Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I don't like to sleep alone, so I have a bed buddy who comes over and sleeps with me. He's a neighbour's son who has done my yard work the last two years and is a bit too young for me, but we have this unique secret friendship where he and I spoon and sleep together at least once a week. He is 21 and lives in his mom's basement with total freedom to come and go, but they don't know about us. I'm 34 and have my own house.
Last night something happened. We couldn't get to sleep so we turned on a movie on TV. It turned out to be very sexy and we couldn't turn it off. One thing led to another and we ended up making love. It was wonderful. He is the best and most tender and long-lasting lover I've ever experienced, but afterwards he had tears in his eyes. Why? Because he has a girlfriend who lives at her parents' house, and he felt he had cheated on her and would have to confess. I begged him not to, but he insisted. Now I don't know what to do. I feel like a dirty old woman who messed up this sweet man's life. Please help. -- Totally Sorry and Upset, Brandon
Dear Totally Sorry: As long as you two didn't have intercourse, you managed to fool yourselves that you weren't doing anything dishonest with regards to the girlfriend. But, it was a betrayal -- a secret being kept from her when sleeping over wasn't an intimacy she could yet offer. You knew about her before. Why didn't you feel guilty then? Imagine if you were younger, in love with this guy, and in the young woman's position here.
What happened needed to happen. It was past time for both of you to break off this quasi-relationship that was growing more and more intimate. And where were his guilty feelings over his girlfriend before this -- submerged. Both of you must take some responsibility now. You were knowingly borrowing another woman's young boyfriend as a cuddling and sleeping buddy. He was knowingly sneaking to another woman's bed. You chose not to turn off that sexy movie because you were curious to see what effect it would have. It had the desired effect.
You need a grown-up relationship this spring, not a teddy bear. It's time to say goodbye for good to this young guy and let him sort things out with his girlfriend if he can. He needs a girl his own age and you need a spell of real loneliness so you're propelled into the outside world to find new love. Looking for love, sex and companionship takes real effort, and requires real hunger.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I got fat this winter, like a bear preparing to hibernate, but I never stopped stuffing my face and never slept it off. Real bears emerge skinny. I am rotund and scared to get naked with anyone. My greatest companions this winter were stacks of books and my TV schedule. They went well with toasted cheese and bacon sandwiches and ice cream.
I joined a weight-loss program recently, but I'm not going to last and will waste all my money because I am used to eating every 30 minutes. I have a big drawer full of salty snack treats at work and share them with everybody. This makes me popular. When I started the diet I gave all my treats away, and now no one comes to visit me. I'm thinking of buying some more. Help! -- Lonely Bear, Northern Manitoba
Dear Lonely Bear: Meeting friends for lunch and dinner is the Canadian way, and eating through the winter is our national pastime. Here's the recovery method for compulsive snackers: If it's chewing and taste you crave, stock up on different gum flavours -- not too sugary, but not the ones that go flat -- and chew your face off.
As for friendship with your co-workers, you're not the only bulging bear in that office. Make noon-hour and coffee-break dates with friends at work who also need to get the winter fat off. Go walking and talking together. You can still be the hub of activity and friendship at work, and outdoor talks are more private than the ones by your snack drawer in the office.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6