Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I recently went out with a woman I met online a month earlier. We’d been chatting on the phone a lot and I felt we knew each other pretty well. I was shocked when she came in with a buddy and deposited him at another table before she came over to me. I asked, "Why is that guy here?" and she said "I like to be safe."
I felt so disrespected I got up and said, "If you felt you couldn’t trust me enough to meet me in a public restaurant, then I don’t want to spend any more time with you." When I got home and looked at my cell on the counter, she had phoned seven times. I called her back — to hear her apology. She apologized all right, and said she wanted to see me the next day, but I said, "No, thanks." Then she started crying and sobbing into the phone. Was I being too harsh in turning down a second date?
— Feeling Unsure, Downtown
Dear Feeling Unsure: This much trouble on a first date sends up all kinds of red flags. Some women stash a friend in a place where they are meeting a new person, but it’s not known to the date. This lady brought the male bodyguard in and sat him down nearby for you to get the message you were being watched. The seven phone calls afterward and the crying were not good signs either. You made the right decision, so stick by it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I wore a very sexy dress out to a dinner date with my ex-boyfriend and he asked me if I was looking for "some action." How embarrassing! Of course, that was what I had in mind, but I didn’t want him to confront me like that. I denied it, he rolled his eyes and we had an uncomfortable dinner.
He’s still like part of the family as we were together for many years, and he has just recently left his "post-me" relationship. Everybody would like us to get back together, including me, but now he’s acting like I’m being an idiot and just looking for sex.
The problem between us — and why I dumped him — was his drinking, but now he goes to Alcoholics Anonymous and is sober. I want him back because I still love him. What should I do?
— Red-Faced Ex-Girlfriend, St. Boniface
Dear Red-Faced: He may still be smarting from his most recent breakup, and thought it’d be comfortable to have dinner with an old girlfriend. Then you showed up looking sexy and interested, and he blurted out the first thing that popped into his mind. You have to tread lightly when you’re re-approaching an ex you dumped. It doesn’t matter that it was because of his drinking, and he caused it. He may still hurt badly, and is trying to heal.
Try to let go of this dinner rejection. He has received the message you’d like to try again. Down the road a little, start a friendly conversation with him, and tell him how you feel about him now that he’s sober.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’ve had quite a few relationships with women, because I started at the age of 14. I’m 26 now, but really getting fed up with something. I like dating modern, independent women, but there’s a growing problem with them. Either they’re trying to show support for gay women, or just trying to appear cool by claiming to be bisexual. I can’t tell.
In my experience they may be bi-curious, but not really looking to sample it. Maybe they just talk that way to buy their way into a "cool" group. But it makes guys like me insecure about getting serious with a woman who doesn’t consider experimenting with another woman to be cheating on the guy she’s dating. A lesbian or bisexual woman counts as a person, not a free experiment.
I hate to quiz the new women I meet, but I am sick and tired of this attitude. How would they feel if I said I was supportive of gay men and was "bisexual," and, who knows, I might do a little experimenting with a man, but it doesn’t count?
Guys may be supportive of gay male friends, but we’re not going around saying we’re bisexual or even bi-curious. I want someone who is simply hetero and uncomplicated. So how do I find out ahead of time without being considered a boor?
— Need To Know, Crescentwood
Dear Need To Know: Asking about sexuality and preferences with someone you’ve dated a few times is important. Guessing can get people into trouble! Early on, before you get emotionally entangled, you should mention how you feel about this issue and ask the woman for her views.
Don’t wait until you’re crazy about her, and you’re having a lot of sex and emotions, but you still don’t know if her sleepovers with girlfriends involve sex or not. Of course, you still don’t know if a person’s hiding that kind of info, but it’s certainly worthwhile asking.
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.
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.