August 4, 2020

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Bit of safe socializing may help you de-stress

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’m feeling very lonely as we finish up yet another month of being semi-quarantined. I know I could now have people over and maintain physical distance, but I hate to police something like that.

But now I’m not sleeping well because I get my work done for the office by early afternoon and then sleep too much in the daytime to stop the lonely feelings that plague me at night. What else can I do?

— Been Lonely Too Long, North Kildonan


Dear Lonely: Staying in, where it’s totally safe, can get to be a habit. You need to start getting outside and then some of your old instincts will come back and you’ll want to start meeting friends in open spaces where you can still feel perfectly safe, like in a park.

Also plan to take walks with a friend or two and keep your distance while chatting. This way you can slip slowly back into a more normal social life and get some exercise, which will help you sleep at night.

We humans are social beings and we need other people and pets. So get more gloves and masks, and don’t feel bad for wearing them with a friend. You’re not saying: "I think you may be germy and about to make me sick." In fact, your wearing of a mask says "I am protecting you from the possibility of my germs." These are acts of respect and protection for one another.



Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Six long months ago, I met a gorgeous, 26-year-old man. I’m 28 myself and not bad-looking. OK, better than average! But I was very proud to be seen with him. Everybody stared!

My dad wasn’t impressed with him. I thought maybe it was because he was younger. Dad kind of ignored him. I should mention my father is a very good-looking man, and we’re talking movie-star looks. Perhaps dad felt the vibes from my new boyfriend. What vibes? Well, my guy stared at him, and even I noticed it.

My guy confessed in our third month he never wants to have children. Why would he tell me that? A week later he let it out that he’s bisexual and openly dates men, as well as women. He was on a "woman phase" when he met me. When he told me this, I cut him off just like that.

Now he has nobody because of the coronavirus and can’t start something with a new person. My door is no longer open. My mom had the nerve to engage him in conversation when he called the house recently, and he tells me she was trying to talk him back into dating me. He told her he’d like to, and she got all excited. She doesn’t know he’s bi and he probably just wants sex with someone he knows during the pandemic. What should I do?

—Straight With Bisexual Ex, Osborne Village



Dear Straight With Bi Ex: Tell your mom right now your recent ex is bisexual and you and he are just friends, not just for now, but forever. Then she’ll stop her efforts and look elsewhere for Prince Charming.

Your mom needs the not-so-straight goods on this guy, and then you can bet she will back off. No chance of grandchildren? Ha! She’ll be happy you’re just friends. If you keep her in the dark, how is she to know it’s a definite no-go, even though he’d like some casual sex?


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I read with interest the stories about the couple with the barking dogs left in the backyard and how much the neighbours hated them for it. They don’t seem to realize those barking dogs keep thieves away from their owners’ house and those around it.

We have neighbours with dogs that bark and never have any trouble with vandals or thieves — even though we have a lot of "toys" in the garage and in the driveway. I’m convinced it’s because of the neighbours’ dogs, who unknowingly protect us — and we don’t even have to feed them! After the first few months I didn’t notice the barking anymore.

— Feeling Protected, Tuxedo


Dear Protected: You’re lucky you can tune out the racket. Some people just can’t and their nerves are jangled every time the dogs start up — and it can be several times over the course of a day. Luckily the good weather has arrived which means dogs don’t suffer from the cold if they’re left outside for a time, so there’s far less barking.


Please send your questions and comments to or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.

Miss Lonelyhearts

Miss Lonelyhearts
Advice Columnist

Each year, the Free Press publishes more than 1,000 letters to Miss Lonelyhearts and her responses to the life and relationship questions that come her way.

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Updated on Monday, June 1, 2020 at 8:48 AM CDT: Adds link

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