DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 24 and a pretty hot-blooded woman. I went to a bar alone during my Christmas mini-holiday and met a guy there. My boyfriend -- my childhood sweetheart -- was out of town for the holidays at his parents' in Toronto and I was lonely. The bar guy invited me to dinner, and the next day we saw a movie together. Now, this is the bad part -- last night we snuck out for drinks again even though my boyfriend is home now. I can't seem to leave the new guy alone. We've never consummated the sexual thing, but each time we necked for hours in his car. I really want him in the worst way. My boyfriend is a good enough lover, but I am so used to his moves. He is totally predictable. Does this mean I should break up with my boyfriend, or should I just go to bed with this guy, get it over with and find out he's no good in the sack then go back to my boyfriend and maybe marry him one day? -- Undecided "Cheater," St. Vital
Dear Undecided: You need to break up with your long-term boyfriend because this sneaky little affair is not fair to him. How would you feel if he were sneaking off to see another woman and necking for hours with her? If you 100 per cent wanted to marry your boyfriend, you would have gone to a movie with a girlfriend instead of off to a bar, whose lone-wolf inhabitants are generally male. Tell your boyfriend you're unsure of your feelings about permanency with him and need to be single again for a time, as you haven't dated anyone else since you met him years ago. He will probably tell you the door is closed for good once you go, but that is a chance you have to take.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in response to Almost at the End, St. Vital, whose girlfriend has a large and growing number of pets. There are warning signs of animal hoarding here. The want or need to keep "an insane zoo family" is not psychologically healthy. My family has three dogs and two cats and it takes a ton of daily work and dedication for three adults to clean, train, exercise and provide daily care and socialization for all of them, as well as keep a clean home. Potential problems? Financial resources for proper food and vet bills, juggling vacation plans and weekend getaways can be taxing on a dedicated family. This guy is being sexually manipulated into her hoarding needs. It will be the animals that suffer, perhaps not physically, but emotionally and socially. It is not possible for two people to take proper care of such a myriad of species. -- Tell Her To Get Help! Winnipeg
Dear Tell Her: You're right! So consider her told by you and me that she should talk to a counsellor or a shrink about her growing need to add more and more animals to the menagerie. It's breaking up her human relationship and is not fair to the critters in her care.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org