Dear Abby: What’s wrong with me? I’m 30 and have never had a romantic relationship

There used to be men who wanted only sex, and now there’s nobody at all.

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DEAR ABBY: For years, I’ve heard about what and where a woman “should” be in her life once she turns the big 3-0. She should have a thriving career, be married with kids — or at least engaged — and have a full sense of her worth and knowledge.

I recently turned the big 3-0, but my cards aren’t all stacked that way. I have never had a romantic relationship. Most of the men I wanted to start one with only wanted sex with me, and a relationship with someone else. As I entered my late 20s, I began rejecting men who showed signs of wanting only a sexual relationship, and now I seem to have no takers at all. The fact that I have gained weight hasn’t helped, either.

It’s not like once I meet a guy the first thing I say is, “Hey, I want a meaningful relationship.” I’m beginning to worry that something is wrong with me. What should I do? — THIRTY BUT NOT FLIRTY

DEAR THIRTY: There is nothing wrong with you, just as there is nothing wrong with getting to know someone before embarking on a physical relationship. (In fact, I recommend it.) However, to eliminate a man because you think he “only” is interested in having sex with you was jumping the gun.

I wish you had mentioned WHERE you were meeting men. You may have better luck if you figure out what interests you have in common with the men you meet, and develop relationships based on them. And, because you suspect the weight you have gained may have something to do with your problem, resolve to become involved in physical activities that will get you out of the house and into an environment where you’ll not only get some exercise, but also meet some eligible prospects.

DEAR ABBY: I’ve been married to my husband, “Asher,” for 20 years, and during our marriage, I have always been the person who plans and throws birthday parties, including his. I gave him a large surprise party for his 40th birthday.

Abby, this whole time, nobody has thrown me a party or planned a celebration centered on me. I’m lucky to get a last-minute, store-bought cake and a dinner out on my birthday. Our 50th birthdays are coming up in a few months, and friends and family are asking what I’m planning for him, but nobody says anything about mine.

I resent that these people, including Asher, take me for granted, and I’m considering digging in my heels on party planning this time around. I have told Asher that maybe it’s about time somebody planned ME a party, but he doesn’t seem to get it. Have you any advice for me? I like a nice celebration, but I’m tired of being the one doing all the work without reciprocation. — PARTY GIRL IN THE SOUTH

DEAR PARTY GIRL: While you can’t control how other people behave, there is nothing wrong with enlisting some “help” in your planning. Express your feelings (again) to your self-involved husband and also to the friends and relatives who have enjoyed your hospitality for so long without reciprocating. Plan the party for Asher, and if your birthday is again ignored, plan something special you might like with your closest friends — preferably, out of town — and follow through. I think you are entitled, don’t you?

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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