DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I met a man at the bus stop. He was very nice, and it came out in conversation on the bus that we were both not doing anything important that afternoon. Neither of us asked any embarrassing questions about being single or not, and I asked him if he'd like to get off at my stop and have a coffee with me at the Tim Hortons on my corner. After coffee, I invited him to my nearby apartment to give him a book I'd been talking about. We no sooner got in the apartment than he kissed me up against the dishwasher. I kissed him back hard. It had been three years since I had a lover! Well, one thing led to another and now I have a boyfriend, sort of. He has been back about six or seven times and I still don't know if he's married. Should I ask? -- Don't Want To Lose Him, West End
Dear Don't Want to Lose: If he hasn't mentioned anything about being single, and you have never been asked to his place, there's a chance he has a wife or girlfriend stashed at the other end of the bus line. How many more times do you expect this can happen before you fall for him emotionally and get hurt? It's time you asked him about his situation. You might not like the answer, but you need to know. If he's married, or has a girlfriend, you need to stop seeing him. But, consider this a message from your heart and your body that you need to find a new man. You're ready -- that's what this is telling you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've been unfairly persecuted for a long time by family members about a silly issue of money motivated by their greed. As well as the terrible stress this has caused my partner and me, it has now taken a toll on our sex life. For, me sex has been almost impossible, as I can feel so little joy. For him, it's not so bad but certainly the fun factor is missing. Yet I do not want this bad family situation to win out. We are able, when we go away for a weekend, to regain some fun in sex, but I dread the thought of sex in our own bedroom, which is synonymous with unhappiness. I am afraid of adopting a non-existent sex life. Is there any solution other than time? -- Feeling Joyless, St. Boniface
Dear Joyless: In the short run, it's time for morning sex in the shower, before the dark thoughts can show up. Frequency of sex, even just quickies, tends to keep couples bound together and feeling significantly happier. They don't think their relationship is in trouble, and can separate it from family troubles. You really don't need to have sex in the marriage bed in the same room that makes you start thinking about probkems. In the long run, you might want to surprise your mate by painting even one wall and changing the furniture around so you are catapulted out of the "scene" that depresses you. In the long run, you need to divest yourself of the victim role, and devalue the opinions of people who are being nasty and greedy. With counselling they can matter to you less, and you can replace certain family members (for a time at least ) with strengthened friendships.