DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My girlfriend of five years and I broke up, and she moved home in December. After she left, I felt so alive and believed in myself again. I started exercising, quit smoking and put down the bottle. I give her child support when I get paid. She said, "Move on, be happy with yourself." I did. After a party recently, I slept with a friend of hers who confided in me she liked me and "didn't like the way I was treated and she saw the good in me" (blah-blah pick-up lines, just wanting to get laid). Well I fell for it -- actually wanted to do it. I confessed to the ex yesterday. Now everything has hit the fan! I ruined their friendship, but it was only a year ago she slept with my old best friend and I had to forgive because we were "on a break." Now she says we were supposed to be getting back in June -- I had no intention of that. I know I shouldn't have slept with her friend, but I did have (some) feelings and it was awesome -- never felt so alive! I know I did something wrong, but was it all that bad? -- Dazed and Confused, Winnipeg
Dear Dazed: Come on! Take ownership of what you really did here. You got a chance to get even -- big time -- and did it! Since you were free and had not discussed a reunion of any kind, you could have slept with whomever you wished and kept your silence. But no, you picked your ex's friend, and then phoned her up and told her all about it! You nailed her! Now she's mad and claiming this was a break rather than a breakup, to create a parallel with what you did. You're quite a pair... It's time to stop interacting with each other, except to talk about visitation and co-parenting. You didn't feel happy and alive for five years and you were unhappy to the point of abusing yourself with substances and lying on the couch. Put up with a little loneliness until you're back in the social scene and find a lady who is not a friend or relative of your ex so you can keep the situation uncomplicated for seeing your child.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm still a virgin and feel I need to give the V-card away because I don't want to become that 50-year-old inexperienced lonel, woman. I am a 20-year-old female who is very shy and can't talk to guys without getting embarrassed. Are there any tricks on how to get a guy to even like me? To talk to me? Is their any magic age I should lose my virginity or a magic number of men I should be with? Please help, for I am very determined to fix this problem! -- Still a Virgin!, Winnipeg
Dear Virgin: There's a three-decade gap between 20 and 50, honey! The magic age for giving away your virginity and enjoying the experience is the time when you truly fall for someone you trust. If you give the V-card away just so you can say to girlfriends you're experienced, first sex can be pretty disappointing. As the clothes come off, you can become tense and tighten up your whole body, including your pelvic region. It can hurt. Also, young guys are often quick to orgasm as they have come from years of hasty self-stimulation. You need a guy who cares about you, and wants to make it a great first experience. That takes a real relationship, not some hottie who's volunteering to get the job done. By the way, virginity in an era of scary sexually-transmitted infections is not considered a liability to most guys. To get men to enjoy being around you, friendliness, fun and a willingness to interview are big attractions. Look your best, smell great and wear a conversation piece. A friendly smile, and "Hi. You look interesting. How are YOU doing tonight?" can easily start things happening.
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