Dig a little deeper into what truly attracts you
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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’m in my early 40s and single again. I just went through some old Valentine’s Day cards — nothing like torturing myself. I realized there’s something weird in my head. The names of my major boyfriends all started with an ‘R.’ They were Randy, Rick, Ronnie and Robert. Isn’t that crazy? When I put their pictures side-by-side, there are other similarities — sandy brown hair, green eyes, they wear a lot of jeans and boots, and they all seem to love the outdoors.
I recently met a sweetheart of a guy who — no surprise — looks like my type of man. Is that a warning? Since I have not done well with this type, should I push him away and try to steer myself towards a totally different guy?
— Obsessed With My Type, southern Manitoba
Dear Obsessed: It’s not the ‘R’ names or the physical look you like that has been steering you wrong. You really do need to look deeper into the personalities of attractive new men. Who’s under the sandy hair? Who’s looking out of those green eyes? How does he think? How does he express himself?
More importantly, is he smart, funny, dependable, relationship- and family-oriented, or not? Does he have a kind heart and soul? Will he be interesting, and also be your best friend, for the long run?
And here’s a good exercise: Write down the good points your previous guys had to offer, in both personality and character. Then take a cold look at what they were missing. You can try to analyze this yourself, or take your list to a psychologist or relationship counsellor. Then look at the good and bad points, one by one. It’d be worth the expense, as it will shed a light on your taste in men, now that you’re questioning it. Congratulations on finally doing that.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I promised myself that by Valentine’s Day 2023 I’d be back on the dating market — but I’m too scared. The last time I opened myself up, I ended up married to a guy who distrusted all women, even me.
At first I found that a challenge, and I vowed I would be the woman to win his heart forever.
He’s a strange case, because he falls in love fast and hard, but when girlfriends set up housekeeping with him, the ghost of his nasty mother comes alive again. But let me be clear about this: He is the one who hustles women into living-together situations. He’s also the first one to become disillusioned as soon as normal life settles in, and he’s not being treated like Prince Charming.
You should know, he moved three provinces to get away from his mother, who finally kicked him out at age 28 — and he “hated” her for it.
Now he acts out that same situation with every new woman. When I invited him to move in, he quickly went from an adult to an overgrown teenager, always testing me out. In the end, I admit I lost it and “turned into his mother!” I actually put his clothes out the back door, in three big garbage bags.
So, you can imagine how difficult it is for me to put myself and my heart out there again!
Still, with or without me, Valentine’s Day is coming, and I’m reminded in every store that my heart and my home are both empty. Please advise.
— Owner of a Lonely Heart, Fort Rouge
Dear Lonely Heart: Finding a difficult and emotionally troubled man to be “a challenge” is the problem you need to work on to finally be successful in love. Ask yourself: What would be wrong with a good man, a fun man, an intelligent and mentally healthy man who can handle whatever comes his way?
Do you think you only deserve a fixer-upper? And why is that? That is where you could start working on your dating and mating issues.
If you find yourself hiding from Valentine’s Day cards and gifts in the shops, consider a change this year. Look at the cards with verses written for happy couples who’ve been together a long time, talking about what they mean to each other. That’s what you need to start looking for — not for a relationship that is a struggle.
Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.