Beware of weirdos and wackos who are playing dating games

SINGLE FILE

May 09, 1993|By SUSAN DEITZ

Q: Several months ago I wrote you for advice concerning the unwanted, persistent attentions of a man I had dated briefly. Despite all attempts on my part to dissuade him from calling, he persisted. The phone calls would come in the early morning hours, and contact by mail was frequent.

You advised contacting the police. I didn't do it, until he called again and started the conversation fairly innocuously with "How are you?" I realized that I did not want to be manipulated into a personal conversation and told him that I really don't see the point of talking with each other. He began to scream at me, and I immediately hung up.

The next day I called the police and the telephone company and got an unpublished number. So far, there have been no further mail contacts or personal visits, thank God.

As a service to other men and women who might be the targets of unwanted attentions, may I offer some advice?

1. Trust your instincts; listen to what your date is saying and how they're reacting to what you're saying. If they appear to be unfocused or dazed, they're listening to a fantasy or a ghost from their past . . . not you.

2. Listen and watch for premature intimacy or revelations.

3. Listen and be on guard if someone tells you they have either failed at college, failed at marriage, failed on the job, failed at family relations.

4. Listen and react if he/she tells you they want someone to tell them how to: budget, live, cook, clean, dress, vacation.

This can serve as a red flag guide. For myself, I'm now less naive and more alert to warning signs.

A: There is nothing like the words of the person who's been there. The dating world attracts a lot of wackos, weirdos and wannabes. So a few pointers from someone who's had experience with them helps a lot. Slow and careful is the watchword.

Q: This is regarding the recent letter about disappointing New York City men. Well, I felt that way too. Big time! I happened to be 24 at the time (37 now) and I wasn't about to put romance on the back burner.

I would write to the chambers of commerce of different states asking for literature on jobs, housing, things like that. Then I would visit.

I happened to luck out, as my brother had moved to Arizona and I went to visit him; I loved the desert and moved there the next

year. I met my husband (true love) there, and stayed for six years.

Now I'm back and living in New York, and I am soooooo glad I didn't marry a New Yorker! But ladies, don't put love on the back burner! It's a big country with many options.

A: Don't you find that luck favors the persistent person, the optimist and the doer, the one who refuses to surrender to Fate but keeps moving ahead against the odds? You lucked out because you were doing all you could to find the love you felt you deserved. What an object lesson for us all -- particularly the women who throw up their hands in despair and whine about the poor quality of the men they are seeing.

*

A father-daughter team collaborated on a small and practical book for anyone who uses baby sitters. From bedtime instructions to medical considerations, these two have compiled whimsical, entertaining and thoughtful guide serving baby sitters, parents and their children.

"Our Family Baby-Sitting Guide," is by Julie and Woody Young (Joy Publishing, P.O. Box 827, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. 92675). The "Things to Remember" section alone is worth the price of the book. The authors interviewed law enforcement officers and authorities at child health and welfare agencies to determine what parents should be concerned with in choosing a baby-sitter. For example: "Ask for references. Many people believe it is 'proper' to ask for three references. Authorities say that parents should ask for more -- up to 10. . . . When checking on references, be sure to ask specific questions." (They suggest a few.)

Some more food for thought. In the movie "Carnal Knowledge," a XTC penetrating question was raised: Would you rather be the lover or the loved one in a relationship? This is a good time to resurrect the issue as a bit of stimulant -- and mind-bender. How about it? Which would you rather be? And why? Write to me, in care of The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

+ Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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