Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I went out on a date with a 32-year-old woman who talked a big line about everything being equal in dating, including who pays. She and I picked a very expensive restaurant on the river for a first romantic date, and I naturally assumed we were splitting the bill.
Well, the bill came out to over $150, with wine and tip, and she made no move to pay her half. Finally, I said to her: "I thought we were splitting this bill since you wanted everything to be equal between us." She said, "Well, aren't you the cheapskate? You asked me!" I paid the bill on my credit card, but I am never going to call her again. Is there a rule about this? -- $150 Lighter, But No Wiser, River Heights
Dear Lighter: The person who does asking on a first date should be "prepared" to pay, but in this case, when the bill is bound to be very high for two people and she's talking equal payment on dates, you must say outright: "Unless we both pitch in, this is a bit pricey for me. If we pick a hot little bistro instead, it can be my treat." If she doesn't like that, too bad! Then you know that even coffee is a waste of time and money with a big talker like this.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: People should tell the victims of affairs! After I left my husband of 20 years, I found out that the majority of people in his social circle -- neighbours and his co-workers -- knew about his affairs. It was one of the most humiliating feelings I've ever experienced. For a long time I was a shell of a person with no self-esteem.
I have managed to find love again with a patient man who is kind, gentle and respectful. There were many times where I almost sabotaged this relationship. I thought I was not good enough, did not deserve his kindness and devotion and, of course, was suspect and paranoid that history would repeat itself.
I wish someone would have had the courage to speak up. Even an anonymous letter to let me know that maybe I wasn't paranoid or crazy. What you see of a happy family isn't always what it seems behind closed doors. A note from a concerned observer may have made a difference to me so I could have planned a little better at the very least, so that leaving wasn't such a struggle. Thank you for listening. -- Healing and Happy
Dear Healing: We've heard from people on this topic for a few weeks, and you make a strong argument for anyone telling if they know, in person or with an anonymous note, but they must know for sure, as did your whole social circle and your neighbours! Winnipeg doesn't need a city full of mailboxes with anonymous notes from people who are only suspicious.
Most people whose mates are having affairs have a suspicion. If they hire a private detective, or even a friend to find out for sure, they can then decide what they want to do. Relying on the cheater or others to "out" the betrayer is most often useless.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6