Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Don't Avoid the Doctor Because of Weight Gain

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have gotten to know a woman in my neighborhood who is fun, quirky and talkative. She is on the dating scene, whereas I have been married for a long time. Listening to her stories is interesting. She told me that she was celibate, and she tells guys up front that she is not interested in having sex early on in a relationship. She said a lot of guys are turned off by that, but this is her rule. I like that she stands by that.

Recently, she admitted that she has a “maintenance man” -- a go-to guy for sex! She has sex with him whenever she wants, no strings attached, but other men she’s considering as marriage material get denied. This was confusing to me. I felt like a Neanderthal about dating and romance. Is she a hypocrite, or am I hearing something wrong here? -- Dating and Sex

DEAR DATING AND SEX: What may be most unusual about this story is that it is coming from a woman. This woman is attempting to navigate her dating life so she can find a partner while, at the same time, enjoying sex. That sounds like what many would call the stereotypical man. Often, men are not judged if they have casual sex with people and then later marry “the nice girl.”

As someone who has not been on the dating scene for a long time, you should just listen and take it all in. Cut her a break, too. She is doing her best to figure out her life. Be grateful that you don’t have to swim in those waters right now.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)