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Single woman wonders why she picks the wrong men

DEAR AMY: I'm a single, childless woman in my early 30s who seems to always attract the wrong men, and I keep wondering how to break this pattern. I have an advanced degree, a good job and am financially secure. I keep meeting men who appear to have it all together. Before I know it -- it is revealed that they do not. Oftentimes they live with relatives, they are hung up on an ex-wife or girlfriend, they are often financially irresponsible, and/or have serious emotional issues. As an optimist I tend to believe it will work out in the end. It never does. I am almost always the one who gets dumped. My latest boyfriend of one year broke up with me (via a text message) and has already moved on to another woman. He said I was moving too fast for him, but I thought I was being exceptionally understanding of his situation. I keep wondering how I am single and how this man, a broke divorcee with multiple children, has found a relationship already and I can barely make a connection. Any words of advice for moving on and finding a suitable boyfriend?

Looking

DEAR LOOKING: The vital component of dating a loser -- the whipped cream on the relationship sundae, as it were -- is to stick with him until he dumps you.

I can't alter the percentage of single guys your age who have done time, live with their moms, don't actually have jobs or are hung up on their exes. These guys will always be out there, ready and waiting for you to pick up the check.

The biggest challenge for natural optimists is the perpetual surprise when things don't work out.

The trick is to run your own life so well that when your dating life isn't great, you still have the rest of your life -- your work, friends, creative interests, personal connections and passions. You still win, because you get to be with you -- and you are enough.

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