DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I just found out my boyfriend is giving me an engagement ring for Christmas. I don't want it! I never intended to marry him. He's just a sexy guy and I really like him, and we are great in bed together and have a lot of fun. We've been going out 14 months and I have never said "I love you" nor has he. He was a big player before he met me, but he told our mutual friend I changed all that for him. Miss L., I don't love him and I feel so badly for leading him on. How do I get out of this? I hear he's planning to ask me in a public forum in front of friends. Please help ASAP! -- Stupid Girl, River Heights
Dear Girl: Address this situation privately and directly within 24 hours, and use the word "rumour" so he can save face. Say something like this:"I heard a rumour you're planning to ask me to marry you. I think you should know this isn't something I want. I think a lot of you, but I don't wan to get married to you. Please forgive me for hurting you. If I had known you were getting serious, I would have told you sooner. I think it makes sense that we part ways now. I feel very badly. I am so sorry." By saying the word "rumour," you give this man a way to save face. He can then say the rumour is untrue and he had no plans to ask you to marry him. Even if he says this, you should not agree to fall back into bed and a relationship with him. From this point on, things would only get worse as he tries to eat his pain and disappointment and pretend to be casual. As for you, 14 months is a long time to stay with a guy you aren't serious about, because you're having fun and he's a good time in bed. Fourteen weeks at the longest for a "casual" monogamous fling, not 14 months!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm writing in response to your reply to Stuck in Stench. I'm in a similar situation in my workplace. Some of my co-workers have gone to our supervisor at different times, who followed up with the employee. Unfortunately, this approach did nothing. We believe the person is well aware that she has a hygiene problem. We know she lives in a very controlling household and have surmised that her hygiene issues may be a result of her home life. Do you have any other suggestions on how this issue can be handled? -- We're Still Stuck in Stench, Winnipeg
Dear Still Stuck: Are you inferring her husband won't allow her to buy deodorant? Then, you pay for a couple of gel sticks, unscented and non-allergenic, because it will make you a lot happier at work. This problem has gone on too long at work already. Slip a $20 supply (three long-lasting Mitchums for women) into your co-worker's desk with a little note that says, "Please give this a try. I think you'll like it. I know it helped me a lot." Sign it, "Your friend, So-and So." Please add your name. That way she doesn't think everybody in the room is making remarks about her -- and somebody actually cares about her.