October 23, 2020

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Time to figure out if old flame is on same page


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I dated a man in high school, many moons ago. I went on to get married and have children, and he didn’t.

We’ve always remained in contact through the years. I divorced 12 years ago and we recently started to see each other again. Last weekend he was describing something to me, and referred to me as his girlfriend. I was taken aback and didn’t say anything. I didn’t know if we were a couple at that point, so I wasn’t sure if he meant it.

He’s a great guy, and I have feelings for him. He treats me well — something I’m not used to from a man. I just don’t know how to read him. He’s said and done things in the past few weeks that make me think he’s interested — but then he does little things that make me think he’s not.

The past four Saturday nights we spent at his house watching movies. I can be me when I’m around him. If any man in my whole life has made me feel comfortable in my own skin, it’s him. He has only had two serious relationships over the years. I think he’s a bit on the shy side as well.

I’m just not sure how to approach him to find out where we’re at in a way that won’t scare him off, and I don’t want to find out he’s really not interested and I’ve been reading it wrong all this time. I’m an over-thinker, which is a curse. I also try to find reasons why a man wouldn’t be interested in me, and then I convince myself of it.

— Over-thinker, north Winnipeg


Dear Over-thinker: So, what do you do when you watch movies four Saturday nights in a row with nobody else around? Is there kissing and affection or lovemaking? Do you cuddle and pet? Or do you munch on snacks instead, and enjoy laughs and each other’s company?

Next Saturday night, you must talk openly to this shy guy. Ask him where’s he’s at in this new relationship with you. Say you heard him call you "his girlfriend" and you liked it. Tell him you wonder if he’s hiding his romantic feelings or if he just sees you as an "intimate friend." That kind of relationship would not involve a lot of affection and sex.

Remember, you didn’t choose him a long time ago when you dated, so maybe you were "the one who got away" in his life. He may feel insecure this time and need some reassurance. Tell him you have different feelings for him now — stronger and more romantic than when you were young and foolish — and see if his eyes brighten, and he becomes freer with his affection and feelings!



Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m a guy with a mostly grown family (teenagers) and just had an ugly separation with my wife. After a big blow-out, when the kids were at grandma’s for cards night, my wife packed a small bag and went somewhere at 3 a.m. She told me she was leaving me and the kids, who are admittedly difficult and rude to her but listen to me and openly show me affection.

I was stunned. I called my business partner quickly and decided to take my kids for a "surprise before-school holiday" trip to our big cabin. I didn’t tell the kids that mom and I had pretty much broken up. The next morning, early, we left to fish, waterski and boat. There had been a lot of parental fighting all summer, and I told the kids on the way that the holiday was my apology.

My daughter got tired of the lake toward the end of the week and drove her car to the city to stay with a friend for the last day. But she suddenly got sick to her stomach, and naturally wanted a parent. It was late at night, so she went to our house, and unfortunately found her mother "in bed with another woman." She ran to grandma’s and called me, in hysterics.

We’re all back in the city now, and the kids have started school. Their mother is staying at her girlfriend’s place. I am through with that woman for good!

Everyone in our family home is upset and nobody is learning anything at school. My brain is spinning and I can’t think. We need help fast. What should we do?

— Just Dad, Winnipeg


Dear Dad: I’ll be blunt. Your lifestyle infers you have decent money, and you really need emergency individual and family counselling. First off, get some intensive sessions for yourself — the guy who’s more or less "driving the boat" right now with the kids.

Then quickly start the kids into counselling. School counsellors are in their busiest time of the year. It’d be quickest to get outside help. Does your wife work anywhere with insurance coverage for part of her counselling, or for the kids?

By the way, she needs help too. No matter how mad she is at her teenage kids, she no doubt still loves them. You will soon need advice from accountants and divorce lawyers as well. Do you have a best friend, sister or brother who could steady you?


Please send your questions and comments to lovecoach@hotmail.com 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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