Dear Rosanna: How will i ever find a girlfriend?

This week it's lonely hearts, irresponsible offspring and how to get into the right spirit to face Christmas as a singleton

Rosanna Davison

Dear Rosanna, I'm almost 32, male and I've never had a girlfriend.

I've lived in the country most of my life and have been a bit detached from any good social life. I am content but I just don't get the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing. Why do people go out for a long time? Is it just for the company, or just to keep warm in the winter?

The truth is, I cant find anyone who is fairly normal. Should I move to a bigger city, or just settle for second best? Moving to a bigger city like Dublin is not an option as I have just bought a house and can't rent it. So apart from going on holidays, where else would be a good place to meet single women?

Is speed dating is a good idea? I reckon I would have to be drunk to do that! I would like your opinion.

Rosanna says:

Humans are social beings and are programmed to couple off, both as a response to the chain of chemical reactions felt as love, and to feel a part of a secure team in facing life's challenges. Not to forget, of course, the biological urge to procreate. You are keen to have a relationship, but find it difficult to meet anyone 'normal'. Perhaps as you have never had a girlfriend before, you're setting standards that are too high -- you have no point of comparison.

As moving to the city is unfeasible, I suggest you find ways of meeting women in your area. There are plenty of single people out there looking for love, it's just a matter of finding them!

Do you have any particular interests or hobbies? Look out for classes, clubs and groups to join where you'll meet individuals with shared interests. Tennis clubs, dance classes, cookery courses and drama groups all attract people of both sexes. Begin by making friends and see what may progress.

Consider starting up your own regular get-togethers. A book or movie club could work well -- just make your own flyers and put them up in local shops and church halls.

Speed dating is an option, though I do not recommend being drunk and potentially embarrassing yourself! If you'd feel it would be too much pressure, then a relationship developing organically would probably suit you best.

Whatever happens, don't give up or lose faith. There is someone out there for you. These things just take time.

Dear Rosanna, I am the mother of a 24-year-old daughter who is travelling to London for her second abortion. We have given her everything, including a private education, her first car, and a well-paid job in the family business. Yet she refuses to take responsibility for her actions. She says she was let down by the Pill, but I don't believe her. She has been in debt in the past, and drinks too much. What can I do to make her a more responsible young woman?

Rosanna says:

You have done all in your power to create a comfortable life for your daughter, and you feel let down by her behaviour. That is perfectly logical, but to me there seems to be a deep-rooted problem in your daughter's psyche that goes beyond the material comforts you have provided her and has manifested itself as rebellion, whether it be conscious or subconscious.

With respect, your refusal to believe the Pill let her down and your desire to "make her a more responsible young woman" sounds controlling. You shouldn't be trying to control her life at her age, and it's possible that your attempt to create a daughter in your own ideal image is causing her to behave irrationally. What she needs now is somebody that will support her through a very difficult time, both physically and emotionally, despite whatever disapproval and disappointments you may feel. When she has recovered, speak to her about her past difficulties and your differences. It is vital that your trust in each other returns and, while it will take time, I'm confident that your relationship will benefit.

Dear Rosanna, Can you advise me on how I can face Christmas without a man? All my friends have boyfriends and are talking about what they are going to buy them for Christmas. I'm 19 and feel so lonely.

Rosanna says:

I'm sorry to hear you feel lonely. By the sounds of it, your friends don't realise how you're feeling, but you have the power to alter your own mindset. You're in control of your own happiness. Focus on all the positives in your life; you don't need a man to be happy. Relish the bonuses of being single. You have nobody to answer to, you will save money on Christmas presents and you can kiss whoever you choose underneath the mistletoe! Mention to your friends that you feel left out and that some group nights out would be a great way of including everyone. Their boyfriends could invite a few of their single friends and . . . who knows?