DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I already know what my girlfriend is giving me for Christmas, as she left it lying on her bureau at her place. It was a hint; I just know it. I don’t want it! Miss L., she bought me a ring with a diamond in it.
We are not engaged. I’m not sure if I’ll ever want that with her, but I certainly don’t want to be wearing her quasi-engagement ring on my finger. In fact, I’ll refuse it. So how do I deal with this? She is presumptuous and pushy. Otherwise, I like her, and she’s great in bed.
— Never Her Fiancé! Transcona
Dear Never Her Fiancé: Here’s the good news. Other people are great in bed, too. It’s not even unusual. You only say you "like" this girl, but she presumes things, jumps the gun in the relationship in general and is pushy. These are not good qualities in a life partner.
Look, it’s emotional at Christmastime. It sets people to thinking about their love lives and their friendships and family. ‘Tis the season for tallies and reckonings with some couples, where one or both people come up short as partners, and there’s no more pretending.
So you’re going to have to tell her ASAP you saw what she’s giving you for Christmas, that it isn’t appropriate, you don’t want it and will not wear it. She may push that ring box into your face as she backs you out the door, but you’ll be free and that can be a gift in itself.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I don’t want to spend any money on my boyfriend this year because he didn’t buy me a birthday present in October. Why should I put out good money for a cheapskate who let my birthday go by with "didn’t know what to get ya" and probably will do the same at Christmas? He has lots of money, but he’s cheap and everybody knows it.
— Feeling Depressed, Wolseley
Dear Depressed: Why are you tied to a cheapskate? Give yourself the gift of being finished with this jerk, and he can go spend all his money on himself.
Then you should invest the money you would have spent on him on yourself. Buy some sessions with a counsellor to work out the problems that would allow you to keep a cheapskate like this in your life to this point. Learn ways to fix those problems, and elevate your self-esteem so you never accept humiliating treatment like this again.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Regarding "Miserable Mary" and her friends making fun of her because she won’t go to bed with her new acquaintance on a first date, you are quite correct.
If one is looking for a permanent relationship, there’s more to it than just great sex. Back in the 1960s, there was a saying that newlyweds should put a penny in the jar for every (sexual) union for the first year. The trick then was to try emptying it by removing a penny every union. The problem today is nobody wants to try emptying the jar; they just discard it!
— Just Aware, S. Manitoba
Dear Aware: That story actually predates the ’60s, and it’s unfair and too cynical. There are lots of warm, sexy relationships among married people, and they have many years of frequent and satisfying sex.
Methinks people retell that story to justify what’s going on in their own marriages. Oh, they think it’s sad. I hear people at socials and even weddings telling that crude, depressing story, and I always refute it as fast as I can. What a dreadful way to go into marriage — fearing that scenario.
Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.