DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I work for a company whose labour force is predominantly foreigners who speak very little English. I still get several women who appear to be flirting with me. How do I return the flirts to show them I'm interested when they hardly understand any English? I'm 52, and it seems to defy logic why someone 20 years my junior should be interested in me. I don't smoke, drink and have never been married. There must be something more than that to attract them. I appreciate the attention, but it would be nice to have a way of moving beyond just the coy looks in my direction. -- El Lobo Solitario (Spanish for Lone Wolf)
Dear Lone Wolf: Flirting back with these ladies at work, with the hopes it will become something romantic or sexual, is a bad idea. If you are working at the same level, it could stir up jealousy among these women leading to anxiety and trouble in the workplace. If you are in a position of authority -- their boss or upper management -- you could be charged with sexual harassment.
What do these women who are 20 years younger -- in their 30s -- want from you, when you can't even communicate verbally? They may think you have the ability to promote them, or they may think you have money. Watch out! They may also have a husband or boyfriend in the picture who could take you on when you walk to your car in the parking lot. Enjoy the flirtatious looks and what it does for your ego, but don't take them seriously if you value your job and your safety.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My handsome new boyfriend smells kind of stinky. I think it's because he uses a lot of odd spices in his cooking. I just find his skin smell is weird, and then on top of that, he douses himself in cheap colognes. He says, "How come you're only turned on to me when I get out of the shower?" I blurted out, "Because you drown yourself with cheap cologne and it's the only time you smell great." And he said, "So you think I stink otherwise? I use deodorant and cologne. What else do you want, woman?" He hasn't phoned me in three days. Is there anything I can do? -- Missing Him, East Kildonan
Dear Missing Him: You could ask him to shelve the colognes because you love his natural scent -- but the truth is you don't like it either. That does not bode well for a long-term sensual relationship. You need to love the smell of your man's skin to want to cuddle closely, feel affectionate and have a healthy, happy, plentiful sexual relationship.
This will not be your best chance for true love and romance, so it's time to move on now. You have already insulted the guy and made him feel self-conscious, and there's nothing he should have to do about his diet to make his natural skin smell differently for little old you. Set him free to find a woman who also loves the spices he cooks with and who grooves on his natural smell.
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