DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 18 and deeply in love with my girlfriend, but I'm in jail. I have a couple of friends bothering me not to talk to her anymore, because of she's the one who put me and my best friend in this place. She is my first love, and also took my virginity when I was 17. Now I'm a year older and my feelings have grown deeper.
Do you think my friends are just trying to protect me? I've been alone in my cell and have had time to think about her and how she's been treating me, and it hasn't been good. She tells me she's deeply in love, but one friend is telling me she has a boyfriend. What should I do? I find some songs are driving me crazy. -- Doing Time, Manitoba
Dear Time: Jailhouse jealousy is common. There's too much time to think and people do a lot of gossiping. You can't look after your woman sexually when you're inside, and that's a worry. Plus, inmates who don't have a woman on the outside often like to destroy your trust. So, be practical about this woman. Is it better to have her in your life right now, or to be free of her? Do you need contact with her to help you get through your sentence, or will word of her activities on the outside make it worse for you?
Focus on this: You need to keep yourself sane, make plans, get help, get out and get a job so you don't end up in jail again. If you need her, imperfect as she is, and can face the fact that she may see other people, then ask your friends to stop reporting on her. Close to exit time, ask someone you trust, like a brother, to find out if she's seeing anybody seriously. If her behaviour is too much stress right now, drop her.
As for music bringing you down, there's nothing worse than listening to sentimental songs when you're messed up over someone. If possible, avoid popular music you associate with her.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Over the holidays I took several weeks off and became totally addicted to a pile of TV series. It was cold and I stayed home watching all the good shows that are on now and didn't see my friends at all. Between that and online games I've hardly been out of the house for a month, except for groceries and work. I even called in sick to watch soaps two days last week.
My best friend phoned today to see if I'm sick or depressed and asked to meet for drinks. I refused, even though I really wanted to see her, because there were three shows I needed to see that night. I don't have a PVR so I have to watch them when they're on, or that's it. Please help me! I don't want to be a hermit and lose all my friends, but that's what I'm doing. -- Worried TV Addict, River Heights
Dear TV Addict: You're aware of being controlled by the TV, and you could lose your friends and your job. Here are four ways to regain control: 1.) Since you're skipping work, you can't afford to be without a PVR (personal video recorder). Set it to record the shows you'll miss when you're out at work and play and set a time later in the evening, after you've been out socializing or exercising, to watch. Save some shows for a Sunday night and watch a couple with a friend who also likes TV. It's healthier than watching alone. 2.) Read spoilers online about plots of shows you follow, so you know what's coming and aren't so anxious to see them. 3.) Get out and repair the couch-potato body. Ask a friend to join a gym, swim or play racquet sports with you so you have pressure to do it regularly. 4.) See a psychologist to gain insight on what happened and what underlying problems made you susceptible. Your workplace may have group insurance to pay for all or part of it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: How do you get over a crush? I'm single, never married, and a few years away from 40. I met a man who lives near me, back in the fall. We had a few dates, some passionate kisses, but were never intimate. He explained he has a young child and this takes up most of his time. He said he likes me and is interested in dating me, but because of his child does not think dating is possible.
My problem is I occasionally bump into him and when I see him my heart just about explodes and can barely get words out. After a quick "Hi, How are you?" I end the conversation and then think about him for days. I have dated other men since but can't seem to get past this crush, which is unfair to the men I am dating. How do I make the pounding heart and daydreaming end? -- Crushed, Winnipeg
Dear Crushed: He gave you a line. He's not that busy with his child. If he really liked you, he would find enough time in a big hurry. Why would you want to be with a man who doesn't care for you? That's the bottom line. Let's be clear. He is not now, nor will he ever be, romantically interested, even if you managed a great conversation with him. The magic just wasn't there for him: he tried it with you and it didn't work on his end. That doesn't mean you are an unattractive nice person; in fact, he may crave a nasty woman. Who knows? You just aren't what fits. For people who just can't get past a hopeless crush, the book He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo is a must-read. Citing case after case, it can hammer a useless crush out of anyone, and finally set that person free. I'm looking at you!