DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Get back to me fast, please! My boyfriend, whom I love, is five years older and wants to ask me to marry him on Thanksgiving, in front of the whole family. He's telling my sister he wants to go ring shopping for me, with her help. I don't want to get married until I'm older. I'm only 19. What do I say? I need the words -- but not words to hurt him. HELP! -- Panicking, The Maples
Dear Panicking: This is what you say, ASAP: "I love you madly, but I'm several years too young to get married. If you asked me to marry you now, I'd have to say no, so please put it off for a few years. I'm not looking for an engagement either. I want to be young and freely in love with you, for a few years yet. You have five years on me, so please be patient." Don't let him pressure you with tales of a big sparkly rock you'll miss.
Dear Miss L.: In response to Mystified who can't get a Winnipeg woman to talk to him in broad daylight, I'd pay good money to actually find a guy who answers when a girl tries to make small talk! As an employed, friendly, Salma Hayek-type figure with long red hair and a great smile, I'm beginning to think I oughta be using the ol' George Costanza line of, "It's not you, its ME" because trying a smile, a joke, WHATEVER -- it does not work with Winnipeg men. Men either think you must be desperate or maybe about to boil a rabbit in their kitchen. I think Mystified just needs to keep trying or wander down my way, ha ha! -- Not Mystified but Disappointed, Winnipeg
Dear Disappointed: Some guys are intimidated by beautiful women trying to chat them up, and start running that old tape in their heads: "What would a beautiful woman want with little old me?" If that's the case, he's not a big enough person to be your man! Do you choose men that look like they'd be in your league, or do you go after the shy ones, who'll be easier to approach?
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm a single woman in Winnipeg. I basically go out of my way to talk to attractive men, but that's all I do -- talk to them! They never respond by saying, "Hey, you want to go for a coffee sometime?" or "Can I get your number and call you sometime?" I feel weird after this kind of encounter, thinking "Did that guy just think I am a freak for having a conversation with him?" Or I leave with the feeling that maybe I should have asked for a phone number or a date. But then, with so many weirdos out there, both male and female, I think we're all afraid to just take a chance! It's hard to put yourself out there, but my theory is to not give up. One day I'll go up to the Right Guy and sparks will fly! -- Looking for Mr. Right, Wpg.
Dear Looking: Your problem? You talk to the man, and then you wait there for HIM to carry the ball. He's not mentally prepared, so stands there, feeling goofy. The poor guy's just amazed a beautiful woman is talking to him. So, you must carry out the whole experiment, not just the first line or two. Next time you approach a cute guy, finish the conversation by asking him to join you for coffee before he goes home with the groceries, or to meet for lunch. "How about tomorrow?" and suggest a place.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email lovecoach@hotmail.