DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have reached the end of the rosy stage with my man and am starting to see his faults. It started happening right after he told me what his wife didn't like about him. He wanted me to say it didn't matter if he drank and gambled too much, but all my danger sensors went off. I realized we had spent a lot of time at casinos, playing VLTs and all of our dinners and dates involved drinking. He never gets drunk, but I know he drinks before he comes to pick me up. That's not good. How do I tell him the bloom is off the rose now that he's been honest enough to point out his bad habits? -- Losing Interest Fast, Tuxedo
Dear Losing Interest: It's time to warn him you're more like his wife than he thought -- his taste in women is holding true. Tell him you will nag him to quit drinking and gambling now you know about his vices. Say it would be best to part as friends than to head any further down this path to destruction. He may finally see that he's the common denominator in his relationship failures with women, or he may be glad to get the warning and hike off to the nearest bar to look for someone who shares his troublesome habits.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Something rotten lives inside my boyfriend's body. He often smells like the swamp creature! He has the most unusual, strangest-smelling gas problem. I realize it's not his fault -- something is seriously wrong. He's been to his doctor, who passed it off, so I asked him to go for a one-off consult with another doctor to get a second opinion, but he said this would be "disloyal" to his family doctor who has looked after his family for years. Last night we had a big fight about it because he had cramps again and fouled the air so badly after dinner it was unreal. I told him I had to leave and go home. What can I do? I think he is sick. I love him but... Hate His Gas, Fort Garry
Dear Hate His Gas: Ultimately we are in charge of getting help for our own bodies. Your boyfriend is stuck in the old idea that doctors had case loads that were small and familiar to them as people. But today's doctor, no doubt, has a large practice and his feelings are not going to be hurt -- he may never know -- and anyway, that's not the point.
Your guy needs real help. He can make a one-time consultation appointment with a doctor of his choice on his own. If that doesn't appeal to him, maybe he'd agree to see your doctor or a doctor at a walk-in clinic. You might also ask if you can accompany him to see his own doctor again and go with him to help explain what's going on and how seriously different this smell is. Ask your boyfriend to ask his doc for a referral to a specialist. It's harder to be passed off if he asks for what he wants specifically.
And nothing works? You don't say how old your boyfriend is, but you could always squeal on him to his mother, who might be willing to apply some pressure to get things rolling.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: In response to the letters on spitting, I'm old enough to remember when there used to be signs posted on Portage Avenue warning of a fine (I think it was $50) for spitting on the sidewalk. My father told me that the reason for the bylaw was the long skirts women used to wear. When I took a job in Edmonton in 1982, one of the first things I noticed was the sputum on the sidewalks. I even wrote home to tell people how Albertans spat on the sidewalk and how disgusting it was. I was taught never to spit in public anywhere and believe that's a good rule. -- Senior's Memory, Winnipeg
Dear Memory: Thanks for sharing that memory from a time when public spitting was just coming to an end.
Still, there are a lot of people who feel like spitting in the winter when there are a lot of colds and they may be coughing up mucous. If they need to get rid of it, and don't just want to swallow it like most people do, doctors advise spitting in a Kleenex and flushing it instead of "hawking" and spreading germs around.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I drove to the United States for a weekend to meet a lady I met online and we had a weird experience. We went out for dinners, sat by the fire and talked a lot, but she never made a move that told me she would have welcomed cuddling, light sex play or even making love. At the end of the weekend, I asked her why she didn't, and she said, "Well, shouldn't we get to know each other a little better before we get into that stuff?" I drove home feeling cold and unhappy about the whole thing. Is there any point in trying any further? Her most enthusiastic kiss was her kiss goodbye. -- Barely Touched Each Other, Brandon
Dear Barely Touched: When two online sweethearts meet in person for the first time there's usually a sexual connection, or not, particularly for women. She obviously didn't feel it. Did you? Frankly, it doesn't sound like either of your were very turned on by each other. There's probably no point in going back. In fact, you may find she's just as willing to taper things off as you are, beyond a few notes to be polite.
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