Going on holidays without your friends, a single mum beset by financial woes and a happy singleton
This makes me sound pathetic but, having just turned 30 and reached a good place with life and work, I find myself facing into another summer where I have no one to go on holidays with.
Pretty much all of my friends are in relationships - lots of them are even married with children, but I remain resolutely single.
This will be my third summer in a row wondering what to do with my hard-earned time off. I kind of fobbed it the last two years as I had just bought my first home, so I used the time to do some DIY, but although I talked it up, I was left feeling like a bit of a loser.
I do have an older sister, but we're not close and there isn't much of an extended family to speak of. I am very close to my pals, but realistically, who wants to be a third wheel?
Through a lot of my 20s, it was just a given that there was always a gang of us who would be up for a two-week break somewhere sunny, but now, I am the one left behind.
I go on dates from time to time and I have hobbies, but nothing that has presented me with an opportunity for a holiday with like-minded people.
A: I'm sorry to hear that you're in this situation, as your friends have all moved onto husbands and kids, while you just aren't at that stage yet.
There's nothing wrong with you wanting to be single or happier to focus on career, but as you have discovered, it makes your social life and holiday time a little bit lonelier.
If I was in your situation, I would have a chat with a few of your close friends to see if anyone would be interested in leaving the kids and husbands at home and going on a girlie holiday, even if it's a long weekend somewhere.
A lot of the time, people are very interested in the idea, but it's the organisation that takes the time. Perhaps you could offer to check out deals on flights and hotels, and be the main organiser for the trip. It would be a great chance for you to connect with your friends again, even if it's not the fortnight break that you would have done in the past.
Q: I'm completely broke and can barely make ends meet - I formulated a financial plan to help me just about make do and it was working, but since getting a credit card, it has all gone to pot.
I have a three-year-old daughter and I'm on my own - I work full-time and my family help with child minding, but it's just so hard. Initially, I just used the card for end of month essentials and paid it off right away, but about a year ago I was feeling really low and splashed out on some fancy shoes I really liked.
The buzz I got was so good as I hadn't treated myself in ages so a few weeks later, I did the same. But now it's out of control and I owe somewhere in the region of €4,000 and have absolutely no hope of ever paying it.
A: You're clearly in a tricky situation, which is not going to end well if your unnecessary spending continues the way it's going.
The little buzz of excitement that you get from buying expensive clothes and shoes must be channelled into something a lot more productive and far less damaging to your wallet.
So my advice would be to find a way to distract yourself each time you feel the desire to shop, like going out for a walk or ringing a friend. But even more important is your credit card bill, which can't be ignored.
You need to act like an adult, face this problem. Seek some help and advice from a close friend or family member.
Take it day by day and work through your expenses, weeding out the necessary and absolutely unnecessary ones and begin to focus on saving as much as possible.
Q: I'm in my late 30s and I'm pretty sick of well-meaning relatives and friends trying to set me up with some woman.
I work hard but I do have a social life and hobbies - all of which come with lots of opportunity to meet women - but I have never fallen in love and that's what I am waiting for.
I think these things happen when they happen but, in the meantime, I am getting sick of being constantly set up. Then there's the not so well-meaning gossip that I might be gay. If I was, I would be open about it, but I'm not - I'm just a single guy waiting to meet the right woman.
How can I get them all to back off without seeming too over the top?
I can understand their desire to help you, but it must be pretty annoying when the focus is on your single status at every family gathering, birthday or celebration.
While they do mean well, it's not fair to put so much pressure on you.
You can't exactly speed up the rate at which you meet the woman of your dreams, although I would encourage you to be very much open to meeting new people and going to different places to widen your social circle.
The next time you're in this situation, politely but firmly tell them that you appreciate the gesture but you're very happy to take your time and meet the right woman when she comes along.
Make sure they know that you appreciate their concern, but you know what you're looking for and would prefer if everybody relaxed and focused on their own lives.