Dear Miss Lonelyhearts:
I'm 19 and have three cats and a funny squawky bird. I love them all and they love me. My new boyfriend has a large guard dog who has come to my place once, caused a commotion and was actively licking his chops as he snarled at my cats and my bird screaming in his cage. Neither one of us is prepared to give up our pets for the other. He thinks mine are stupid. How could we ever get married? What now? -- New Love in Trouble, Winnipeg Outskirts
A new relationship? Looks like this one's just for fun, and not for long. Some relationships are meant to be just that. Does every relationship have to have a marriage possibility at the end of it? Certainly not when you're 19 and just learning about life.
Marriages should add to your life and expand it, not come at the cost of living things such as pets, friends or kooky relatives. This pet problem is not about serious allergies, which might cause harm to your guy. It's about pet preferences. When you're ready for marriage, look for a partner who likes the critters you do, and possibly others who can co-exist.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts:
Like Runaway, the guy who left his high-school sweetheart when they were 17, I have tried "coming back" with two women. The end result? There was too much water under the bridge. One lady I met about 30 years ago. Every X number of years later, we'd cross paths. Either she was in a relationship or I was. We came very close 31/2 years ago. I'm glad it didn't work better, as there were reasons it never worked in the first place, and those reasons still existed.
The other was a high-school girlfriend. We got together after 35 years and it was going somewhere, which turned out to be nowhere. She was simply not the same person I remembered. Plus, she felt guilty for the way she had treated me as a teenager, way back when. Her reasons for finding me were guilt, which is not a very good reason. She had far too much baggage for me too handle. To escape, I gave her my baggage in return.
Both women had long histories I was a part of. It was too much of, "What about this?" "Do you remember?" "Let's try this, this time." Perhaps I had changed too much? I am in no way shape or form the same person I was 30 years ago.
I moved on to someone entirely new whose past I was not connected to. That is working much better. I have no responsibility for her life before, nor does she have any for mine. To start again with an old love sounds like fun. Go ahead and try it, but keep an escape route open. -- Tried it Twice, Winnipeg
If adults think back to the way they were at 17, most will laugh. We were sweet "kids" who felt older after graduating from long years of school, but further training and education, jobs, other loves, breakups, marriages, children, tough times and great times, shape the adult person who can be much different from the kid.
But, if the two people had a very deep long-lasting relationship through high school, and not too much to make them bitter, they may retain much of what they were as kids: personality and a sense of humour, with added character and experience. Now that one out of two modern couples is breaking up, a fair number of renewed love relationships have come out of meetings at high-school reunions or finding each other on social media such as Facebook. Why not take a chance and make contact?
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