Dear Annie: I am a 30-year-old woman who is trying to find my perfect match. I have tried all the dating websites and it doesn't seem to work. I've been into older men all my life, and I want to date an older man. However, no matter what I do, it doesn't seem to work out. I put myself on dating websites with my photos, but the men just don't come. No one is interested in me that I'm interested in.
I love country music, and I love all things Disney; most of all I'm a huge Alan Jackson fan. I love myself for who I am and would like someone else in my life who does the same. But when I put myself out there and start talking to people, they don't accept me for who I am.
My family is pushing me to find myself a man so that I can start a family of my own. What can I do? How can I get somebody to notice me? -- Kathy with a K
Dear Kathy: It's one thing to have a type; it's another to have tunnel vision. Your preoccupation with finding an older man might be preventing you from meeting the right man.
Also, shared tastes and interests are a plus, not a must. After all, a relationship can't be built on a mutual love of Alan Jackson. What matters in a partner is just what you said: that he accepts you for who you are.
So discard all your preconceived notions. Reset the filters on your dating profiles. Widen the scope of your social life with new hobbies and activities in your community. Be willing to go out with a man who might not seem quite your type. It doesn't have to be a big commitment: Just meet him for coffee; that way, if you aren't feeling it, the whole ordeal can be over in 30 minutes.
Dear Annie: I recently learned that February is National Heart Month. As someone who has lost multiple family members to heart disease, I wanted to share some facts about heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, courtesy of the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control.
- Cardiovascular is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and the world, causing 17.8 million deaths in 2017.
- More people die of cardiovascular disease each year than all forms of cancer.
- Risk factors for cardiovascular disease include obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
The good news is that around 80% of heart disease is preventable. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains has been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease (and in some cases even a reversal of existing heart disease). I encourage people to read Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" for more information on that, and to talk with their doctors about next steps if they think they might be at risk for heart disease. -- Heartbroken
Dear Heartbroken: Thank you for the information, which is all too relevant. I encourage readers to talk to their doctors as well and to visit heart.org for more information on cardiovascular disease in its various forms.