DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 35 and I've done some things in the past I'm not very proud of. My boyfriend says to leave the past behind me. I was able to do so until I went to a party recently where some of the people knew about my past -- and I'm afraid these mean girls will spread rumours that would ruin this wonderful six-month relationship. I wish I could go back and change my past, but I can't. Any words of wisdom? -- Ms. Worry Wart
Dear Ms. Worry Wart: If your boyfriend is a sensitive guy, he will understand you don't want to socialize with these people, especially if they've been drinking and tongues are loose. There is less to fear if you've already been totally honest with him. Granted, he may not want to hear the details. Express this worry about the meanies to him one more time and tell him you'll leave any party they attend. Then hold your head up high. Respect yourself for triumphing over your past and becoming the woman you want to be. These mean girls may have improved with the years, or not. The smart thing is to turn your back on that crowd altogether -- quite different from running away.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Last weekend I got drunk and got into a catfight outside a bar and my boyfriend said it really turned him on. I laughed it off, but he can't get past it and keeps bringing up this loser from my hometown that I fought with. Last night my older sister phoned from the country and told me he had issued a challenge on my behalf to beat this skank up if she dares to come near my favourite bar again. He denies he did it, but I believe my sister. Now I'm worried to go back to my own bar. What should I do? -- Finished Fighting
Dear Finished: This boyfriend of yours is a dunce of a dangerous kind. He's aggressively playing roulette with your life and safety for his entertainment and sexual kicks. Now he's trying to foment more trouble by issuing challenges on your behalf. Your best move is to ask your sister to tell the woman you fought that your boyfriend (not you) is the one trying to pick a second fight. Sis will know who to tell to get the message out in a small community. Now pick up the phone and punt this character. Stay away from the bar where you all hang out until things settle down. Assault is serious. You can get hurt or killed in a fight that started out small and escalated. You don't need your face beaten in, or to hit the ground and bang your head on a curb. Plus, assault is against the law and you can go to jail for it.
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