Steve is a 50-something married man who's been around the block. Mia is a 20-something single immersed in the Center City dating scene. They may not agree, but they have plenty of answers. If you'd like an answer to your romantic troubles, e-mail them at S&M@phillynews.com or write: S&M c/o Daily News, Box 7788, Philadelphia, PA 19101.
Q: I am 25 and have been with my girlfriend for three years. I plan on marrying her and she swears she wants to be with me forever. We have known each other since we were 15 and are best friends. She recently confided in me that she worries about having regrets that she hasn't slept with anyone besides me. We took a break in college and, although she dated, she didn't sleep with anyone. I understand the sentiment, but I can't help but be a little worried. In my experience, women in love usually have tunnel vision and don't think about sleeping with other men. And if they do, they don't bring it up. I don't fault her for feeling this way, I just wonder if it's a sign that while she could be happy being my wife (I'm a great catch by the way), she isn't really in love with me. Help.
Steve: Well, you can either find someone else for her to sleep with and get it out of her system, or you could ask her if she really loves you. I suggest the latter. If she says yes, then discuss her worry about having regrets. Everything we do in life has regret potential. Talking it out might chase her worries.
Mia: Men always think they're a great catch. It's one of their many annoying tics. But I digress. The reality is that most of us regret things we do and don't do. There are men I wish I hadn't slept with and men I wish I had jumped when I had the chance. But them's the breaks. If your girlfriend really loves you, she'll come to terms with this. If she doesn't, you could try wearing costumes and doing accents. That way she might feel like she was getting broader experience.
Q: I've been speaking to an old girlfriend for about a year. She was stuck in an unhappy marriage and I supported her when she left her husband. We have great chemistry and really care about each other, but I'm in prison and won't get out for two years. So I've encouraged her to start dating and said all I can be is a friend to her. Am I doing the right thing?
Mia:Yes. You don't really need our advice at all. This is definitely the best way to handle this. But stick to your word and try to be understanding. When you get out, if she's still single, you can try a more serious relationship.
Steve:You sound like you've been maturing and getting your head together while in the stir. Stay in touch with her and see where things stand in two years.
Q: I've been dating several people, and I've decided one guy is the one for me. There's just one problem, we've never kissed. Should I lay one on him before I dump the others?
Steve: Is it in his face?
Oh no, it's just his charms.
In his warm embrace?
Oh no, that's just his arms.
If you wanna know
If he loves you so
It's in his kiss!
Sorry to get all Betty Everett on you here, but she tells the truth. You can't possibly decide without kissing him.
Mia: Uh, yes. What if you have no chemistry? What if he has terrible breath or he slobbers all over you or has a freakishly aggressive tongue? These are things you need to know before you ditch the backups. Anyway, what are you waiting for? I'm an advocate of first-date kissing. That way you don't waste any time on the second date if it's lousy. *