Dear Annie: I am a 20-year-old college sophomore, very involved in sports, clubs, etc., and fortunate enough to have many great friends. The problem is, I cannot get a second date. I don't have a problem attracting guys, but after we hang out once or twice, they're no longer romantically interested in me.
I have asked my friends what I am doing wrong, but they don't know. I am not looking for a long-term relationship, just a guy to hang out with when everyone else has a date. People tell me I am fun to be around and I'm in good physical shape. I am not a prude, but I also don't believe in casual sex. What's going on? Puzzled Petunia
Dear Puzzled: Here are some possibilities: Do you monopolize the conversation? Do you come across as competitive or egotistical? Are you interesting to talk to? Do you unconsciously give the impression that you are "easy" and attract guys who are only interested in sex?
If you are a good listener, look put-together and have a fun attitude, we don't know why guys lose interest. Either you are looking at the wrong guys, or something about you pushes them away. If your friends can't tell you, perhaps you should go back to one of those guys and ask for a brutally honest assessment.
Dear Annie: I'm fuming mad. My husband just called to tell me he is going out for a beer after work. He does this four or five nights a week. Usually, he doesn't bother to call and I prepare dinner, then sit and wait. Last week, he went for "a beer" and stayed out until 10:30. When he came home, he could barely speak.
Annie, there is so much about this that bothers me. First, his behavior lets me know he'd rather be out drinking than home with me. I always fix myself up and try to look good when he comes in. I take care of our home and I'm a good cook.
Second, I don't care for his drinking buddies. He goes with different guys, most of them single, but occasionally with a young single divorcee who works in his office. I have told him this bothers me, so now he just doesn't tell me when she shows up.
Last, but certainly not least, is the driving. There has already been one really bad incident, but he was able to buy his way out of it.
I'm lonesome, hurt, sad, jealous and afraid. I've had counseling and learned he is not going to change. I have three alternatives: I can find something else to do in the evenings, I can pretend it doesn't bother me, or I can beg, cry and be unhappy.
Maybe if he sees this in writing, he will realize how badly he's hurting me. I want to say this to his happy hour gang: If you're married and out drinking, you are showing whoever is waiting that they are not important to you.
Oh, yeah, I forgot one more alternative. We could divorce. Numb and Tired
Dear Numb: You also can try Al-Anon (al-anon-alateen.org) for friends and relatives of alcoholics. It's in your phone book.
Dear Annie: I had to chuckle when I read the letter from the teacher who objected to the "F-word," referring to passing gas.
When my now-23-year-old daughter was in kindergarten, she came home from school one day stating that Johnny got in trouble for using the "F-word." We were very careful about what language our daughter was exposed to and wondered if she even knew what the "F-word" was. She finally told us it was about passing gas. I sure wish that was the only "F-word" she knew now. D.B.
Dear D.B.: You're not the only one. Thanks for making us smile.
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