Sometimes I post letters here that I’ve received at my other website, the advice column, Dear Dave. Recently I shared one about a fellow who almost set himself on fire. I got a huge number of emails saying I had missed the point of the letter. Maybe I’ll do better this time with a letter I received yesterday.
I’m an important and powerful person and have many people working for me. I’ve proven myself a true leader in my field and have achieved the highest level of success. But suddenly I find myself confused about the most ordinary of endeavors: the game of love.
My love life is in tatters these days and I just don’t understand how this could have happened. I used to be quite adept in the ways of love, if I may be honest. I might even be descended from that greater lover himself, Don Juan.
And yet recently, I’ve been accused of romantic mishaps. For example, I went in for the first kiss with a woman I was attracted to and was later accused of giving an unsolicited kiss. I don’t understand. How can the mystery of the first kiss be anything but unsolicited? Who would ever ask someone for consent first? Is that not a romantic moment-killer?
Another example: I’m 63 years old but happen to be attracted to younger women. I let my preferences be known by asking a woman in her twenties who I found very sexy if she liked to date older men. She accused me of sexual harassment!
Do you see what I’m saying? I’m damned if I go in for the first kiss and damned if I ask first.
I’ll share with you one more incident to demonstrate just how befuddling my situation is. I’m not the most tech savvy person in the world (63 years old, right?) and a younger assistant came to help me with a computer issue I was having. She leaned over my desk to point out something on my screen and her breast was right there, within inches of my face. If that’s not an invitation I don’t know what is. And then she accused me of groping! I looked up the word groping and its definition is “moving or going about clumsily or hesitantly.” Believe me, I was anything but clumsy or hesitant in my move.
What’s going on here, Dave? Am I missing something? Have the rules of attraction changed? What should I do so that I’m no longer misunderstood when it comes to the ways of love? I almost feel like my membership in the club of romantic men has been canceled.
No, the rules haven’t changed since you were a younger man, but as a society and culture we’ve decided it’s time to enforce some of the rules that might have been previously overlooked. If you insist on dating younger women, to be on the safe side, you might turn to younger women for dating advice. If you happen to have daughters who are in their twenties you might ask them what they think. “Daughter: how would you feel about dating a man my age?” Or: “Daughter, do you have any issues with old guys coming up to you and kissing you on the lips?” Or: “Daughter, is it romantic for an old guy who has power over you to unexpectedly feel you up?”
Good luck, Andy. You’re going to need it.