DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I am madly in like-and-lust with a "friend" in my apartment block and I am looking after his cat that is so fat he looks like a bowling ball. He thinks I'm just a friend, who doesn't have designs on him, so he tells me everything about his life. Right now, he's away with his buddies. He is single -- very single. Me, too!
This week I wrestled with the idea of making a mess of the friendship and possibly making it uncomfortable in the block by going after him when he comes home. I think he'd go for it because he tells me he hasn't had sex in seven months. He says he strikes out with pretty girls like me because he's too much of a nice guy. I'd like to show him what a not-nice girl like me would do with a nice guy like him! What do you think? -- Anxious to Hear, West End
Dear West End: Why does it have to be a case of jumping him because he's sex-starved? Then you short out the wiring for a new relationship with this nice guy. Take it slower, if you actually want him as a boyfriend, and you might both win. But, if you just want to try him on for size, don't do it because his sexuality could be attached to his heart. The emotions of a nice guy still work normally. Nice guys should not be toyed with in this world where there's a shortage.
But if you actually have honourable intentions, here's a plan: When he comes home and gets his kitty back, kiss him on the cheek close to the ear, and whisper, "So glad to you see you back!' Let him sit on that for 24 hours. Then ask him to go to a movie if he hasn't made a move himself -- be affectionate that night too, but take it slow. Go for a walk under the summer sky. Kiss in a park. Sit on the swings together. Do things to remember. Please write back and tell us know how it goes. Inquiring minds want to know.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I haven't seen my mother's boyfriend for two weeks and she seems devastated. I don't want to sympathize because I can't stand the guy, and hope he and his big mouth are gone. I can't stand to see my mother with a tear-stained face, but do not want to be the ear that hears the details of their problems. Please help. -- Coolish Daughter, Westwood
Dear Coolish: She doesn't expect your help, which is why she hasn't said anything. That is the role for her girlfriends or sisters or best male buddy. She's sad and it would be nice if you said something as you were going out the door like, "I'm sad that you're sad. I love you. Bye Mom," and then give her a quick hug. You don't have to invite her to spill the details. Just be kind and sweet, which is all we adults should want from kids in these modern situations.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm a single mother and my oldest is 13, just like the girl of concern in your column recently who babysits while her single mom has two jobs. My three children stay at home while I'm at work. Their birth father is not in the picture. Every day there's a list of chores my children must complete, homework, as well as other duties. My children have a sense of responsibility and maturity their friends usually don't have, so there are some benefits. I've seen the criticism of the birth father by Father Of One and reference to using birth control. Trust me, this is not how I've planned my life and often feel incredible guilt. To compensate for that and to let my kids be kids, most of my downtime is spent with them. We single parents struggle to put food on the table and try to sluff off people looking down their noses. My kids and I have a very open, honest and loving relationship. Before anyone can criticize anyone, please look at the whole picture. -- Loving Motherhood, Winnipeg
Dear Loving Motherhood: It's the burden on the eldest child that has people upset, being a substitute mom before her time. Adult children coming from large families also report they did much of the child-rearing and they often don't want children of their own to raise once they finally leave home and attain independence and leisure time. You are trying to give your kids your down time when you're not at work. Make sure your oldest child gets as much free time as possible then to see her friends, even though you may want to see her more.
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