DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 17, in Grade 12, and would like to be madly in love with somebody nice, but all boys want to do is be friends with benefits. How can you engage your heart when all guys want to do is have no-strings sex? I have a girlfriend who has two friends with benefits, but can't even say she has one boyfriend. I don't want to be like that. I have a date for grad, but he's not my boyfriend. Don't any guys want to date anymore? My mom talks about going out on dates when she was in high school and having real boyfriends but I can't find anybody who wants to have a relationship. I am said to be pretty and I'm a great student. I can only imagine university will be worse. What can I do? -- Old-Fashioned and Alone, Winnipeg
Dear Old-Fashioned: You can start by being honest and open about your feelings with people. There are lots of guys who are shy who also want what you want. They would not be so bold as to ask for a friends-with-benefits deal which seems to suit guys rather than girls, though a portion of my readers who are your age tell me they are into casual sex, too. The deeper guys come from backgrounds where asking for sex without a relationship isn't done. Lots of them don't have girlfriends right now either, or sex buddies, nor do they feel comfortable going to nightclubs and grinding (dirty dancing). It's a good way to get beaten up by an irate boyfriend in the parking lot. Some people may tease you for not being cool but a lot more will take note that you're about having a real relationship and looking for love. That helps the right guy to make a move. Basically, you say to the world: "This is really who I am."
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I met a woman on the weekend who knocked my socks off. She was everything I want in a woman and more. I asked her out and she said, "Maybe." What the hell does that mean? I asked her to explain. She said "I'm going to check you out first. I do that with anyone I'm considering seeing." So what does she mean by that -- online detective services? Maybe ask friends? Criminal check of some kind? I have nothing to hide but I feel insulted she's doing a check on me before she even agrees to have dinner with me. I'm in my 30s, single, no kids, no criminal activity and I work as a teacher. How bad can I be? What do you think of this? -- Insulted, Winnipeg
Dear Insulted: If she phones you, say you're sorry but you did some checking on her and you're not interested anymore. Clearly she has some heavy baggage and a need to control. If you had just gotten out of jail, this would all make sense. Maybe she has something in her past and has reason to be worried about men. Or, maybe she likes putting guys down. Whatever, this has gotten off to a sour start and doesn't warrant dinner.