DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm 23 and started working for a company where a majority of the employees are 35-plus. I noticed many of my female co-workers paid a lot of attention to a particular man in his mid-40s. I'd laugh at the attempted flirtations and conversations my co-workers would make, until recently. He moved into the office across from me, and now I find myself attracted. I constantly fantasize about what it'd be like to be with him. I don't know what to think. There is only one man over 40 I consider to be gorgeous and his name is Richard Gere. Is that my biological clock ticking, or is it my 23-year-old mind playing games? -- Tsk, Tsk on me, Winnipeg
Dear Tsk: It probably has nothing to do with your biological clock as you're 23 not 33. It's just the nature of infatuation, and how it plays with your head, heart and body. Attraction has a lot to do with closeness and opportunity. Now you work close to Mr. Hot Stuff, and see him many times a day, it's affecting you. If you talk, share jokes and start to flirt, hormones and pheromones start working overtime. Your new fantasies are activating every part of your body. The problem with wanting the same guy the rest of the office babes want, is you end up being upset with people you now view as competitors. The best kind of office romances are the ones that are extremely light and go unconsummated -- you light each other up a little, and that's it. Once it turns serious and a couple starts sneaking, it's only a matter of time before there's trouble at the office. So keep this guy everybody wants as a fantasy, enjoy light banter, do your best work and leave it at that. Getting him won't be a win.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've always had two women in my life. One is a slightly older woman I met when she was already married and had several children with a nice, but boring, guy. She didn't want to leave him. I was broken-hearted first, but understood. We were passionate, but she loved her high school sweetheart and the kids they had. Her husband has become wealthy over the years. I'm an artist, and after I saw I could never have her, I found a wife who is artistic, too. We get along great. But, I still have a passion for my old love who I've seen on the sofa of my studio about once a month for almost 20 years. Then, three months ago, into this perfectly working system arrives a fifth wheel. My lover has cut me off, because she has fallen for a single guy at work and her feelings are "stronger than she's ever known." Enough to break up her marriage. I know I have no right, but I am so jealous and angry I can hardly stand it. I am so obsessed I parked by their work at noon for three days and finally saw them leaving for lunch together. I'm confused and don't understand why I feel so decimated when I have my own wife. -- Freakin' Mess, Exchange District
Dear Mess: You're hurt because you nursed the thought all these years that YOU were her romantic love, and if she should leave her husband it would be for you. Now she's met this guy -- so much for the noble family values that kept you apart! Her reticence to leave her husband and be with you, wasn't all about family after all. She didn't leave her husband for you because you didn't trump him. This guy does. No wonder you hurt so badly. Why choose him? Part of it is timing. Her kids are older now and he's, I hate to say this, new and exciting and single. This doesn't stop the hurting for you, but it explains things and will help with the confusion you're feeling.
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