My life is full of religion and education – but no men

At only 27 years old, a high-performing woman fears she is having a midlife crisis: she feels her conservative and Christian beliefs have prevented her from finding love. Mariella Frostrup encourages her to emerge from her chrysalis

The dilemma I think I am having a midlife crisis – at 27. I was brought up in a Victorian girls-only school with nuns, and my parents were extremely conservative. I graduated from university with top honours. A master’s degree with merit and distinction followed. This should make me happy, but I am starting to hate my life because I have no boyfriends. I cannot differentiate between lust, love and crush! I was engaged once to a promiscuous man whom I loved madly. I feel isolated and alienated. Girls reach my age with numerous adventures and I feel that if I had had multiple boyfriends, I would have been happier. I have crushes on almost every man I meet, even my violin tutor who is eight years my junior. Having sex before marriage is against my family and Christian beliefs, but I am dying to live as other girls do.

Mariella replies That’s not a midlife crisis. That’s just growing up, which is an exercise in perpetual evolution if you’re doing it right. Judging by the values you’ve inherited, and had foisted on you, you’ve been an impeccable daughter and have rewarded your parents for their investment in your education.

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Alex Vidal