DEAR ABBY: I'm a single woman who has had a string of unsuccessful relationships. When a man is into me, I'm not into him and vice versa.
I know the problem is mostly mine. I'm very independent. I don't want a man to consume my life -- just be a part of it. It seems like the men I date want to smother me.
My friends tell me that most women enjoy this. I hate it. I need a certain amount of time alone. I am attracted to manly men, but the ones who are attracted to me are either emotionally needy or they take longer to get ready to go anywhere than I do. It's frustrating.
I have met some men who would have been wonderful catches, but I felt nothing. I know friendship is the basis of all relationships, but physical attraction is important to me. A relationship won't work if I can't bring myself to be intimate with the person.
In all my years of dating, I have been in love only twice. Any help would be appreciated. -- LOST IN WASHINGTON STATE
DEAR LOST: I wish I had a magic lamp that would give you what you're looking for in a puff of smoke, but I don't. What I can offer is that you need to continue looking for someone who is as independent as you are, so you can find an attractive man whose needs are similar to yours.
Some couples find the process of dating a smooth and easy one. For others it's complicated, but not impossible. I agree that the basis of strong relationships is friendship and compatibility.