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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Unethical to date younger partner?

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Author Topic: Unethical to date younger partner?
liz28
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I'm wrapping up a freelance job after four months. The whole time, a much younger, adorable co-worker and I have been flirting, and it has reached the point where the whole office knows, he follows me around the room, he's been asking everyone's advice against their will, and the married ladies have started trying to set him up with a nice girl his own age.

A poll of disinterested, honorable friends and colleagues outside the company has suggested the age difference has gone the way of the dinosaur. And he's already making more money than me, dagnabit. But exposing someone his age to Lyme is another story. Is it unethical to date a young man who might not understand the full impact of Lyme? Could he protect himself by taking daily doxycycline, which is regularly prescribed longterm for acne? I couldn't live with myself if he caught Lyme, but neither does it seem okay to permanently say no to living life again.

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Aniek
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Liz,

You should probably move this thread over to general support.

I can share my feelings, but you have to make the decision. I've recently started dating somebody who is 5 years younger. I have not yet arrived at the point to tell him about my health, but I will before it gets serious. Probably the next date or two.

I really don't see why there would be an ethical difference in dating somebody younger versus older. If I get serious with anybody, then I think they need to understand about my Lyme and its implications. Provide him with the information, and then allow him to make the decision.

As far as protection, I don't think it would be medically recommended to give somebody an antibiotic to prevent Lyme. Long-term antibiotics bring their problems including creating resistance to infections. For those of us with Lyme, we and doctors usually determine that the benefits of curing the Lyme are far greater than any negative impact of the antibiotic.

I had Lyme undiagnosed for 17 years. Nobody I dated ever developed Lyme. I stayed in touch with many for a few years and am in touch with somebody I lived with for over 2 years. We broke up 6 years ago and he's perfectly healthy. We did always use protection, for generic reasons. I don't know if that made a difference.

--------------------
"When there is pain, there are no words." - Toni Morrison

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iceskater
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Liz; I don't think that ethics have anything to do with your or your friends chronological age, as age does nothing to predict a successful happy adult relationship: exception of course adult with underage minor.

Your dilemma is with the quagmire we all face as honesty with living with the chronic condition of serious lyme disease: whether it be a relationship, informing an employer, health benefits, exclusion from social circles, events and anything else life can offer and has robbed us . That is a choice all of us have to make. I can't tell you adopt utilitarian philosophy for the greater good, or the good of myself, etc.

The decision you need to make is the one that you can look into your heart and have no regrets or guilt over and both you and the other individual can live with.

I wish you peace, a decision that is correct for you , happiness, and last, but, not least stronger tomorrows and better health as we all battle lyme disease.

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lymednva
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FWIW...I was married for 24 years and he hasn't turned up with Lyme yet, drat it all! [Big Grin] I had Lyme all the time we were together, and while we had protected sex for birth control reasons, we do have three kids, so it wasn't always that way. I also used the pill when I was younger.

--------------------
Lymednva

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TheCrimeOfLyme
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I don't know how MUCH younger he is than you.. keep in mind, I have a son.

But, my bf is five years younger than me. He always yells and says "4 and a HALF". To top that off, I have never dated anyone younger than me in my life. When I met him, I obviously, had lyme and I told him all about it.

I made him VERY aware that there is the possibility or at least it's been said, that it can be transmitted to him and we talked about protection etc. But in the end, it was our own personal decision.

It was kind of scary to know realize that my son was in kindergarden when he was graduating high school [Smile] . The only slack really that I had to go through was listening to him tell me his mother complained and said I was too old- this coming from a woman who CONCEIVED my boyfriend to a man twenty years old than her....

hypocrite.

I dunno. Its your decision.

[ 26. May 2006, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: TheCrimeOfLyme ]

--------------------
You want your life back? Take it.

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Areneli
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Two issues are mixed up here:
1. Age of partners and responsibility one of another
2. Transmission of LD.


I have no business to discuss the age difference but I don't see any ethical issue here.

Transfer of LD between partners is far from being proven. It is a possibility, but rather weak possibility.

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LostCityAgent
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Forgive my opinion,
There is no clinical evidence that he would be exposed to LD. I think that some people are taking this too far. Now, yes it could be possible. My suggestion is to make him aware of your condition, make him read up on it and decide for himself. Presuming that he is an adult, he is a man and should be able to make an educated decision for himself. If he knows, if he reads, if he is honest, if he is an adult male. He is apt to this decision.
Do not place all of the burden on yourself. So what, are youn never suppose to love again? Now, as a Catholic I do not believe in condoms (that is my opinion, non reflective on your choices) thus if I were ever to enter a relationship (and I never will due to my occupation) I would do just as I have told you.
Honesty, advice, education. To some degree we must trust chemistry, science that is conventional. Yes, we have lost much, we have been failed by our nation as LD patients. But, they are not totally a loss.
LD as and STD seems a simple positive, but, then my former girlfriend in college would have it and she is a healthy, happy young woman. So, I say love is a blow for freedom. HONESTY, ADVICE, EDUCATION.

Good Luck!
Jmcc.

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char
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How old is he, honey?

Char

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Marnie
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Let's for a sec, put aside the age and the disease issues.

Having an affair with a co-worker is not suggested by most counselors.

If it ends badly, it is often very hard (emotionally) to stay in the job position where it is likely you will run into each other often.

Cherish the friendship.

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Michelle M
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Well, you're ending a freelance thing so it's not apt to be awk-weird if things don't work out, in the way it would if you worked there on a day to day basis.

I wouldn't get all in a twither over the age difference. I don't think anyone cares these days unless you're 60 and he's 25 or something like that. (And even THAT is OK, if the older party is a man, of course.)

I recently ended a 2 year long relationship with a BF who was 8 years my junior. He knew all there was to know about Lyme from watching me go through perhaps the worst of it. He knew it was technically possible to get it from me but took that risk nevertheless.

I think I would tell anyone in a prospective new relationship, while remaining hopeful, that I have lyme disease but am hopefully getting better.

I think I would ask a date if he's heard those bad jokes where the wife is always saying 'Not tonight dear, I have a headache?' Well, I have a headache almost every day and I might fall asleep on our date, but it's not because you're not fascinating!

I would think it's important to be honest but optimistic. I would definitely NOT try to conceal having lyme.

Let go of the age thing, it's SO last week. Guys generally care WAY less than we do.

Good luck in your grand romance!

Michelle

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hopeful123
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i agree with the life is too short philosophy!!

too many people i know are very sick or dying or just died.

get out there and live and as they used to say on Hill Street Blues, be careful out there!!

[spinning smile]

--------------------
some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield  -

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AZURE WISH
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How young is young?

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http://www.lymefriends.com/group/multiplechemicalsensitivities

Group for artists. All media welcome:
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http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lyme_Artist

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LostCityAgent
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Good luck,
And, I must say that I am slightly surprised about how many people have asked his direct age. This is not Montel, this is a medical question support group.
Your medical question was about transmission and I agree with Michelle. Awareness, honesty, education.

John.

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char
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Dear John,

I reason I asked about the co-worker's age is that I am wondering if he has the maturity to consider what he may be getting into.

I don't know how old liz28 is (liz are you 28) and so considering the possibility that he is very young.

I don't think age difference matters in general,
other than when the younger partner is young enough to still be naive.(in a developmental sense) Looking out for Liz, really.

So we were just asking....

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Tracy9
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I think maturity is key, not age. I dated a pretty immature man 5 1/2 years younger than me, (He was 34 and I was 39)and a very mature man 11 years younger than me (he was 33, I was 44) with whom I forgot all about the age difference in no time. We seemed totally on the same level, and looked around the same age too.

--------------------
NO PM; CONTACT: [email protected]

13 years Lyme & Co.; Small Fiber Neuropathy; Myasthenia Gravis, Adrenal Insufficiency. On chemo for 2 1/2 years as experimental treatment for MG.

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Andie333
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I'm 8 years younger than my partner. It's been working out great for 16 years with no thought or concern about age.

Nobody knows about sexual transmission of Lyme, and we're no exception. Frankly, even the remotest possibility of passing this horrific disease to another person scares me!

Andie

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Mo
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Woo - wooooo ! [lick]

You luv him --- You luuuuuv him --- [spinning smile]

(sorry, how immature of me)

Dearest --

Soak it up. I think it's wonderful that you have these feelings. Why let Lyme stop you?
I don't see why you should.

Tho, I disagree with some of the above, I beleive it is most likely transmissable --
still..

Woo him with your obvious charm.. and live a life together which promotes and emphasizes strong immunity, cleansing and health..

You need that in today's world no matter the Lyme.
There's lots of little swimmers about..
(pardon the pun) [Roll Eyes]

Who's to say you're cooties are worse than his?

If you connect, join in health.
Then it's a win-win situation all around.

Love is good for your health!

Mo

--------------------
life shrinks and expands in proportion to one's courage
-- anais nin

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jarjar
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Dr. C told me that out of every 100 married patients he sees 1 will have a spouse with lyme.
I've been married for 18 years and wife never got it. Something to think about

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AZURE WISH
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I was just asking about the age because of the same reassons as char.

if he is like 18 or something and there is a 15 yr difference I think there is a big diffreence then if he is 25 and there is a 15 yr difference.

I am 29 and I wouldn't want to put up with anyone around 20 even if they have maturity - they are still deciding who they are - I just think it would be a pain in the neck.

Or maybe I am just really old now [Big Grin]

So thats what I was thinking - I think the older you get the less difference in our ages. and I do agree about the maturaity thing and the naive thing.

I don't even think our brain finishes developing till about 20 or so.

As far as transmission. THey haven't proved anything one way or another but I would want to protect him and be safe.

I wouldn't wish this disease on anyone.

--------------------
multiple chemical sensitvity group:
http://www.lymefriends.com/group/multiplechemicalsensitivities

Group for artists. All media welcome:
http://www.lymefriends.com/group/creativecorner


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lyme_Artist

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Biting Back
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Hey liz,

Your heart doesn't know how old you are . . . so I say listen to your heart.

Good luck!

P.S. My hunky hubby is 12 years younger than me and we've been togeter for 13-1/2 years!

--------------------
 -

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lpkayak
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mo said it good

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Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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liz28
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Crime of Lyme, aren't you one of the people on Lymenet who is into riding? If so, does that mean you have a younger boyfriend AND a pony at the same time?!? [Eek!]


Regarding this guy's age, when we first met he mumbled something about being 30, but he might be a lot younger, the little fibber. There might be as much as a 15-year age difference. Wait, I have to run to the oxygen tank for a second. Okay, that's better.

If JMCC, a thoughtful gentleman whose profession entails ethical understanding, believes this can be considered, then it is too soon to lower the boom on a potential relationship. And JMCC, thank you for your advice.

At the same time, a former professor of mine died this week of Lyme complications. It is in part because he took the wrong antibiotics--unfortunately, he was just too famous and successful to visit any but the most official, mainstream doctors. But it was a terrible reminder of how serious Lyme is.

Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences. Two ideas that make sense are, make sure to talk this out if the relationship continues, since this is a two-person decision, and be aware that the sexual transmission argument is shaky. So it's not okay to reject someone without giving him a choice, and it's not okay to pretend there isn't a risk and everything will magically work out.

At this moment, my decision is to let him alone and see if someone else scoops him up, which they probably will. If he does think this is a relationship he wants to explore, not just something fun to do at work, then he should consider doxycycline, since people take it on a daily basis for years for acne and malaria with no problems. Otherwise, I couldn't let him do it.

And all you gals... is there something in the drinking water? Does fluoride have even more side effects than we knew? What a revelation--worries over age difference went out with the sock hop.

[ 27. May 2006, 06:25 PM: Message edited by: liz28 ]

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Thereminator
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OK...I'll chime-in.There seems to be two main issues,Transmisshion and compatibility.Because sexual transmission is unproven and dose not occur easily,informing your partner and(initaly at least)wareing protection would work for me.

On compatibility I think Tracy and Wish had a great point.There seems to be a general age(around 26?) where people have developed an ideology and maturity.Sooo...as a rule-of-thumb you would be more compatible with the same age area(over/under-26?) in general,but because there are some big variances in maturity,individual judgement is the last word.

A third-rail subject for me is the actual cognitive effects that Lyme has on my judgement.
Because of the way Lyme effects my emotions and judgment,Im holding-off on Misses right untill Ive improved some(unless she falls on my lap..Yeow! [Razz] ).I want to be fair to both of us.

This is an important subject and I hope it comes-up more offten.I would also like to say there are some NASTY(in a good way) Women on this site and its
Too-much-Fun!!! Alan

--------------------
Charter member of the ~ Delux Toasting Club ~
Our Moto:
"Take No Prisoners"

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pab
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quote:
Originally posted by jarjar:
Dr. C told me that out of every 100 married patients he sees 1 will have a spouse with lyme.
I've been married for 18 years and wife never got it. Something to think about

We must be one of the "1's". My husband and I both have Lyme as well as our 2 sons.

--------------------
Peggy

~ ~ Hope is a powerful medicine. ~ ~

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flossie
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hey just wait a minute here!

why let someone else snap him up?
GO FOR IT!!

i mean, absolutely, i think you should discuss sexually transmitted diseases at some point before you get it on (including lyme... i firmly believe it can be transmited, by the way), and use condoms, consider other safer sex measures, avoid practices which increase your/his risk (like sex without lube, sex during menstruation, etc)..... but have some fun!!

furthermore, in my opinion, if he's 30 or even 25 (or over 18 for that matter) don't patronize him; he's old enough to have sex, and old enough to participate in this decision... not to mention old enough to decide who he wants to flirt with, whatever her incredibly advanced age!!

all best,
flossie

[ 28. May 2006, 07:47 PM: Message edited by: flossie ]

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CaliLymer
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Hey Liz,

Go for it! Not every decision has to be made in the begining. IIIIIFFFF you do get to the point of sexual stuff, you can always request him to use proctection. Maybe he will just be a fling, doesnt need to know your whole health history.

Anyways, My GF is 9 years younger than me. She is 25 and very cute and more mature than me at my age.
I would have been the dumbest thing in the world not to date her because of her age.

Have fun,

CaliLYmer

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liz28
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Thank you all for your warm, wise, thoughtful, spiritual advice to nail the hottie.

Good news: he's only 10 years younger.
Bad news: on the last day of work, he sent a personal email that finally made his intentions explicit. Unfortunately, he was so flustered that he accidentally emailed it to the whole department. [dizzy]

While restored health clearly has its potential rewards, there is something to be said for protecting the innocent from themselves.

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Thereminator
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Well Liz,these problems always seem to solve themselves,and in such a poetic manner!
[spinning smile]
Oh Well...water under the bridge...back on the horse!
Alan [Razz]

--------------------
Charter member of the ~ Delux Toasting Club ~
Our Moto:
"Take No Prisoners"

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LostCityAgent
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deleted.

[ 05. June 2006, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: LostCityAgent ]

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flossie
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dear lost city agent....

i commend all your work helping others get a accurate diagnosis, etc. that's good work, and it's great you're doing it.

but this isn't a "professional" site, it's a patient site, and if you are clear about that with your referrals, then what's the problem?

and since you have important work to do, why bother spending any of your energy getting uptight and judgemental about the titles of other peoples' posts?

especially when liz's questions had to do with how to deal with sexual transmissibility etc -- a very medical issue.

i hate to say it.... but maybe you should go take a chill pill, and stop worrying about other people having a bit of a laugh in the middle of the horror and hassle that is lyme disease.

so, you know, relax, forget about your worries for a little while, have a nice yeast-free meal, and maybe even NAIL A HOTTIE (using a comdom of course).

enjoy,
flossie

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mlkeen
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Sorry Lost-
You are right but it was my adult contact for the day.

It made me giggle and happy for liz. Maybe he has lyme too and was confused and not flustered.

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LostCityAgent
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Hello,
I did not want to make this personal. I hear it all in my "line of work" and am almost never scandalized. In fact, I was not scandalized until your remarks were pointed at me.

Liz: I understand your question and I meant to help you. It is where some took it. It was an important question.

I was concerned about these new lyme patients not taking us seriously.

But yes, we all need to have fun.


But, we need to respect other kinds of lifestyles. One of the ladies that I am assisting is a Nun of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. I do not think she would want to stumble across that.

We are still here, still very much an alive part of society.

We do not push our morals on you but when a person is here for medical reasons we must always consider others.

I am a Roman Catholic Seminarian and therefore my friend I do not intend to "maybe even NAIL A HOTTIE (using a comdom of course)." Very uncouth for you to write this to me.

I have nothing more to say on this.

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LostCityAgent
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Oh and,

Hi LymeNet Users,


It is the opinion of some LymeNet Flash users that there are too many non-medical posts in Medical Questions Forum.

I have reviewed, finding there are some non-medical Topics being posted, moved those Topics to the appropriate Forum and notified the users. I did not find this to be a pervasive problem but there are a number of occurrences.

I'm asking all LymeNet Flash users to author Topics in the appropriate Forum.

Thanks,

--------------------
Lou B

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Thereminator
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Id say its a close call,but because it addresses Transmisshion(a very important subject),it dose qualify as medical.

More importantly,I laughed so hard that for a few rare moments...I forgot that I had Lyme [Smile] Alan

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Our Moto:
"Take No Prisoners"

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LostCityAgent
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Yeah, you know --you are right.

Perhaps I over reacted. I mean we all have Lyme, it is a med question, perhaps I let my sorrow and seriousness about the afflicted get to me.

We have to laugh. And this post, in the long run, is just a post.

Our lives have been hurt enough.

I am sorry, I over reacted. Sister can probably handle this.

But, I intend to nail no one!

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ibrakeforticks
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so now that he made his intentions clear, you're no longer interested?
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Thereminator
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Well said...Lost City [Smile]

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Charter member of the ~ Delux Toasting Club ~
Our Moto:
"Take No Prisoners"

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TheCrimeOfLyme
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by liz28:
[QB] Crime of Lyme, aren't you one of the people on Lymenet who is into riding? If so, does that mean you have a younger boyfriend AND a pony at the same time?!? [Eek!]


Hahaha.. yeah Im into riding, I just don't have a pony. Boy, I bet I could pis* his Mother off bigtime saying something like that. Then again, considering his age , maybe I DO have a pony.

[woohoo]

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