DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: In the last two months since I met her, my girlfriend has hit me a few times on the back and arm. Yesterday, when I got home late and she was waiting on my steps, she walked up and slapped me hard across the face. Without thinking, I slapped her back. She phoned her mother and told her I had abused her. I grabbed the phone and said, "This is the third time your daughter has hit me. This time I returned the favour." Her mother took my side and said her daughter had always been "spoiled and slap-happy." Then my girlfriend started crying. I have never hit a girl before and never want to hit one again, but she admits she hits men "'when they need it" and thought it was OK "because they're so much bigger." She begged me to stay and half-heartedly said she'd get help. I looked at her and just felt disgust wash over me. Now she phones my cell 50 times a day, bawling and begging for another chance. I don't love her anymore. What should I do? -- Not Taking Abuse, Transcona
Dear Not Taking it: Answer the phone and have one last conversation. Tell her you don't love her anymore, and you don't want her back even if she goes for counselling. Let her know your love for her ended totally the day she slapped you across the face. Let her know you will talk to authorities if she keeps harassing you by phone and that you will never take another of her calls. Then make one last call to her mother, who is sympathetic to you, and report what her daughter is doing, and what you have told her, and that you'll go to the police. Block her calls if you have that capability, or get another number. And, it'd also be wise to have a look around whenever you get home to see if she is waiting for you, like on the night she hit you. Spoiled people don't think ordinary rules of society apply to them.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend is looking at skanky online dating sites. We have been together for just over three months and have become very serious, very fast. Needless to say, I was shocked by this discovery. When I confronted him, he made up excuses, and says he just looks around sometimes. He constantly tells me that I'm the love of his life, but I feel like I can't trust him anymore. I also saw a text message from a woman I've never heard of saying, "Hey honey, are we still hanging out tonight?" He told me that this woman was his counsellor. He seems devastated at the prospect of losing me, but I don't think I'll ever be able to trust him again.
Dear Untrusting: Turf this guy. He wants the most expensive thing in the store -- your love -- without paying for it. And, he's a liar, to boot. Counsellors don't say, "Hey honey, are we hanging out?" Look, any liar with skills can pop out the expression "love of my life" if it will get what he wants. You've only been with him three months, and he's already busy scoping out dating sites. He's not going to be your man, so face up to it now before you're in any deeper. Leave him before he leaves you with a disease he got from "looking around." You can do better than this.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6