DEAR ABBY: Several of my friends and I were bemoaning our status as single women in our late 20s/early 30s, and discussing an article we had read in The New York Times about how smart women are less likely to get married. We’d all like to find Mr. Wonderful and be married. But if we have to curtail our professional success, financial wherewithal and IQ to do it, how can a person even begin to do such a thing?

I have a feeling you’ll say to be ourselves and it will all work out, but thus far it has NOT worked out, and we’re starting to worry. Personally, I think we’d be better off to take jobs as “administrators” in a large company somewhere and hope for the best.

Help, Abby! What’s the answer for smart, fun women who have their acts together? How can we best poise ourselves to find true love while being true to ourselves? – LOSING FAITH IN FINDING MR. RIGHT

DEAR LOSING FAITH: The truth is, there are no guarantees that ANYONE (male or female) will land a mate. It isn’t easy these days because people are commitment-phobic. And this applies to individuals at all economic and educational levels, not just you at the top. Pairing off is often a matter of luck and timing – being in the right place at the right time.

Eligible members of both sexes can be found in places of common interest – places that are intellectually rewarding, culturally stimulating, athletically challenging or financially advantageous. As to whether you should downgrade your job level in order to appear less “threatening,” I guarantee that if you don’t take financial care of yourselves while you can, you will regret it later. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, you could fool some of the bachelors some of the time, but you couldn’t fool all of them all of the time.

There are worse things than not finding Prince Charming, and one of them is spending your life pretending to be something you’re not. So my advice is to stop reading defeatist newspaper and magazine articles. They’ll only make you desperate, clingy and depressed – and none of those traits is attractive to either sex.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently had a baby. We chose a mature, Christian couple to be our child’s godparents. However, my brother-in-law is infuriated over the fact that he’s not the godparent. He has disowned my husband and wants nothing to do with us.

Behavior such as this in the past is part of the reason he wasn’t chosen. However, I need to know this: Did we have an obligation to choose him as a godparent? How should we handle his immaturity and controlling behavior? – NEEDS TO KNOW IN OHIO

DEAR NEEDS TO KNOW: A godparent can either be a relative or a close friend, and you were not obligated to choose one over the other. Your brother-in-law may be hurt that he wasn’t chosen, but his subsequent behavior has been so childish that it’s apparent you made the right decision. The way to handle his immature and controlling behavior is to forgive him for it, and go on with your lives.

CONFIDENTIAL TO EDWARD PHILLIPS IN MINNEAPOLIS: Happy Birthday, baby brother! I hope you’re enjoying your special day.

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

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