April 12, 2024
Now I'm unexpectedly unmarried and alone in a strange city.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a 30-year-old single woman who just moved to Washington, D.C., for a work opportunity. I previously lived in Minnesota, which is where I grew up and where all of my friends, family and newly ex-boyfriend live.

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I feel as if I am starting to move backward in my personal life because I thought I would be married by now and ended up breaking up with my boyfriend of three years because he didn’t want to move or make a long-distance relationship work.

I don’t know anyone in Washington, D.C., and I’m nervous to leave everyone I know behind and start a new life. I don’t know how I will be able to make friends as an adult in a new city. I’m scared to live somewhere if I don’t have a support system, and I’m starting to regret my choice.

Do you think this move is a rash decision that will end up being an extremely isolating experience?

— Questioning My Move

DEAR QUESTIONING MY MOVE: Moving far away from home and loved ones can be difficult. Yet you have chosen a dynamic city that has an active social scene. You just have to put yourself out there.

First, get settled in your job. Meet people there and establish bonds with them. Assess your personal interests and look for opportunities to explore them in your new town. Keep your eyes open for people who share those interests. Consistently put yourself out there. You will not meet your dream partner if you stay at home.

Go to work. Go to dinner. Go to social functions. Set an intention to meet new people and get to know them. Decide to invite at least one person each month to have coffee or lunch or drinks. Schedule in time to explore your new city and get to know people. That’s how it will happen.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have one friend who is a perpetual naysayer. No matter what I say to her, she has a negative response.

Literally whatever I suggest, she rejects, even as only moments later she reintroduces the idea as her own. It is so frustrating.

She and I used to be close, but this new behavior is washing away whatever closeness there once was.

How can I get her to stop? I don’t want to hang out with her if it’s guaranteed to be a bad experience.

— Friend Reject

DEAR FRIEND REJECT: Stop your friend and ask her why she is so negative.

Ask her what’s going on in her life, if something has changed that has soured her view on life. Start with compassion and see what she says.

If she brushes you off, point out to her a few concrete examples of what you mean. Describe to her when she last rejected your thoughts only to claim them as her own moments later. Show her how hypocritical she can be and how rude.

Ask her why she is choosing to be so unkind to you. Implore her to stop. If she doesn’t, consider stepping away from that friendship. You deserve to be honored by your loved ones, not criticized.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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