DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I don’t understand why my boyfriend doesn’t kiss and caress. He’s a loving and cuddly affectionate man but seems not to know what foreplay is. He can cuddle for hours while watching movies but then his skills are missing sexually — until we get to the final climactic ending.
How could he be missing all the foreplay part? Is it that he doesn’t like it, thinks it’s a waste of time, or just wants to get to the main event because it’s more fun for him? Frankly, he just seems ignorant of that part of sex. Can you enlighten me?
— Stymied, West End
Dear Stymied: This is the kind of conversation lovers need to have, and too often don’t. You need to ask him about his love life prior to being with you, and not be jealous when he tells you of lovers past. These are stories he could tell a counsellor, but he might tell them to you, if you’re truly willing to be intimate and non-judgmental. Tell him you want to start sharing your romantic histories — in the interests of really becoming intimate with each other.
You make the first move. Start with childhood crushes and school romances and go all the way up. Encourage him to chime in with his experiences. In a way, you become each other’s best friends, without stopping being lovers.
You may find out he was crushed with an insult and that stopped his foreplay efforts. Somebody may have told him he was the lousiest kisser, or his hands felt like sandpaper, or he slobbered! You have no idea what some drunken partner may have blurted out. These terrible insults can wound people and totally inhibit them for life — or until you and he gently talk things out and heal the wounds.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I got my heart broken so badly last spring I almost had a breakdown. I couldn’t even work. My wily old mother rented me a cabin of hers (she owns several). It was an old cabin next door to a widowed man she knows who does handyman work. She also gave me $2,000 to spend on getting him to renovate the big porch. He helped me sketch out the plan, and I got to shop with him and dole out the money for supplies and his hours of work.
Well, he turned out to be delightful, as mom well knew, and he and I became friends and then one night, it was more than friends as we stayed up to watch the stars, waltzed backwards into the bedroom and woke up in each other’s arms. Now things have progressed and he wants me to live in the country with him year-round!
I’ve been a city girl with lots of interests in Winnipeg. I can’t imagine what people do out here all winter, but he claims there’s lots going on nearby. I’m crazy about him, but I’m getting scared at the thought of making a life with him (which is what he really wants) and leaving all I know in the city for a country existence. What do you think? Should I chance it?
— Nervous About Country Life, Lake Winnipeg
Dear Nervous: If you really care about this man, don’t dismiss country living out of hand. I just spoke to a city friend who moved to the country, and both she and her husband now have a bunch of new friends and she says, "I should have moved out of the city 20 years ago. I know everybody on my street — they threw a party for us when we moved in."
Check out the nearest town and find out everything it has to offer for fall, winter and spring. You might be surprised and end up busier and having more fun than you ever did with all your activities in the city. Why? Because you’re likely to make a bunch of country friends who go to a number of the same activities every week — and the overlap deepens friendships quickly.
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.
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.