Dear Rhona: I'm 26 years old with very little dating experience and I'm doing a lot of schooling, travelling and moving around because of my career choice (meteorology). Most single women my age probably have a lot more dating and sexual experience and may have certain expectations I won't know how to fulfil.
How can I overcome this and catch up for lost time, and how can I keep a woman from comparing me to her former boyfriends?
Dear J: Don't worry about the comparisons - they may or may not happen and you have no control over whether they do. Grab the part you do have some say about - whether you are fun and interesting date material. If you brush your teeth, use deodorant, look interested when someone else is talking and smile at her remarks, you'll do just fine. Romance and sex are not all about technique - that's the easy part for a motivated person.
Few women have a dating questionnaire you must fill out beforehand, and they are hardly going to rate you like a poodle at a dog show. Relax and be yourself.
And you are in luck, because I think the best conversation starter is the weather - everybody has a point of view and can ping-pong the dialogue ball. You add a thunderous dimension to it all with your sunny outlook. I forecast a pleasant period with few cloudy breaks.
Dear Rhona: I'm a lesbian and the girl that I'm with is straight. When we became friends, she pursued me and one thing led to another. Now, she wants to have a traditional family (husband, kids, fence and dog). This is fine with me, because all I want is her happiness, even though I know it will be hard for me.
The problem is I can't seem to end it for good. I want to have a relationship with another woman who wants to build a future with me, but every time I talk about us parting (even just living apart), she talks me out of it - there are tears, and nothing is ever solved.
I've asked her a thousand times to stay with me, and she always says no, but if I ask her to break up for good, she says she can't.
I can't imagine my life without her, but I don't know how much more of this I can take.
Dear Crushed: You silly woman. Here's the edited version of your situation: You are living with a bisexual woman who wants to leave you and have a traditional family. Unfortunately for her, she hasn't found the right man, so she is still sleeping with you. You want a life partner and she isn't willing to be that person.
She IS willing to tread water with you till something better comes along. And, I might add, she is unfairly guilt tripping as if it were your idea to change plans.
You are in a double bind and wilting - the way she has it set up, you can't win no matter what you do.
Be clear on one point: She is taking care of her-self. It is time you took care of you - no one else will.
You lived without her before you met and you'll fall in love again - but not if your next love has to arm-wrestle Ms. Waffle out of your bed. And neither of you can move on as long as she's hanging onto your leg.
Unless being used is your idea of a good time, make some new plans, preferably before they send in the rocking chair and the dental adhesive.
Dear Rhona: Both of my brothers are having fertility problems. I have two little boys. I know they are heartbroken about that already, so I really don't know how to tell them I am pregnant again. It sounds kind of unkind to say "Oops! I guess I got pregnant again" (it was unplanned). I want them to be happy for me - how do I tell them?
Dear G.D.: You cannot correct your brothers' infertility problems by abstaining from sex yourself, or by limiting the size of your family.
It is hardly important to tell them it wasn't planned ("Gee, I just have to be in the vicinity of my husband's equipment to get pregnant") or to apologize for a happy event.
There is a difference between being sensitive to your brothers' reality and sneaking around, overcompensating for your life. The guilt you feel about baby-making is useless - you have done nothing wrong. It is OK to say, "I'm aware that you will have mixed emotions about this because I know how important a baby is to you, but I'm expecting in the summer.
And I wish I could help you guys out."
They'll know you care, and that you aren't gloating.
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