Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm a musician with thick black hair down to the middle of my back. That's how my girlfriend likes it. She likes to wear white shirts. Silly girl. I know she works with a guy who has long red hair. How can I miss that detail when I pick her up? She has been dropping his name a lot in conversations about work, about how he teases her and about how she can't stand him.
Today she came in late with her hair in a mess and a top button undone. I plucked two long red hairs off her shirt. I pointed at my own hair and said, "Wrong colour." I expected her to defend herself with an excuse and make me feel like an idiot, and all she said was, "Didn't you see that coming? You treat me like a roommate these days. At least this guy knows I'm alive."
Then she started quietly putting all her stuff into a box and went home to her own place. I guess we're through. I can't feel anything, except that the apartment is suddenly three times as big and very cold. -- Can't Feel My Broken Heart, Downtown
Dear Can't Feel: That red-haired guy may have meant nothing much to her -- at least nothing more than a revenge vehicle. You don't come in the door with your hair a mess, buttons undone and two wrong-coloured hairs on your white shirt unless you want to get caught.
It's cold comfort, but at least you have the words for a new song. Sorry to joke, as the shock will have worn off and you're probably feeling plenty by now. But what are you feeling? She spoke as if you weren't paying any attention to her and there was little or no loving or sexual behaviour going on. Why? Were you tired of her? Was it too much trouble or too threatening to confront her and say, "I'm angry with you," or "I'm bored with us?"
You may want to initiate a conversation with her in person or on the phone to find out what went wrong from her side and from yours. Sometimes people need closure -- to have questions answered and put the relationship to rest. If you don't talk to her, you'll never know.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm lonely for a reason: because I like being alone. I have been married three times and each time I was the one to leave. I felt a huge sigh of relief once all the fighting was over and the settlements were decided because then I could be free again.
I am a generous man. I lost quite a bit with each divorce, but it didn't matter how much smaller the new place was -- it was mine and I could come in, kick off my boots, lock the door and read for four hours if I wanted, or watch TV until I fell asleep. My kids say I'm a recluse and should get help for my head, but I think I finally understand that I'm a person who needs more alone time than most and I absolutely can't stand being "owned." -- Not Crazy, Tuxedo
Dear Not Crazy: You finally know yourself and it's a wise soul who knows his or her real top values. Your top two are not marriage and togetherness; they are privacy and freedom. There's nothing wrong with that if you can stop choosing and hurting love partners who don't share your top values.
You got married three times, so there seems to be a need for a deep relationship and you're not afraid of a legal commitment, but now, finally, you know you must have a separate domain. That means you have to start looking for a partner who is the same way.
More and more partners who have gone through multiple marriages are choosing to live in separate residences with their children there with them until the kids move out, and then the partners discover they still want their own house or apartment after that.
What they don't want is an adult partner sharing the same bed, kitchen, living room and bathroom, except for overnight stays and maybe weekends. Even that can be pushing it for a person like you. It is not wrong; it is just the way you are. When "loners" or "freedom lovers" do get together, they are often very sexual and very loving because they have had the luxury of missing each other.
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