Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I ran into an old boyfriend. I didn’t recognize him, because he’d lost his hair and gained a paunch. His first remark to me was, "Guess you don’t know who this is!"
Well, I didn’t. He was wearing a mask, so all I had to go on was voice and eyes, but when he finally gave me his infamous old wink, I knew who was leering at me.
I wasn’t impressed, and refused to play the name game. Finally, he told me his name, like I was a dummy, plus the fact he’s divorced now.
He asked me, "Did you ever get married?" in a voice that told me he didn’t think I could ever accomplish such a thing. I am single by choice. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted marriage with him, though he had been good-looking in a football-player kind of way.
Last night he called my home phone! I don’t know how he got my number. I was so sickened I lied and told him I lived with a fabulous man, and never to call here again.
He said, "You’re lying. I checked. You’re still single." I crashed the phone down.
I have remained upset. Why can’t I just brush him off? I feel so creeped out. — Afraid of Guys Like Him, Winnipeg
Dear Afraid: This guy is invasive and nasty, no doubt well aware he doesn’t have his hunky good looks anymore. You wouldn’t flirt with him, so he insulted you. Then he phoned up to let you know he knew you were still single and available.
You did the right thing in slamming down the phone. There was no point in engaging with him.
By the way, you already gave him what he wanted, which was for you to be shocked and insulted. He probably won’t try anything more, since he got his reward when you slammed of that phone.
Just be extra careful, and block him on your phone and on social media. If he still doesn’t relent, speak to the authorities.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My girlfriend gave me a mystery ring for Christmas. It wasn’t a diamond but it’s definitely expensive. When I wear it, I feel like she somehow owns me.
I had been thinking of asking her to marry me on Feb. 14, thinking of a wedding date on Valentine’s Day 2022. But when she surprised me with this ring, I lost my desire. I feel like a bull being led around by the nose.
I stopped shopping for an engagement ring right away — and I’d like to get this ring off my finger.
I thought I loved her, but now I’m thinking she’s too pushy for me. She’s always telling me what to do and making all our plans.
My dad got pushed around all his married life, and that’s the last thing I want. What do you think? — Son of a Follower, Westwood
Dear Son of a Follower: "I thought I loved her" is already showing your love is in the past tense.
If you want a woman who is unlike your dad’s choice, you need counselling. Why? Because you picked another dominant woman, and almost got engaged to her.
You really need more of an equal. That means changing your taste in a partner. For lots of people, that’s hard to do without professional help.
Many relationship counsellors and psychologists are happy to work by phone these days and aren’t quite as busy, so this would be a good time to find a great one.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have a perfect solution to put a stop to a regifter in the crowd. In past years, my girlfriends and I have done a Christmas gift exchange where you can only bring things from your house you no longer want or use. This can include gifts that you’ve received that you would like to regift. Problem solved.
Everyone has fun and nobody has to spend money they don’t have. Also, nobody has hard feelings about being the recipient of a regift, because everyone gets one! Hope this helps. — K., Manitoba
Dear K.: That’s a unique solution and it eliminates the expense altogether.
However, the annoyed woman (who signed off as "Insulted and annoyed") who wrote about the group where she and her pals budgeted for a $40-limit gift (and gave each other fancy gifts like lingerie) probably wouldn’t go for that solution. She hated getting a regift!
In fact, many people look down on regifting, so second-hand presents might be a hard sell as a party idea.
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.