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Girlfriend has issues, not father

Q: My girlfriend of six months finds it inappropriate that I purchased Christmas gifts for my daughters at Victoria's Secret. I only purchased perfume and lotions. She feels that as a dad, I shouldn't be shopping for my girls there because they sell bras and underwear along with lingerie.

My girlfriend comes from a broken home where, to this day, she does not speak to her dad or brother. Her mom remarried when she was 17, and she was asked to leave the home by her stepfather. She also has found it inappropriate that my daughter wanted me and her mom to be with her during the birth of my grandson.

I get very uncomfortable, as she makes it seem like I am inappropriate with my kids. I love my girls and would never do anything to hurt them. I don't find it inappropriate to buy perfume and hand lotion. But, obviously, I'm wrong, or am I missing something?

-- F.L., Buffalo

A: I don't think there is anything wrong with lotion or perfume, regardless of where it comes from. Lots of stores sell these things along with more intimate apparel. It is irrational and inappropriate for your girlfriend to challenge you on this. Obviously it would be inappropriate if you were buying your girls sexy lingerie, but that clearly isn't the case.

The birth of a child or grandchild is a sacred moment in a family's life, and I think it is sweet that your daughter wanted you to be a part of the experience. There may be some families who find it odd for the grandfather to be present, but this was your daughter's choice. It is really none of your girlfriend's business -- especially after only six months together.

It sounds to me, from the background you have given about your girlfriend, that she might have some underlying issues going on that she is not sharing with you. Perhaps events from her past and the lack of contact with her male family members have something to do with her strange reaction.

You need to talk to her about this if you want the relationship to take a healthier path. Encourage her to open up to you about anything that may have happened to her in the past. If there is something she is struggling to deal with, suggest that she seek professional help.


It's nobody's business

Q: I am 42, single, never married. I consider myself to be a very upstanding citizen. I am always getting compliments on my beauty, brains and disposition. I have been told many times that I am a kind, warm-hearted person -- and yet I haven't met the right man. I do want to find love.

A lot of my friends have been married and divorced. I am not at all complaining about that. I just want to know why people are so shocked and inquisitive when I tell them I have never been married.

-- S.W., Amherst

A: Not everyone can so easily find that one person she wants to spend her life with. It is rude and invasive for anyone to interrogate you about your situation, and you are not obligated to explain yourself. I always tell my clients it is better to have not been married than to marry the wrong person and end up unhappy or divorced.

However, you mention that you want to meet that special someone, so you need to be proactive about it. Mr. Right isn't going to magically appear at your door. Get out with friends and mingle with new people. Take up a new hobby or a class where you can interact with strangers. If you match the description you give of yourself, attracting men shouldn't be too hard once you get yourself out there. Avoid making a list of criteria you expect in a man, though. Being open-minded will improve your chances tenfold. And feel free to contact my agency if you would like personalized and professional help with dating.


Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions ( Email questions to and include your initials and hometown.

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