OPINION: Dear Abby

Single, middle-aged woman unimpressed by today’s men

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 57-year-old, attractive, single, childless woman. Why is it that the men I meet are just plain dumb? They have the conversational skills of 5-year-olds and the same juvenile behavior. They are either emotionally unavailable and just after sex, or at the opposite end of the spectrum -- available emotionally, but the sex is just ... OK. I cannot be the first woman to ask the question: Are boys just dumb?

-- Smarter Than

I Think in Iowa

DEAR SMARTER: As a matter of fact, you are the first. With the advent of social media, people's social skills began declining. The men you are meeting may not have the same level of education that you do, but it doesn't mean they are "dumb." Men ultimately want what women want, I think. By that, I mean companionship, a relationship and ... sex.

You might have better luck if you try to meet men whose values more closely mirror your own. Do some volunteering, take a class or join a group activity you enjoy. As to your disappointment in the sexual performance of the men in your past who were emotionally available: Try to remember that men are teachable creatures and often eager to please, if you are willing to communicate what you need. Perhaps the problem is that those communication skills could use some polishing.

DEAR ABBY: I'm writing for advice about my best friend "Eva's" husband. I have known her more than 25 years. Her husband, "Dan," doesn't get along with me, but we both agreed to remain civil and neutral for the sake of the friendship. When there are get-togethers at their home, Dan usually stays in the basement. I stay away from him and don't say a word to him.

The last time I was there, he made rude and insulting comments directed at me. I didn't react. Eva and I have agreed to not let him get in the way of our friendship. I'm not sure how to handle this, because Eva asked me not to respond, but Dan is pushing me to a point where it's hard to not say something. When I told Eva about the situation, she said she'd talk to him. She never got back to me, and I feel she just brushes it off. Please help.

-- Stuck Friend in Illinois

DEAR FRIEND: It's time for another chat with Eva about the treatment you are receiving from dear old Dan. With the understanding that she can't force her husband to change, it may be time to make adjustments to how, when and where you get together. Since Dan can't behave himself and be a gentleman, she can visit you at your home or out in public without Dan being there.

DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend of four years, whose home I share, has twice not asked me to attend memorial services for two friends of hers. Should I have been invited? I attended one once before at her request, but I mostly waited for her at the bar.

-- Kept Away in the Midwest

DEAR KEPT AWAY: Because the deceased were friends of hers and you spent most of your time at the bar, I can understand why you weren't invited to tag along to later memorials. I don't think this is worth holding a grudge over. Let it go.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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