DEAR ABBY: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm either "too independent," "too outspoken" or "not girly enough."
I don't want to change myself or pretend to be someone I'm not. One minute they like that I'm independent and can fend for myself; the next they don't like that I don't depend on them to pay bills, etc.
Why is it always a double standard? Men like strong women until they are with one. Then they can't handle it. Maybe I'm too much for the men where I live. Is it possible for me to find someone? -- INDEPENDENT FEMALE IN LOUISIANA
DEAR INDEPENDENT FEMALE: Welcome to the wonderful world of dating. While some may think of dating as a popularity contest, it's really more like sifting for a gold nugget. It takes a lot of people years to strike gold -- and it's the same with dating. Is it possible to find someone? Absolutely! But it takes time, stamina and a sense of humor to survive the process.