Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have a date with a certain somebody for my graduation, and he thinks we are just best friends. What he doesn't know is I have been in love with him for months. He thinks because he isn't a hot-looking guy, and I am a good-looking girl, that he's not in my league. He is so in my league. He means so much more to me than just a grad date. He's the one I want to spend that night with, and forever, maybe.
How do I tell him? Should I just lean in and kiss him on the lips? Should I wait and make the big move on him grad night? Should I let him know right now how I feel? My biggest fear: What if he gets scared and backs off, thinking I'm using him to have some fun? I broke off with my last boyfriend months ago. Neither me nor my special friend would want to lose the deep friendship we have. I think he really likes me, too, in that special way, but he has never said so. I don't want to wreck anything before grad, but I am ready now. Please help me! -- Hiding Secret Love, Winnipeg
Dear Secret: Sometimes you take a chance on losing, or gaining, big time. Here's a possible scenario: Make a move to kiss him, but preface it with, "Things have been changing and my feelings for you are growing deeper, and now I want to do this," and then you kiss him. (You never ask someone if you can kiss them as it gets really awkward.) And don't make it a peck for a friend -- knock his socks off just before you're departing to go somewhere.
Then he has time to think about it. He may need 12 to 24 hours to "get it." Then you'll probably get a text saying, "Did you mean that?' And your reply should be something like, "Yes, so let's go out for a pizza tonight." You're suggesting a date-like situation, outside the house. Kiss him again when you first see him and hold his hand while you walk. This is not about jumping into something really sexual. This guy is very important and he deserves your respect and time to get used to this change.
If he rejects the relationship idea, at least you know where you don't stand. It's usually better to know. If you can't bear to know, then you'll just have to wait until graduation night.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have never responded to any advice column before, but His Affair Makes Things Better at Home headline really hit home with me. There are so many similarities to the last four years of my 20-year marriage. I, too, thought that if my husband's affair helped our home life settle down, and encouraged him to go to work regularly, that I could deal with it. I only worked part time, had nowhere to go and no money to help me get out with my adolescent children. You offered excellent advice for So Mixed Up in Transcona to get a full-time job and tuck away some savings.
I also would advise her to get out of there ASAP before it escalates to domestic violence (if it hasn't already) and affects the mental and physical health of her and her children. Three years later, we are all still in family counselling. Every day is now a financial struggle, but it is so much better than the life we had. -- Recognize That Problem, Winnipeg
Dear Recognize: Although you don't say it clearly, it sounds like you got out of your marriage after it escalated to domestic violence. Putting up with an affair requires a certain amount of apathy toward the partner since the relationship feels cold -- and it also requires having a non-violent mate.
If a cheating partner has become violent, it is best to get out and get help from a crisis shelter, family, friends and/or social services and food banks -- anything it takes to get into a safe situation.
That difficult putting-up-with-it period should also involve getting enough work and savings ready, researching a place to live, budgeting to feed, shelter and clothe your children. One reader told me she stayed two years to get trained as a nurse then left with the children once she had a job, but that is an extreme amount of time to stay. If a person is without dependants, it is sometimes possible to leave immediately because of an affair, but with children in the mix, you need to make a plan first.
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