Monday, May 19, 2008

Falling in Love By Phone

Dear Terry,

Just want to know if I can find the right one just by chatting with him over the phone? I'm feeling somthing for this guy, but we only communicate via emails and phone calls. I think I'm in love with him.

How do I handle this?

-Falling Hard, Falling Fast

Hello, Falling-

Congratulations on finding someone you click with online and on the phone.

It's important to keep your emotions firmly in check. You haven't met the guy. For all you know, the heat you feel for him now will cool the second you lay eyes on him.

So meet him. You don't say whether he lives in the next town or in a foreign country, but it doesn't matter. To find out whether you want this relationship to progress, you have to meet him.

The next time you have him on the phone, say casually, "You know, we've been talking all this time. Wouldn't it be fun to get together in person?"

Then don't say another word. Let him talk.

If he offers excuses, it's a red flag. Heed it. You'd be wise to cut back on the calls and emails -- or stop them altogether. He could be married or a relentless player.

You can do better than that.

If he says he'd like to get together, go for it. Days before the date, keep a list of your good qualities running through your mind. Remember what you have to offer. There's no reason to be overly nervous.

When you meet him, smile and have a good time. Look him straight in the eye. Give yourself time to decide whether you can fall in love with him.


Dogs: The Ultimate People Magnet

I'm a cat person. I live in my head. I'm an indoorsy girl.

Over the last seven months, however, my brother and his fiancee have asked us to watch their pug, Wesley, while they travel for pleasure and business. Wesley is a bit more work than our little cat (he showed up here Tuesday with ear drops and a bottle of antibiotics for a double-ear infection), but he's a real attention-getter.

When I walk him, it's amazing how people who never spoke to me before feel free to introduce themselves and pet the little fellow.

Which is news to none of you who own a dog, but if you don't have one and you do possess the means, the love, and the inclination to care for an animal, you might want to change that. Especially if you're interested in meeting a canine-loving member of the opposite sex. A reader wrote to me about a year ago to say she'd met her boyfriend while walking her dog.

Already have a dog? Try walking her in a different direction next time. Shake up your routine. See who you meet!

Now, if you live in a tiny apartment and work odd hours, dog ownership may not be for you. In that case, you might consider doing what my friend, Viveca Stone-Berry does. She's a volunteer dog-walker for an animal shelter in her area. She not only gets the satisfaction of helping animals she loves, but she's made new human friends. She gets regular exercise and has lost weight without wasting gas driving to a gym.

Viveca and her photographer/humorist brother, Richard H. Stone, have come up with a series of amusing greeting cards (named "A Barker's Dozen," heh heh; that's one of his photos above) with proceeds going to dog and cat rescue missions. Click here to check 'em out. Or, if you'd prefer, put in your browser.

They're hilarious.

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