I’m an attractive woman in her late thirties who has been getting a lot of unwanted attention from men 15 to 20 years older. I have tried saying politely, “Thank you for your attention, but I’m looking for someone my own age.” This invariably throws the older man into a petulant fit, at which point I get called “shallow,” or worse. Can you suggest another response that won’t hurt the man’s ego? And why do men approach much younger women, anyway? The men I’ve asked say that age isn’t an issue — but if that were true, I think I’d be having more conversations with men my own age.
Baffled in Burlington
Our culture values youth. Take yourself, for example. Why are you so obsessed with the age of the men whose attention you receive? Why not get to know one of these guys before automatically dismissing him on the basis of his birth year? Then, if you decide to give him the old heave-ho, your rejection will be backed up with a little substance.