First Date Too Early for High-Pressure Pitch
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Dear Christine,

I need your reality-check advice. I really want to have a family, and Iím not getting any younger. Because I donít want to waste any more time with men who donít want a family, I always tell them what I want on the first date.

My friends say this approach is too harsh for some men. I still think itís best to dish up the hard truth about something this important.

What are your thoughts? -- FUTURE MOM Ė LONDON, ONTARIO

Dear Future Mom,

Thereís dishing up the truth, and then thereís shoving it down an unsuspecting suitorís throat.

First dates are for opening up lines of communication, comparing goals and interests, and assessing whether you have chemistry. Your friends are right in telling you that the chimes on a womanís biological clock can be a terrifying sound to a man. However, you can still get your point across up frontójust flavour it with a little subtlety. Rather than saying you donít want to waste time on him if he wonít father your children, why not try casually commenting on a family. Say something like ďArenít they adorable? I look forward to having my own. What about you?Ē

Youíll have to slow down and focus deeper on this issue. Knowing that a man wants kids is only one piece of the puzzle. You need time to get to know a manís character. Will he be a trusting friend, a loving husband, a dedicated father?

Dear Christine,

Iím a long-divorced man in my 40s, and Iíve finally entered into another committed relationship. Weíve been together for eleven months, and although I am in love with her, Iíve been unable to say ďI love you.Ē She hasnít exactly said it to me yet either, although several weeks ago she did say she felt she was ďfalling in loveĒ with me.

I guess Iím out of practice because Iím afraid Iíll blurt it out too soon and scare her away. But I donít want to lose her by taking to long to tell her, either. When is the right time to tell her Iím in love with her? And how should I tell her? -- LOST FOR WORDS Ė SARDIS CITY, ALABAMA

Dear Lost For Words,

The easiest, most ideal time to tell someone you love them is when you have reason to believe they feel the same way. If only you had some indication of how she feelsólike if sheíd hinted that she was ďfalling in love with you.Ē

Come on, manÖshe gave you the perfect segue months ago, and you blew it. But letís not dwell on missed opportunities. Donít waste any more time. Plan a romantic setting, look into her eyes, and just say it.

The first time will stay in her memory forever, so donít say it while the two of you are making love or while youíre intoxicated. Either of these will turn the attention to the moment rather than the true emotions behind the statement.

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