DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I met this handsome guy in the lineup at a counter at a downtown department store restaurant when I was Christmas shopping. He sat at the next table and he started bantering with me. Finally, he asked if he could sit with me rather than sitting alone. Then he talked me into Christmas shopping with him for an hour in the store -- what harm could it do? I started to think, "This is a man I could really like!" and he wore no rings. We were standing at a perfume counter, squirting perfume on each other's wrists and sniffing and laughing when he excused himself to find a bathroom -- and never came back. I have no idea what to make of this. I waited nearby for more than half an hour. It was embarrassing to get ditched, just like back in grade school. Then I sadly left. Can you fathom the answer to this mystery? -- Still Mystified, Downtown
Dear Mystified: On the less dangerous side, he might have been a married man who spotted his wife or someone close to her, and he ran off. Or, he might have been a guy who was looking to kill a few hours running a dazzling-scam on a woman -- just for the ego satisfaction. Not everyone who speaks well and seems charming is mentally healthy. You're actually lucky it didn't go any further because you were quite taken by this man and might have gone somewhere alone with him. It's not normal to hustle a woman at a lunch place and ask to sit at her table in this town. So this guy should have had your radar up from the get-go. But, "What does he want?" was not a question that ran through your mind. He must have been very good at gaining your confidence. You should be more cautious with strangers on the make, m'dear.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm 28 and totally alone starting out 2010. I don't know what went wrong last year because I really tried to find a mate, someone to start my life with. I went out with three men -- a sportsman par excellence, an intellectual and a fake artist. The artist even had his own studio/art creation apartment with big bed and full kitchen with food -- but I found out he had several other girlfriends and Mom supported him there. The intellectual was interesting, especially in late-night calls and phone sex that lasted for hours. But he was all "me, me, me." The sportsman was fun and sexually exciting but looked like a deer in the headlights when conversation veered away from sports to world events, philosophy or music. What is wrong with my dating life? I try everything. I really do. -- Clock Ticking at 28
Dear Clock: Go for the gold in 2010. Rather than going for extreme types, it's time to look for the multifaceted man with a great heart. First, take a lesson about yourself from each of these men you dated last year. You want a guy who's healthy and physical, a tad intellectual without being full of himself, and with some fun and creativity to him. What else do you need? A good dad for your unborn kids? A man who loves and cares for his extended family? A guy with a career? This is not a tall order. Most men are more like the multifaceted man than the extreme achiever in one area. What you should try to get rid of is your own need to be dazzled by something a man excels at. A good man may have one area that shines, but not at the cost of all other qualities and interests. Good luck!
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org