Nikki Gemmell eloquently evokes the profound pain of being passed over by a potential marriage partner (“The day my life broke”, 24-25/7). Decades ago I dumped a boyfriend who had proposed to go it alone in a foreign country with few friends and no family support. My journey helped engender the resilience to become my own woman. May more women appreciate that developing a strong sense of self and pursuing one’s aspirations without a man can be more rewarding, and even more significant, than dreaming about the fairytale fantasy of happy-ever-after.