Virginia Ironside: Next week's dilemma

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Dear Virginia,

I'm now 40, and, apart from falling for a few really dreadful men in the past, have never had a good relationship.

I am stuck in a boring job, and my only interest is in doing a PhD in my spare time. I work all hours. I had a good upbringing, but don't speak to my siblings because I don't get on with them. I have very few friends and am very unhappy. I have been to several counsellors but find them all either Pollyanna-ish or hostile. I only wish I could recapture the passion, joy and enthusiasm I had as a child. Can you help?

Yours sincerely, Karen



What would you advise Karen to do? Email your dilemmas and comments to dilemmas@ independent.co.uk , or go to independent.co.uk/dilemmas . Anyone whose advice is quoted will receive a Belgian Chocolate Selection by Amelie Chocolat ( www.ameliechocolat.co.uk)

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