Don’t meet former boyfriends be­hind part­ner’s back

Winnipeg Free Press - Section E - - LIFE & ARTS -

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I saw sev­eral gor­geous old boyfriends at a con­cert in Win­nipeg re­cently, and it made me won­der what kind of a life I left be­hind five years ago. All of th­ese men were still ap­peal­ing sex­u­ally, in their late 20s, and per­fectly pleas­ant and funny. They all asked me some­thing like, “Are you feel­ing bet­ter now?” At first I thought they were maybe re­fer­ring to our breakups, and my re­cov­er­ies af­ter they were gone. What male egos, I thought.

Then I re­al­ized they were ac­tu­ally re­fer­ring to my ten­dency to be nutsy — happy and eu­phoric for pe­ri­ods of time and then re­ally down on the ground and cry­ing a lot. I was like a roller-coaster. At one time or an­other, they had all asked me to get help. I was in­sulted at the time and ab­so­lutely re­fused. My next boyfriend af­ter them — with whom I am liv­ing with hap­pily now — in­sisted I get di­ag­nosed right at the be­gin­ning of our re­la­tion­ship, and now I take med­i­ca­tion for my bipo­lar dis­or­der. I’m pretty much lev­elled out and love him dearly.

On puz­zling this over, I’ve de­cided I would like to in­ter­view th­ese old boyfriends on how it was for them deal­ing with me so I can get a grip on my re­al­ity back then. I al­ways thought there was some­thing wrong with them, such as lack of em­pa­thy, lack of ma­tu­rity or some­thing cold in them. It never oc­curred to me I was the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor un­til I got home from that con­cert and thought about it for a few days.

Is it dis­re­spect­ful to my present guy to talk to th­ese old loves? That’s what I want to do and maybe even tape the in­ter­views. Should I even tell my guy, or sneak? — Ex-Roller-Coaster Babe, St. James

Dear Ex-Roller-Coaster: It must have felt good to have th­ese guys come over and ask about your health. They ob­vi­ously cared a lot at one time, but didn’t un­der­stand what was hap­pen­ing. Though it’s tempt­ing to check out th­ese old boyfriends in pri­vate — even if it’s a short list — it wouldn’t be fair to the guy who re­ally loves you now. How would you like your man to go off to “in­ter­view” sev­eral at­trac­tive old girl­friends about their former re­la­tion­ship with him, and to make amends?

Com­mon sense tells me your new boyfriend is not go­ing to be happy about your sneak­ing off to see sev­eral old boyfriends with the pur­pose of in­ter­view­ing them about your past re­la­tion­ships. “Re­ally?” he will say. “Sounds like an ex­cuse to see them alone.”

If you’re sin­cere about do­ing re­search, just call the old boyfriends on the phone and apol­o­gize for be­ing a dif­fi­cult girl­friend. Tell them you ap­pre­ci­ated them car­ing enough to ask about your health. Tell them that your bipo­lar con­di­tion has been di­ag­nosed and treated. Later that night, tell your boyfriend what you did on the phone, and thank him for be­ing car­ing enough and strong enough to get you to a doc­tor for proper treat­ment.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m crazy about ani- mals and am con­sid­er­ing pa­per­ing the walls to the roof with pic­tures of adorable baby an­i­mals. It’s my first apart­ment and I have room­mates. I should be able to do what I want with dec­o­rat­ing my room, right? My room­mates think it will scare peo­ple off, like I’m a crazy woman. One of them said to me, “I doubt any guy will want to sleep in here with 200 pair of eyes star­ing from the walls at his bare butt!”

I may never get a chance to do this again when I’m older. I’m 18 now and just moved into the city with my girl­friends. I’m go­ing to col­lege next year and work­ing full time un­til Jan­uary when my course starts. What do you think? — First Apart­ment Prob­lem, Down­town

Dear First Apart­ment: Get it out of your sys­tem. So what if no guy sees the in­side of your bed­room for the first months? You’re young and fancy free and this is your first place.

Sug­ges­tion: you might want to af­fix the an­i­mal pic­tures onto large rolled-out pieces of mu­ral pa­per so you can take them down with­out wreck­ing the walls. When you grow out of this dec­o­rat­ing faze, and you will, things will change, but for now, why not dec­o­rate it when your roomies are out, and keep the door shut when up­tight com­pany comes over.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is re­gard­ing Spir­i­tual Lady whose hus­band feels that the neigh­bours cel­e­brat­ing Hal­loween “looks like the devil’s work” and they will burn in hell. The re­al­ity is that Hal­loween is a Chris­tian cel­e­bra­tion, so I would sug­gest he live and let live be­cause there is a lot of ig­no­rant ha­tred in this world, and as a spir­i­tual man, he need not be part of it. I’ll bet his neigh­bours will for­give him when he apol­o­gizes. I en­joy your col­umn. Best re­gards. — SY, Win­nipeg

Dear SY: When he apol­o­gizes? That’s a good one! Ac­tu­ally, there’s a lot de­bate over whether Hal­loween started as a pa­gan or Chris­tian cus­tom, al­though it did pre­cede the Chris­tian All Hal­lows cel­e­bra­tions by one night and end up called All Hal­lows Eve. Oth­ers say Hal­loween first had to do with fears and be­liefs about the dead and ward­ing off evil spir­its by dress­ing up and beat­ing them at their own game, rather than any­thing Chris­tian.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Since I have be­come a gui­tarist and singer with a band, I find I idol­ize my favourite singers and song­writ­ers more and want to ask them ques­tions. I see their pages on­line, but am too shy to con­tact them and ask them ques­tions. Will they think I’m com­ing on to them? — A Mil­lion Ques­tions, Fort Garry

Dear Ques­tions: Sur­prise! Peo­ple who are al­ways on buses or planes spend a lot of time on their lap­tops and you may even get some con­ver­sa­tions go­ing with them on so­cial me­dia. Don’t ex­pect too much, but it can hap­pen. Keep your ques­tions about mu­sic, and don’t use them as a way to sneak in as a ra­bid groupie. Please send your ques­tions and com­ments to love­coach@hot­ or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Win­nipeg Free Press, 1355 Moun­tain Ave., Winni

peg, MB, R2X 3B6


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