DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I started dating a guy right before the pandemic started — the first since my divorce. It has been three years since the divorce.
I really like this guy. The issue is, I have a son entering high school this fall and he hates me dating again. He gave me a hard time the other day, saying he’s already stressed about starting high school, and the fact I brought a new guy around just makes it worse.
I love my boy, and while lying in bed I’ve thought maybe now just isn’t a good time, but I have been so lonely for the last three years I don’t know what to do! Am I being unfair to my son or should I take the chance on this new guy?
— Good Mom, South Winnipeg
Dear Good Mom: You’ve been alone three years and there are four years of high school ahead. That could be seven lonely years! There’s no reason you can’t be dating now. Just don’t make your son feel like the third wheel in his own home.
You need to have a life as well, to be a happy parent and raise your son without resentment. So spend time at your man’s place, on outdoor dates or at places that are COVID-19 sensitive. (If he’s seeing other women, it’s dangerous and the relationship is off!)
You can neck in the car like teenagers out of sight of your house, have barbecues in the yard or go over to your new boyfriend’s place for a movie. That’s where you’d best have the lovemaking, except for the weekends your son is at his dad’s — if you both have custody.
Just cool the affection at home for now — hugs and pecks at the door with the new boyfriend are enough until your son is established in high school.
P.S.: Don’t make the mistake of leaving your boy at home alone all night while you’re at your boyfriend’s. That’s the perfect recipe for a party — or a girlfriend. Talk about privacy!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife is mad at me because two weeks ago I embarrassed myself at a family gathering. We had a backyard barbecue, and after a few beers I started complaining about my wife to one of the friends my widowed mom brought. Unfortunately, more of my wife’s family — her brother and sister, particularly — could hear me, as I was apparently talking way louder than I should have.
I bought my wife flowers and she only got more angry at me! I haven’t been in this much trouble before. What should I do? I am NOT an alcoholic.
— Loud, Not Proud, Transcona
Dear Loud: You may not be alcoholic, but you have two drinking problems. First, you talk too loudly when you’re drinking and, second, your tongue loosens and you blab private criticisms of your wife, of all people.
If you want your wife to get over this, she needs to see a behaviour change. You need to promise to start drinking soft drinks instead of rum and coke, or ginger beer instead of real beer — without telling anybody why. If someone questions you a lot, shut them down with: "Because I get loud when I drink and it isn’t fun for anybody."
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: There’s a guy who always orders coffee at the café I go to before work. I’ve always found him attractive, but when the pandemic hit, I forgot about him.
Now that we’re back to work, I see him again. I feel compelled to say something, but can never muster the courage. I don’t know if he has a girlfriend, but I’d sure like to find out. Any suggestions for introducing myself without seeming like a weirdo?
— Professional Coffee Drinker, Downtown
Dear Professional: Be refreshingly friendly and say, "Hi! I noticed we’re both back here. I’ve been working at home. Are you happy to be working downtown?" That tells him you’ve noticed him before, and gives him an easy non-personal question to answer.
Tell him your first name and where you work. By offering just a first name, he’ll know he can do the same — or give you both his names and maybe even a business card. Et voilà! You’ve become casual coffee acquaintances.
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.