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Karma Cleanser 

Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

The letter from "Smell It Coming" -- the fellow whose wife had left him for a bigger house -- reminded me of my own situation. I don't know if it's bad karma or bad timing, but I keep attracting the wrong types of men.

I was in a relationship with someone for three years. We lived together and he was doting and dedicated to me. I was bored after the first year but stayed around because of the security.

By the time I did end it, he was destroyed by my decision. I told him I had to live in a bigger apartment and have more space to myself. He didn't speak to me again.

Now, almost a year later, there have been a number of "flings" but nothing serious. One man has developed an attachment to me, and although I do like his style, he comes across as far too needy. He told me on the phone recently, "I miss you," and I almost laughed. I don't want to break his heart but is there no easy way to tell these men that I'm not shopping for a ring right now?
–Miss You Not

On the Karma Cleanser's fridge hangs a photocopy our wise friend Jim gave us many years ago. It's a poem called "Desiderata," which was a common pass-around in the hippy clique he ran with out West. There's a line in the poem that fits your plight: "Especially do not feign affection, neither be cynical about love." Until you learn to be honest with these suitors about your real wants, and learn to leave the door open to the possibility of happiness, men like Mr. I Miss You will continue to cramp your living space.

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