DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: After being in a dating slump, I met someone. We hit it off. I'm in my mid-30s and she's in her late 20s. Though I was unsure about her hasty approach to dating (she'd excitedly contact me almost every day), I started to embrace the enthusiasm. On a romantic road trip with dinner, lots of holding and affection, I finally emotionally invested myself. The next afternoon she came over to my place for the first time and inquires about a unique piece of furniture I have. As it turns out, she'd bought this exact piece for her ex-husband, whom she left 18 months ago after questioning his sexual orientation. Worse, when describing who I purchased it from, I told her the seller seemed gay and might have been flirting with me. The next day she told me she wouldn't be able to get past the weird coincidence, the fact her ex might have flirted with me and that she's broken where men are concerned. I've given her about a month. Is it worth giving her more time? P.S. I rid myself of the furniture piece the very next day, and she knows. -- Furniture Ended New Relationship, Winnipeg
Dear Furniture: The situation was spooky. She was only 18 months out of a marriage that fell apart over her husband's sexual orientation. The flirtation with you made it crystal clear and too close to her new life. She won't be back, so let it go. This relationship misfired. She's been gone for a whole month now, so it's time to redirect yourself. What you can take from this is the knowledge the kind of woman you'd like has her best points, minus the baggage. There's no one to blame, not even the furniture.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Last year I bought my wife a beautiful coat for her birthday. Today I saw it at the top of a bag destined for Value Village. That coat was very expensive and she said she absolutely loved it, and made a big fuss about it. She obviously lied to not hurt my feelings and was going to sneak the coat out of the house. I grabbed the coat and hid it in our storage locker. Neither of us has said anything, but the garbage bag for charity has disappeared. My feelings are really hurt and I'm embarrassed that she obviously hated it. What should I do? -- Hurt Husband, age 27
Dear Hurt: You have to talk about it. Just say "I saw the coat I gave you on the top of the Value Village bag. Why were you giving it away?" Then wait for an answer. She needs to tell you as much as you need to hear the reason. These are the kinds of things that come between people and decrease intimacy of every kind. So get it out in the open. She may have liked it but it never fit right, or maybe it got stained, or it's too hot and makes her sweat, or it's a colour she never liked. It is far better to know the reason than to wonder. You will probably not choose her clothes for her again, but at least she will be able to speak of her regrets for hurting you and you can make up. As for the expensive coat, maybe you have a friend or relative who might enjoy it.
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