DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 41 and have a new man in my life. Strangely, my mother, who is 22 years older than I am, has been dropping in to flirt with him. At first I thought I was imagining things, but no, she comes over here all dressed up, with her hair done, makeup on, the whole nine yards. Then she sits herself down, pours "a drinkie" out of my bar for the three of us, and tries to take over my man right in front of my face. This is a shock because she never went after my boyfriends when I was living at home, or my husband when he was still alive. What is wrong with her? Has she lost her mind? How do I get her to stop? Unfortunately she lives down the street, knows his car, and if she sees it, within an hour she'll be over on any excuse. Help me please! -- Mother on the Make Problem, Winnipeg
Dear Mother Problem: Shine a light on what she's doing and ask her why she's hurting you like this. Go to her house for the talk so you can leave when you want. Lay out the issue firmly (no yelling) and tell her this behaviour is over immediately. To get her used to the different mode, see your boyfriend at his place for the next three weeks. Experts say it takes 21 days for most brains to get over the worst of a habit.
When you have it out with mom, tell her you'll invite her back once she's over the crush, but right now you'll be visiting her at her house. Then be sure you do it, even if it's uncomfortable at first. Bring coffee and her favourite baked treats in a clearly marked box so she'll let you in the door. Say nothing about him except, "We are happy." You don't want to lose your mother over this, but you need her to stop trying to poach your boyfriend, or serious harm will come of it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I took a chance and left my new guy in my bed and went to work. When I got home, I noticed somebody had gone through my drawers. At first, I thought he was looking for private papers and stuff, but I noticed my garter belt was forgotten where he left it, in the bedclothes. I am furious! I texted him right away and told him what a creep he was and never to contact me again. All he sent back was, "Sorry, I couldn't help it. You shouldn't have left me there all by myself." Since then he's been calling me every few hours all week begging for another chance and I keep telling him to get lost. I'm dead serious. How do I get rid of him? -- Furious and Frustrated, North End
Dear F &F: Stop engaging with him in any way at all. For him, even a negative response means he's still in the game and you'll one day forgive him. He thinks this big fit you're having is silly, sexy and negotiable, and he's probably quite titillated by discussing the lingerie.
So give him zip, nothing, nada from now on. Block him from your phone and all social media. And don't discuss him with pipelines: friends who will get the conversation back to him. If necessary, report the harassment, but give it a week or so. Most likely, he will give up once he's blocked. It takes guts to talk to someone who rejects you face-to-face and all he's doing is flipping off words from a keypad.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I met a red-haired beauty at New Year's Eve party and we had a few martinis together. She told me she was about ready to leave her husband (who was drunk and singing his head off) and that she really liked me. I don't know if they've split up yet, but I'd sure like to phone the host of the party and find out. I'm single right now, and kind of lonely. Would this be too forward? I don't dare call this lady, although I know her name and where she lives. What do you think? -- Fantasizing About Her, West End
Dear Fantasizing: It has only been a short time since the New Year's Eve party and she was mad at her husband and thinking out loud. Plus, we all know multiple martinis are potent. Bottom line: In marriage break-up time, a few weeks is nothing. People often see accountants and a lawyer before they have it out. These things move very slowly.
Forget about this redhead for the next six months and then check with the hostess of the party. Who knows? The ginger may actually be free. Even then, a newly-separated person is highly unstable for the first while and might be looking for a good time, not a long time. (You might enjoy that, or it might break your heart.) She may also be using the separation to force her husband to be a good boy -- to give up the bottle and patch things up with her.
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