DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I met a gorgeous guy in a cowboy hat at the races and we spent a lot of time kibbitzing around and going to see the horses together and betting, and having lots of laughs. At the end of the evening, I thought he'd ask to see me again, but he didn't. As he turned to walk to his vehicle, I said, "Hey, you're walking away. I'd like to see you again!" and he said, "Well, the only place I could see you is here because I'm engaged." My jaw dropped. I asked, "Why were you flirting with me then? " He said "I couldn't help it. You're so pretty." I asked where his fianc©e was, and he said, "At work. She's a nurse." I asked how she felt about his going alone to the horses and he said, "She hates it because I have a problem with it." I walked away feeling very sad. Why did he play me like that? -- Feeling Tricked, St. James
Dear Tricked: He didn't really play you, aside from chatting and having a laugh. He wasn't asking you out. You asked him out, remember? And then he told you the truth -- the whole truth. Granted, he was willing to sneak and see you at the racetrack. But luckily, you know this is a nowhere situation. So honour your feelings. Allow yourself to feel the sadness, even cry a few tears, then shrug it off after a few hours and let it pass. You were so lovely you tempted him! That should at least be a nice ego stroke. P.S. Don't go back to the races looking for him. He let you know he's often there, and that could be trouble.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've been with my boyfriend for almost three years. I am 21 now. The beginning was fantastic, exciting. I was head-over-heels for this boy who called me beautiful, wonderful and promised everything he had to offer. Fast-forward three years, and we live together, have a dog, and are going through the hardships of being young in a big world. We fight daily and he can be cruel verbally, so fights escalate until I'm fuming and need space. He's beyond jealous! He thinks we're a couple and I don't really need my own life. I'm 21 and I watch my friends go out and have a good time and travel. I also see those same friends mope about the last "acquaintance" that got them in the sack and then headed out the door. Do I stick it out in a relationship that sometimes seems lifeless and forced, or head out into the unknown? My boyfriend has good intentions, but our sex life doesn't sizzle, and respect is dwindling. Do I give it my all for six months, or send him packing with the dog, and say ciao while I tour Europe? -- Confused, Crazy, and Tired.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I vote for Europe. You are not headed towards marriage with a relationship as poor as this, so why waste six more months? There is nothing worse than an unsexy, disrespectful relationship that feels like jail. If you were going to give this a percentage rating, would it even be a 50? Sounds like a badly failing mark to me, yet you hint you might stay, rather than risk the unknown. You don't even have security, girlfriend. This guy's possessiveness and verbal abuse could easily lead to pushing and hitting. By all means, get yourself single and maybe go to Europe with friends. But, while you're single, wherever you are, protect yourself from the disillusionment of one-night stands by holding out for romance.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6