DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm a young male in my mid-20s, no family problems, good job, decent-looking and in school. But, I haven't been in a stable relationship for the last five years. I know this is the time to enjoy being "young, wild and free" but really, what's wrong with me? All my good friends have managed to have healthy long-term relationships and I feel like the third wheel. I've been on dates and been seen with women here and there. Now I feel it's time to find my one and only. I've tried the local coffee shops, bars, pubs and nightclubs, even online dating. As much I enjoy being the nice, funny, outgoing guy, I'm hurting badly inside. I must admit. I was unfaithful in a previous relationship and frankly I lost the love of my life. My head got too big, and as it turned out, there was no greener grass on the other side of the fence. I've learned my lesson. Please help! -- Nice Guy In Last, Wpg.
Dear Last: Most Canadian men are getting married closer to 30 these days, so you're not behind, although your friends seem to be getting serious earlier. Consider giving off signals that you're settling down -- like buying a house or duplex, or a cottage. Mention to your friends and their girlfriends you want to get married and have kids and give them permission to help. Women like nothing more than permission to matchmake, but you need to promise you will take any blind date friend-of-theirs out on a real dinner date, not just a hit-and-run coffee, and you'll be a fun companion. You'll also leave your cell phone in the car, the ultimate compliment in these days of no manners at the table.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I married the third love of my life when I was 30, and now, to my horror, the fourth love of my life has come along, and I'm legally bound to someone else. Before my marriage, I would have said a sad good-bye, and gone off to the new man. Mine were all overlaps. But, I have money and feelings and friendship bound up in this marriage and don't know what to do. I always said I would run when love called me. I do love my husband (and the two old loves before him) but this fourth one is something else. He says he will wait for me to extricate myself. Is there something wrong with my heart? -- Torn Two Ways, Wpg
Dear Torn: "Possible" loves will continue to come to you all your life, if you are looking good and looking around. You might as well get yourself single and stay single now, before there are kids. Your only other choice is to change your belief system. Let's try. Think of the world as a room full of great partners -- hundreds of them. With each one will go through a stage -- infatuation, recognition of problems, small to great disillusionment, then acceptance of reality and happiness, or the desire to leave. You got to happiness with your last love and made him your husband. This new guy and you could go through all the stages and arrive at the same place, or else the desire to get away! You need to decide if you want to make your marriage and investment where you add so many good things into the equation -- sharing travel, making a real home, having children -- things you couldn't begin to get with a sexy new partner for a very long time. Don't want to invest and build? Then you need to be single, and have high octane end-to-end relationships as before.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org