Hippo Manchester
December 1, 2005


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Pinings: Two Men At The Same Time
by Sherry Hughes

Dear Pinings,

I am in quite a jam. I am in love with two men at the same time ó and I really do love them both. One of the guys, my boyfriend for the last three years, is in jail and wonít be out for another three or four years. I love him, but he is a thousand miles away, locked up, and I can only see him about once every three months or so.

This other guy is a neighbor who I met at a party. Heís really nice and has a good job, but he doesnít want to see me unless I break things off with the guy in jail. I donít want to do this, because I promised Iíd always be there for him. But this guy wonít take no for an answer. He wonít see me at all unless I end things with the other one.

I donít know what to do. I donít have much of a future with the guy in jail Ö at least not for a while Ö but I donít know if this new man is for me either.

- Shandra

Dear Shandra,

Wow. You are truly in a pickle.

A couple of ideas come to mind. One is that itís really hard to have a relationship with someone 1,000 miles away, even if he isnít in jail. And I appreciate your promise to be there for him, but what that means for both of you may change as time goes by. You may only able to be a friend, a writing partner, someone on the outside willing to stay in touch.

The new guy certainly offers some promise ó he has some standards ó and doesnít want to step into a situation that could be painful for him.

I canít tell you what to do, but Iím a firm believer in finishing one thing before beginning another. That means if you want to date the new guy, you need to be up front with the guy in jail. And even then, you may want to take some time to grieve, to let go of the past, before jumping into something else too soon.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. E-mail her at sah103@hotmail.com.