DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: This is so embarrassing! My partner got something lodged high in her private parts when we were playing in bed and we had to go to the hospital to get it removed. As if that weren't bad enough, I found out she yapped about it. I was out playing racquetball with one of my buddies. He smirked and said, "So, tell me about the midnight hospital visit!" When I asked him who knows, he said, "Everybody who's willing to listen." I was choked! I had a mother who was a huge gossip, and used to tell "cute" humiliating stories on me. I vowed I'd never be with a gossip! I'm considering telling Loose Lips to go, though I do like her a lot. -- Feeling Humiliated, Winnipeg
Dear Humiliated: "Goodbye, Loose Lips" might be a little too harsh, but you should tell her the condition for your being together is that she learns to button her lip on private matters. To be fair, she may have told only one or two besties, but juicy gossip has a way of getting around lightning fast. This slip of the tongue isn't a deal-breaker, but a second would be. Explain the extreme sensitivity you have to this behaviour because of your gossipy mom, and she may understand better.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend and I went out with another couple and the guy mentioned something that's been eating at me. He said if a couple is happy 50 per cent of the time, that that's pretty good. I'm starting to think that's not good enough! And -- this is embarrassing -- I'm not even happy 50 per cent of the time. I'm wondering if I should break up with my boyfriend, or if is this just life, and I should make the best of it. Are my standards too high? -- Bummed Out, St. Boniface
Dear Bummed: You need that 80 per cent it takes for a happy, satisfying relationship. An older man I know says he always felt like he got 90 per cent benefit from his relationship with his spouse and gave 10 per cent of the effort. Interestingly enough, his wife said the same thing. A good relationship makes you feel like your part is effortless and you're getting everything back -- that you're the lucky one. Ditto for the other person. That's when you know you've got it made. Why settle for 50 per cent or less when you're single and can look for better?
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