DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I fell in love at first sight with a guy at a Christmas party on the night of Dec. 5 and he seemed crazy about me too. We were together for 11 days and nights at his apartment or my house. I thought, "This is it. This is the love of my life." When it slipped out that I loved him, he suddenly drifted away from me -- just stopped calling or coming over completely. At first he'd take my calls, but now he won't. He was nothing but kind and sweet and loving -- and then he was gone, saying he "just wasn't into it" anymore. I feel like I was hit by a Mack truck and I throw up at night. He re-ignited all the feelings of hope that I had lost about love, and then he left me, just like that. It hurts so badly! I know it was only a short time, but it was perfect -- what I always imagined a real love relationship could be. Please help me. -- Broken-Hearted, age 24
Dear Broken: Infatuation -- where you fall for somebody instantly, thinking they're perfect -- parades as love. It exists on fantasy. But when one or the other person says "I love you," the fantasy shatters and the other runs. Some people, perhaps like this guy, really love the beginning of a relationship when they can be a prince for a few weeks, before they wear themselves out. A while later, they're after another person in the same way. The only long-term match for that type of person is someone who's hard-to-get, because they really don't want to be gotten. True love can't happen until you get to know a person to a depth -- the good, the bad, their qualities, their moods, their faults, the way they relate to family and friends, and their ability to work, pay bills, support themselves and possibly children, not to mention their ability to love others and be good parent. He wasn't The One -- just a guy who loves short term romance and dramatics.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I read about the Horrified Mother who saw the child get slapped in the face on the bus. I would like to pass on something I learned from my daughter when she was six years old. I was particularly frustrated with her and hit her quite hard (not in public). She was always quite logical and did not cry easily. She looked me in the eye and said cooly, "How would you like it if I was the mother and you were the child and I hit you like that?" That really got to me and it was the first and the last time I hit her. I would suggest a similar statement to a parent when witnessing their public humiliation of children. In an even voice --"I saw you hit your child. How would you feel if you were the child and she was your mother and she hit you like that?" It may not stop the abuse but it at least raises the question. Hope this helps a bit. -- Learned From It, Winnipeg
Dear Learned: Your daughter was an amazing little person to turn it around like that and make you see reason, and also feel empathy for her. If only more kids were able to reason with people bigger and stronger than they are. I grew up in era where everybody spanked their kids, so we got spanked. My parents grew up in an era where kids were actually beaten, so my dad got beaten by his dad and strapped by his teachers. I had my kids at a time when people had (by and large) stopped spanking their kids and they turned out just fine with time-outs and the occasional grounding. We are closer as a family than people of my parents era, because there is no fear factor. There's no need to be violent with kids.
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