DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I met my boyfriend when I was 20 and he was 21 and we were both in "party" modes. Five years later, I've settled down and found a full-time job, but he's still partying. We've been arguing a lot about our differences, but when I mentioned we should go our separate ways, he broke down and cried. I ended up not leaving, because it pains me to leave, too. I wanted this relationship to work out, but I want kids and commitment, and he wants to drink. Months later, I'm stressed and unhappy. I've considered moving out, in hopes of making it easier on us to move on with our lives. Or should I stop beating around the bush and end things abruptly? There's part of me that thinks if I move out, he'll know I'm serious, and consider changing his ways. -- Hopeless, St. Vital
Dear Hopeless: Moving out, without breaking up, is like peeling the bandage off slowly. Either stay and get counselling to fix things, or break up, move out, and move on. But don't break up your household as a manipulation to get him to quit partying and grow up. Be straightforward in whatever you do. If you say, "I warned you I can't take this party mode and immaturity and drinking anymore," and say goodbye, he will get that. Maybe, a year or so from now he will come back to you, having gone through the heartache of losing you and seen the light. Perhaps you will be happy with someone else by then! Or you may be happy to see the grown-up version of him coming back to you. If more than light social drinking is still part of his life then, don't marry the guy. An alcoholic husband and father is not a good choice for you or your unborn children. His drinking may be a separate issue you should look at right now.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: So I'm a young guy in my early 20s, and I really like an older woman. There is this natural attraction for me. I met this lady on a site called Cougar Life and she lived in B.C. We'd talk online and do other things. I was always respectful to her, never crude. She was single, but not celibate. We started talking a year ago and it was all good until early February. Then she didn't text, email or Skype the same as before. Something must have happened, but she won't tell me why we stopped talking. For an older "mature" woman, she is acting really immature, and it's tearing me apart. What are your thoughts? -- Older Woman Lover, St. James
Dear Lover: She probably met someone in real life, living close to her. Flesh-and-blood relationships, especially when they're new, trump online romances almost every time. Granted, there are some people who always carry on flirting and Skyping. No matter who they meet close to home, and others who shut it right down and concentrate on their new real-life lover to the exclusion of all others. Unfortunately, this woman hadn't the kindness to explain to you why she was backing off. No wonder you're hurt. By the way, you should know age doesn't guarantee maturity or classiness. Is that why you were looking at older women, because you thought they'd be kinder? Not necessarily. For your next romance, try looking for a mature and classy person closer to your own age and closer to home.