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Annie 10.12.07

Annie 10.12.07
Dear Annie: I am 50 years old, single (after 21 years of marriage) and enjoying my freedom. The problem is, when I meet a man and explain that I really just want to be friends, they agree. But after a time, when I won’t sleep with them, they don’t want to see me anymore.
I have had a very nice and caring relationship with such a friend for three years. “Fred” is 82. We go for dinner, walks, etc. He is very generous and considerate. He says he loves me and that I don’t love him as much because I will not sleep with him. This has been an ongoing problem for a while. The other day, Fred told me he can no longer continue to see me because when I deny him, “it tears his heart out” and he needs to “get over me.”
My girlfriend says there are two kinds of women in a man’s life — those they have slept with and those they haven’t slept with yet. I find this very distressing. Not only do these men limit the friendship, but they add sexual pressure to it.
What is it with men? Am I to have only girlfriends in my life? The more I think about it, the more I believe maybe that is best. — No Way, Buddy
Dear No Way: Both men and women are capable of friendships with the opposite sex, but it is not unreasonable for one party to expect (or hope) that the relationship will become more intimate, especially if that person has fallen in love. Of course, there are some men who are interested only in sex, and you may be attracting the sort who take your attitude as a challenge. And you may be giving the wrong signals — holding hands while walking or cuddling up at the movies, either of which a man may see as a prelude to something more intimate. But if you are only looking for friendship, why does it have to be with a man? Any person should do — male, female or whatever.
Dear Annie: We have friends who frequently tell us they’re too tired to do social things with us. Then we later discover they’ve gone out with others on the same day our invitation was issued.
I say these people shouldn’t be asked again. My husband disagrees. Should I be “Southern polite” and continue on, or should I stop inviting them? — In a Quandary
Dear Quandary: How many times has this happened? If it’s been more than three times, we say they do not value your friendship enough. Feel free to remove them from your dance card.
Dear Annie: I have to respond to “Stay or Go,” who was trying to decide whether he should leave his serial-cheating wife at age 60 or stay because it is easier and more comfortable.
I was in an abusive marriage for over 30 years and stayed because of finances and because I didn’t think there was anything better out there. When I turned 60, I decided I didn’t want to waste whatever time I had left with a man who didn’t care about me. I left while he was out of town and drove a thousand miles across the country to live where I knew only one person. It was the most daring thing I have ever done, but I have never been happier. I even met the man of my dreams.
Tell “Stay or Go” to get his things together and get out. There are good people in the world, and with a little luck and a little effort, his life could turn around just like mine did. — Michigan Maddie
Dear Maddie: We’re glad to hear you got out of that abusive relationship and found happiness. It’s never too late to improve your life.
To our Muslim readers: Happy Eid.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at
Published in The Messenger on 10.12.07

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