DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: This is my experience for the woman who's interested in a man from Mexico, but worried. Almost four years ago, I fell in love with a man from Cuba. Like you, I was warned by family and friends about the "green card," scam but my situation was different in that we planned to live in Cuba. After numerous trips to Cuba, and having met his family and friends, I thought for sure this was the real deal. We were married last December with family and friends from Canada and Cuba attending. Life was beautiful... until I got home from my six-week stay there. Shortly after I returned home, he already had another girl from Canada at his parents' home. I'm still in shock and disbelief and my broken heart has still to mend. The only thing that saved me further grief was the fact that the marriage had not yet been notarized. Please, please tread very carefully in those questionable waters. I realize our situations are different but the cultures are similar and Canada shines to those who have nothing. Lying is the norm. -- Done That, Got the Wedding Gown
Dear Got The Wedding Gown: There's nothing like the chorus of "I told you so's" to make things even worse, is there? In the instance of the woman who wrote recently, her love interest has a university education and is well set-up in business in Mexico. That doesn't mean he couldn't be using her, but it's less likely. Going extra slowly is the key, although you waited four years, which is a long time, so that doesn't guarantee anything. In your case, thinking he had you hooked was the key for your husband to come out of the shadows with his extra-curricular activities. Two questions: How did you find out about what was going on, and what do you suggest specifically for people needing to check out an overseas lover who wants to get married?
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm such a shy person it embarrasses me to eat in front of men I meet online. On a date with a new man, I get so self-conscious the straw in the drink goes up my nose, or I miss my mouth, or the food sneaks out on my lips as I'm eating. Because so many dates are combined with eating, I can't avoid it, although I always try to convince the guys to eat at home first and then go out with me to a show or an activity. Inevitably they do want a dinner date. Help! -- Eating Disaster
Dear Disaster: If you must go out for lunch or dinner, consider a varied menu your friend. You get to pick foods that are less likely to cause you trouble and embarrassment. That means you skip the soup that can land in your lap and avoid the long, stringy pastas, which have all kinds of wriggly potential for mess. Order food that sticks together, like a sandwich with meat in it, rather than an egg salad. Ask a lot of questions to keep him talking while you handle your food. Take little breaks from eating where you actually put down your cutlery to answer his questions. Avoid talking with your mouth full (you don't want to show him your back molars), even if he has to wait a minute for you to speak. Try to laugh off the situation with him, at the start. Tell him you always have trouble eating with someone who is so attractive. He will enjoy the ego boost and hope to see you drop something as a sign of his good looks having an effect. He can be gently tricked.