DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm dating a guy who acts like a girl. The other day he yelled out the door when I was off to catch my bus, "You're leaving without giving me a hug or a kiss? I thought you said you'd never withhold love from me." I wanted to cry and choke him at the same time. Withhold love? Are you kidding me? I was grumpy that morning, and told him I was going to miss my bus and I had to go. I guess he didn't hear me, and jumped to the conclusion I was suddenly treating him like crap. Upsetting, but also infuriating. It makes me wonder what our life would look like 10 years from now. My boyfriend is the sensitive type. However big, strong and manly he is, when it comes to me, he crumbles almost instantly. We are this power couple, that gets along, jokes around, has great sex and even speaks to one another in love language. Until of course, I'm grumpy. It doesn't happen often, but when it does he takes it personally, like he has done something wrong -- and then he wants to fix me. He can't detach and calm down and wants explanations for everything. I tried to explain that people need chill-out time. I know it's hard for him to accept, because he'd have to look inward for strength or someone he trusts, and right now he doesn't have either besides a therapist, who may not hear details he leaves out. I'd have been fine 10, maybe 30 minutes later, calling to say, "Sorry I was grumpy. I wish I woke up earlier so I wasn't in a rush. It's my fault." But his actions made me lose respect for him and turned me off. -- Losing Respect, Winnipeg
Dear Losing Respect: There's not a whole lot you can do about his sensitivity except warn him he has to get on a grip on the extremes of it through his therapy, and you will leave before you'll let him suffocate you with his neediness. Men leave women for this very thing, in legions, but they generally don't warn the woman. They just make excuses and leave. Telling a woman she is "too sensitive" doesn't even make sense to most women who think of sensitivity as a positive, but there is such a thing and both sexes need to be aware of it. This letter of yours is as much a lesson for the women reading it as it is for the men. Taking everything personally and making the whole relationship about how YOU are feeling happens far too often with women because society thinks it's OK to be a sensitive female. People often need a little space, to save a big upset down the line. In your case the whiny-ness and insecurity is turning you off this man. Warn him today!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I hate working with my desk mate who is always chasing booty on the computer, even though I told him the IT people are going to catch him and fire his butt out the door. He says he's specifically writing for the single IT woman who might see his stuff because he thinks she's interested in him. Huh? He thinks everyone is interested in him even though he's 350 pounds. I don't think he's ever had a real girlfriend except for cyberbabes online. I hate sitting besides this slimy guy, but I'm slightly scared of him. If I tell on him and get him fired, he might do something weird. What do you think? -- Disgusted But Scared, St. Boniface
Dear Disgusted: Sneakiness is sometimes warranted. If your spidey senses are activated and you're worried about this guy, don't make it about him, but quietly pick out where you want to sit. Ask that you be moved way from your current desk location because you could work much more productively in a different spot. Something is "stuffing your nose up" in the old spot. You don't have to say he's the irritant. That way you're getting away from him without his knowing you have "rejected' him. Put Kleenex on your desk and start blowing your nose and wiping your eyes. "I must be allergic to something right here, but I don't feel it wayyy over there" is your refrain for the next few weeks before requesting the move.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6