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This article was published 7/9/2014 (1298 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm male and have been having an on-again off-again relationship with one of my female co-workers. I recently heard through the grapevine I'll be getting a promotion soon. She's been working here longer than I have, and I don't know how to break it to her that I'm getting promoted instead of her.

— Too Much Success? East Kildonan

Dear Too Much Success: Don't break it to her until you've been told for sure. In the meantime, don't indulge co-workers in the gossip about this promotion and brush rumours off as speculation.

Let's talk turkey. You say your relationship is on-again, off-again, so how close is it? Sounds like there have been major differences. Be very careful on your side of this. It'd be cold of you to turn your back on her because you have unwittingly leap-frogged her and she could make trouble from below. If she says she wants distance, make an effort to be a good co-worker. It'd be best for the two of you if she says she wants the romantic part of the relationship over for good, if and when you become her boss. Would it be possible to help her get a job in a different area of the business?

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My friends and I like to go out to the bar on the weekends, and with my being newly single, my friends try to hook me up with guys. I just got out of a one-year relationship (things got really intense really quick) and I'm not sure if I'm ready to start dating again. I'm lonely and want the company, but I don't know if I'm totally over my ex. I don't want to string some guy along when I'm not ready. That's not fair to him, but at the same time I don't want to be alone. — Forever Alone? Garden City

Dear Forever: A short while away from heavy dating seems like a lifetime, when you are used to having love, companionship and exciting sex. It sounds like you are not ready for a real relationship, so this is the time to practise light flirting, and get a little counselling around what you should be looking for in a better relationship.

Something that's fun and instructive to do is a relationship history analysis: Make a list of your past relationships naming what you liked about each person on one side and what you didn't on the other, plus short notes about what each partner looked like. If you are repeating the same negative patterns, you will know what to avoid.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I recently met the girl of my dreams. She's amazing and we get along very well. We both live with our parents, and have recently discussed getting an apartment together. I've never had pets because my mom has severe allergies, and have been looking forward to rescuing a cat when I move out.

I've been dreaming of this day since I was a child, but my girlfriend just informed me that, not only can she not stand cats, she doesn't like animals in general. I'm devastated, but I don't want this to ruin our relationship. How can I change her mind? There are so many animals out there who need homes, and I need one just as bad as they need me. Is a girl worth giving up a dream? — Horrible Choice, St. Boniface

Dear Choice: Usually, people would opt for a human relationship for the companionship, affection and sex, and all of the things people bring to one another. But pets are wonderful sources of companionship and the bonds we create with them are loving and lasting. In your case, having a pet has been a life-long dream. It is strange you have arrived at the doorstep of living together with this girl after meeting so recently. You don't even know her well enough to know her attitude to animals. What other major rules are going to come out, on both your sides? You are not ready to be living together yet. You'd be wise to go around the season one more time while you still live in different homes and can break up if and when you need to.

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