DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My boyfriend has asked me several times if he can peep into my bedroom from the outdoor landing of my apartment block while I'm undressing provocatively in front of my full-length mirror. The first time I said yes, because it seemed like a fun fantasy to act out and I knew the neighbours on the landing were away on holidays, but since then he's asked again and again and I've refused. I realized people from across the way in the next block could probably see him, and they might report him to the police. They wouldn't know I let him do it. He says, "Come on, it's dark outside. Who's going to know?" Last night he was so frustrated with my refusal, he muttered "at least I'm asking you." That got the wind up. Do you think he is a Peeping Tom for real? I asked him about this, and he swore he only wants to play it as a private game with me. -- Getting Nervous, Wolseley
Dear Nervous: If it's all about you two and just as fantasy, as he says, he doesn't really need to do the outdoor peeping. He could do it indoors and peep through a crack in the door or a keyhole. Or, he could hop into your bedroom closet and slip out for a big finish. The thing is, this is not about you two. For him, it's a fetish that requires doing something that would be shocking to the woman inside. Peeping Toms will go to great lengths. He got mad about it, so this is a serious fetish and a problem -- that's your big red flag. Since this is giving you the creeps, trust your instincts and back off this relationship.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I suspect my girlfriend is an alcoholic. She tells me she doesn't have a drinking problem and that her body type is capable of handling more alcohol than most. She even produced medical reports from the Internet as backup. For the life of me, I can't find anything to sustain that belief myself, but stranger things have happened. Does it really matter? Could I make her take me to the doctor so she can prove it? She also tells me she will stop drinking for me if I really need her to, but she won't go to meetings because they don't work. I've never dated an alcoholic before so I don't know what to believe or what to expect. Am I getting in too deep? I'm crazy about her, and I can handle a lot. -- Gullible? North End
Dear Gullible: If you went to a shipyard to buy a ship to sail you around the world, would you pick one that had broken sails? It doesn't matter if you are a good sailor and love the feel of this little ship, or if you're strong and can stand a lot, that ship is broken and can't weather any storms. And the worst part? It won't be getting repairs soon. Alcoholics will tell you themselves that they are the best yarn-spinners in the world, so who knows where your girlfriend got her research. And who cares? That research is not the point. The happiness of you and your children down the road is the real point.
Questions or comments? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6