DEAR HARRIETTE: Growing up, I was considered a beautiful child. I had long brown hair, almond-shaped eyes, a round nose and full lips. I stood 4 feet 11 inches tall in sixth grade, and I was super skinny.
In those days, my friends always had boyfriends. I was a studious nerd. I would constantly talk about real-world issues, and boys my age weren't interested in that. I felt that there was something wrong with me. Any guy who I ever liked slated me as a "sister" or "best friend," when I didn't want that. As a result, I began to take whatever would come my way, because it seemed that nobody wanted me.
At 20 years old, I'm still going through the same problems. I even went as far as dumbing myself down so I can date in my age group. In the end, though, I've realized that's not me. I want to discuss real-world issues, debate and get opinions on things going on around me. How do I stop dumbing myself down? Where do I find "the one" that everyone talks about? How do you know for sure? -- Young and Curious, Memphis
DEAR YOUNG AND CURIOUS: Do not dumb yourself down. That will not make you happy, and it is not sustainable. Instead, think about the public activities that make you happy. Sign up to do those things. Pay attention so that you notice the men who enjoy those things as well. Consider joining an art museum, sports club or social club.
Recognize that your guy may be a little older than you. If you want a date who is interested in talking about "real-world issues," you may be looking for someone who is more mature.