DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My girlfriend has her own house, but since she came to my apartment, she does not want to leave! What should I do? -- Unwilling, Winnipeg
Dear Unwilling: You can't let someone move in, without being asked, so say boldly: "It looks like you're trying to move in and stay with me here as a couple. I am not ready for a living-together situation with you." After this pronouncement, she will either deny she is trying to move in and hastily pack her stuff, or beg for you to let her stay on because you get along so well and she loves you. So why is this really happening? Is it taking you too long to commit, or is she trying to escape home or annoying room-mates? If you have a new relationship and she is just feeling unhappy with her own digs, help her find a better place and move her furniture. But, if she's just frustrated because you won't commit in a big way and a year or so has passed, it's time to speak to her honestly about the relationship. It's not fair to either of you if she's trying to head for the altar and marriage and you just want to fool around.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife is a penny pincher. She's so cheap it kills her to pay for a broken toilet. She resents my buying anything of quality, with my own money. Last week the toilet cracked and she didn't want to get a new one. She told me to Crazy Glue the one we have. I refused as, this toilet could cause a lot of damage in the house if it exploded. We had a major fight where I told her she was crazy and needed help. She refused to go and say being frugal is one of her best traits as a wife. When the plumber came and did the job, she sulked and wouldn't talk to me for 24 hours, nor would she chip in. We have our own accounts but usually split household costs right down the middle. I was mad! If you ask me, she's losing her mind over saving money. She's off to the dollar stores for any small thing she needs, and she waits for summer to get garage sale deals on furniture. She has stacks of money in the bank -- half of every paycheque she ever earned. I'm frugal myself and at first I thought it was cool that she was such a money saver. But now, it's gotten embarrassing and she's obsessed. What to do? -- Reasonably Cheap, Winnipeg
Dear Reasonably Cheap: Since the cheap mentality is born out of fear of not having the necessities of life, you need to talk to your wife about the cushion you both have against that ever happening. She needs to be talked into buying things with value, and keeping the house in good repair. You need a toilet that won't break and cause thousands of extra dollars and you need it properly installed so it doesn't leak. That requires a real plumber, not you or her, with an instruction book in one hand. Your wife's cheapness needs to be softened to frugality. The best way to do that is to talk about assessing the value of spending in different situations, and not just looking for a way out of paying a decent buck for anything.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, R2X 3B6.