to believe you will meet the "right guy" at the right time. You might benefit by talking to your spiritual adviser about how to find a life partner whose values mirror your own. If that's not possible, some sessions with a psychologist may help you to regain confidence in your judgment.
DEAR ABBY: Several members of our family, when they come to our home for a visit, immediately take over the seating in the living room and begin to knit, crochet, etc. It's annoying and off-putting. It makes me feel excluded.
When it's just family, I put aside my feelings and focus on other family members. However, we recently hosted a gathering that included neighbors and friends. Those relatives sat in a little huddle, in the middle of the room, talking only among themselves. I was embarrassed. Several people commented to me about the "sewing circle."
I had hoped that since this wasn't just a family gathering, they would have had enough manners to leave their needles at home and socialize with the other guests. I'm so mad I'm on the verge of no longer inviting them, but I don't really want to do that. Any suggestions? -- FUMING IN NEW ENGLAND
DEAR FUMING: I agree that the "sewing circle's" behavior was rude. Your relatives should have made the effort to mingle and converse with the other guests, if only for a little while. If you haven't told them how their behavior reflected on them, you should. At least they would then understand why they may no longer be invited when you entertain.
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