DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a woman in my late 20s, and most of my friends are getting married and starting their lives. Meanwhile, I am still single, and it seems that no significant other is in sight! I always envisioned myself being married by now, so I feel a little disappointed. It's hard seeing my friends getting married and having a lifetime partner when I feel so alone. Furthermore, I'm scared that I'm going to feel even more isolated because the married couples will only socialize with one another and forget about me. How do I enjoy this period in my friends' lives and move forward with them while also moving forward at my own pace? -- Moving Behind, New York City
DEAR MOVING BEHIND: Life cycles do not always happen at the same pace for everyone in a group. And it can be incredibly difficult when one feels like a late bloomer. You are wise to understand that your relationship dynamics may change a bit as your friends marry. This does not mean that you will lose your friends. It does mean that you should expand your social parameters. Figure out interests you have that require you to be in social settings. Go to places where men go, men who like the same kinds of things that you like. This is important because if you don't put yourself out there, you will not be in the company of potential suitors.
Give yourself time to discover your interests as an adult. Do your best not to envy your friends. Instead, share in their joy as you also spread your wings and enjoy your life as it is. What's amazing is that often when people relax into themselves, they attract exactly who and what they need in their lives.