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Make the Call

By Mink Stole | Posted 11/16/2005

Iím a 26-year-old single man who canít get his high-school sweetheart out of his mind. Carol and I went together for four years, but after we went off to different colleges we found that it was too hard to maintain the relationship long distance and get decent grades, so we broke up. I met another woman when I was a sophomore and we were together for a few years, but I could never fully commit to her and she finally got tired of waiting for me to tell her I loved her and left me. Iíve dated a couple of women since then but canít seem to get serious about anyone. My college girlfriend accused me of still being in love with Carol, and Iím beginning to realize sheís right. I compare every woman I meet with her, and Carol comes out ahead every time. I havenít seen or talked to Carol for years, but I know sheís not married, and she lives only about a half-hour from me. I canít stop thinking about her. Would it be ridiculous of me to drop by to see her? Maybe with candy and flowers? I really want to, but I donít want to make a fool of myself.

Torchbearing Tim

The woman who wouldnít be flattered by the reappearance of a still-smitten former sweetheart is a woman Iíve never met, TT. But showing up unannounced on her doorstep, with or without flowers and candy, is a horrible idea. Youíd be all slicked up and ready to make a good new impression, but if sheís not expecting company, she likely wouldnít be. If you caught her in a less than camera-ready moment, she might be more embarrassed and annoyed than pleased to see you. Not the greatest way to start things off.

Call her. Somebody you know has her phone number. Keep it light, though; pouring out your heart and soul to her in your initial conversation could make you sound more like a stalker than a suitor. Just tell her youíve been thinking about her and would like to see her. If for any reason she doesnít want to, if would be far less embarrassing for you both to deal with it in a phone call. But if sheís glad to hear from you, sheíll also be glad to have the chance to doll up for your first meeting. Try to keep your expectations under control. Youíre remembering high-school Carol; youíll be having dinner with someone a few years older and perhaps a little changed by experience. And so, for that matter, will she.

I have a great new girlfriend, and weíre crazy about each other. We met at a mutual friendís party three months ago and have been nearly inseparable ever since. Weíre talking about getting a place together but donít want to jinx things by moving too fast. The only real problem we have is that before she met me she had been seeing another guy kind of casually for a few weeks. She liked him, but she says they never slept together because they never got to that stage. Then she met me. She told him about me, and thought he was OK with it because they were just friends. Of course, as soon as she started being with me, he started coming on real strong, calling her all the time, telling her how beautiful and sexy she was, hugging her really close whenever he saw her, even when we were together. I told her he was trying to get her back, but she insisted he was harmless and this was just his way of dealing with the change in their relationship. It bothered the hell out of me, though. She finally stopped taking his calls, but only because I kept asking her. She says she is tired of fighting with me about it. Now I feel like a bully, but I hated the way he wouldnít leave her alone. Was I wrong? Should I apologize?

Worried Guy

There are some people, WG, who can only want what other people have. Some are too insecure to commit without knowing somebody else would, some need the challenge of a rival, and for some itís all about spoiling other peopleís happiness. And for some itís a possessiveness that refuses to face reality. Whether this guy is one of these, has some other problem, or is just regretting not having made his move sooner, he was deliberately and definitely trying to cut you out. Objecting to some guy blatantly coming on to your girlfriend is not bullying. Believe me, your girlfriend wouldnít be so la-de-da if some previously platonic gal pal of yours started shaking her booty all up in your face.

But itís time to let it go. Now that the issue is resolved, any further discussion is pointless. If youíre still feeling a little weird, though, you might want to do something especially nice to show her how much you appreciate her, which will also subtly remind her that she made the right choice.

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