DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I told my sister she has ugly yellow teeth and now she won't smile at anybody. Well, it's true. Somebody needed to tell her so she would go get them bleached, and she is going to do it now. I did her a favour. They are yellow as butter. My mother tells me my stupid sister is really hurt and says she hates me, and that I have always had a mean streak in me! She said it was about time somebody told ME some home truths about my looks, too. My sister and I are in our 40s and live with my mother who is 72. We have never been married because we are fat. I hate living here, but I would die of loneliness if I moved out. -- Better Looking Than Her, North Kildonan
Dear Better Looking: You need to apologize to your sister since you all live under the same roof. It won't make the situation 100 per cent better, but it will help. There are ways to tell people things they need to know about themselves and their looks, but they have to be said very carefully. You're not careful enough. Next time you have a criticism about your sister, take it to your mother, and let her tell your sister in a kinder way than you would.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend moved. I thought we both had a mutual understanding that it was going to be more of a temporary fling before he left. It took me by surprise when I started to develop strong feelings for him. In almost every relationship I have a pattern of distancing myself when things start getting serious. Then I end things with little or no explanation. It's happening again. He came to visit last week, and little things that he does that didn't bother me are now major turnoffs. We only had sex once. and I wasn't into it. By the time he left, I wasn't disappointed he was leaving. I know he's the most kind-hearted, genuine man. He treats me better than any guy ever has and he makes me laugh. I have lost the attraction to him, but he's very much in love with me. I want to end things badly, but can't find the words or courage to explain. How do I break this off without breaking his heart and ruining what could be a great friendship? -- The Heartbreaker, Wpg
Dear Heartbreaker: Forget that idea! You don't get to be "friends" with this guy who is in love with you, Yes, it'd be a big ego stroking for you, but torture for him. Maybe you don't need to break up after all. This time you could get some help for your emotional claustrophobia. Here's what happened this time: The distance created by his moving out of town was suddenly comfortable enough for your feelings to grow. But, when he came back to visit, you felt squeezed and became critical in order to push him away. When you're repeating a self-defeating pattern and are stuck, you need professional help. A psychologist would be your best bet. Ask your physician to refer you to someone. You can make your own appointment with a psychologist and your insurance, if you or your workplace have a plan, may pay for part or all of it. It'd be a good investment at this point in your life. No point in staying stuck forever.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6