DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm so stuck between a rock and a hard place, I can't breathe. My boyfriend of three years has been without a job for five months, trying hard but no luck getting a job, or student loans or training. I've been managing to pay both our bills, but I'm trying to save to go to school and I don't have a cent saved yet. I have also tried to break up with him several times in the past two years but he always seems to convince me to try again. He's 13 years older and made less money than I did when he was working. The problem is he's really a good person, he's never mean and he does anything I ask. But I want a family, a house, a future -- things he either doesn't want enough to have gotten by now, or isn't financially able to accomplish. It makes me feel selfish to want to leave a good person for my own wants, but at the same time I feel like I work soooo hard just to live in my dad's basement at 25. If I break up with him now I will be out almost two grand and he will end up homeless. I know I don't want to be with him forever. But I would never, ever hurt someone the way I know it would hurt him. What do I do? -- Stuck, Winnipeg
Dear Stuck: Something doesn't add up. You're 25 years old, supporting a man who's 38 you don't live with. A sweet and kind man wouldn't stand for that. He'd get a job at a convenience store or a drive thru -- two part-time jobs, for that matter -- to start his own door-to-door gardening business. What is the payback from this for you? Is it the feeling of being loved? Do you feel like you're saving his life? You're actually making him weaker, putting off the time he will have to go on social assistance or accept jobs he feels are beneath him to make a living.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: OK, there's this girl at work and I asked her out. She said yes, but we'd have to go to a restaurant on the other side of town so no one from work would see us. We did that. We went to a movie another night and she wore sunglasses so no one would recognize her. Then she went to bed with me and we had a great time, but she ran home at 2 a.m.... People at work date each other here and there. It's not a "career job" at our workplace, so who cares if somebody gets in trouble? I think she's worth it. Do you think she's trying to stay out of sight because of work or because I am four inches shorter than she is and not very good-looking? I am a 5 on a good day and she is always a 7. -- Need the Truth, Transcona
Dear Need: This is not the woman for you, or she wouldn't be pulling these stunts. Don't ask her out for a week -- but be really pleasant at work. See if she asks you. If she does, tell her you're not going to be hiding this time. If she doesn't go for that, say "too bad" and refuse her offer. My hunch? She also likes someone else at work and doesn't want that guy to know anything's up with you. It's either that or she may have another boyfriend stashed in Transcona somewhere. As for the numbers game, don't put too much store in that. She went to bed with you, so there had to be some attraction. Plus, she probably doesn't wake up a 7.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org