DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have a habit of swinging between two opposites -- edgy bad guys and weaklings. I have no idea what it'd be like in the middle because I can't stand the idea of being totally alone. I live by myself in a big house, now the kids are gone. As long as there's a guy -- any guy -- around, I don't hear the echoing of the four walls. How am I supposed to wait around for the ideal man to walk into my life when it's terrifying to think of being alone with no one at all to talk to me, eat with me, to touch me, and give me sex? I need the sex to feel warm. I'm a very good-looking woman and that's enough to get most guys I want. Sometimes when I'm with a boyfriend I suddenly meet a great guy but he won't touch me because I'm already involved. I feel like I'll just disappear or something if I don't have a man. -- Wrong Man All the Time, North Kildonan
Dear Wrong Man: Some people aren't meant to live alone and you may be one. There's no shame in that. You need to fill up your home environment with critters or humans -- and the humans don't have to be boyfriends. If you meet a new man and fall for him and need a place to make love, you can go to the man's place. But, meanwhile you create a home that's full and you don't fear emptiness. Hopefully you'll stop panicking and making bad choices and needless overlaps with men. It'd be good to get some counselling around your panicky feelings, but sometimes the exterior of your life -- the living situation -- can be addressed right away and that changes everything. If you sincerely like caring for animals -- dogs, cats or both -- this may be the time to adopt some pets. If conversation and human company is what you really need, rent out rooms in your big house to university students who are coming into town for the fall. Contact the housing departments of colleges and universities, and at least check it out.