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Breaking Up With Mr. Wrong


In the course of your dating senior men experience you will invariably draw attention from Old Mr. Wrong. You may be dating someone who seemed attractive at first, but who turned out to be boring,  irritating, or worse.  Or maybe your interest in someone nice has simply waned.  In any case, you need to put an end to his advances.

Most senior guys know when they are being furloughed.  You don’t return their emails?  They get it and they’re gone. But you may get stuck with someone who can’t accept rejection and has to let you know how awfully you’ve behaved.

Rejectee type 1 – You Can’t Fire Me Because I Quit

This man can’t believe you’re not into him. He posted a sexy on-line photo and a brilliantly crafted profile; he has treated you very well. Expect a bunch of whiny emails suggesting that just as he has been willing to settle, you should too.  In the final email he will directly question your judgment and even your virtue.

Rejectee type 2 – You’re Too Much for Me Anyway

This guy was thrilled when you answered his on line dating flirt and has been living on borrowed time since. He doesn’t know what he’d do with you if he won you, anyway. He will obligingly fade away, though he may favor you with a chivalrous goodbye, such as, “I wish you the best of luck in your search. I’m sure you’ll make some guy very happy.”  He is secretly relieved, so he can afford to be magnanimous.

Rejectee type 3 –You Don’t Really Mean It

Your email inbox will now begin filling up with inspirational material about finding oneself, about how friendships deepen as they mature, about how senior men and senior women don’t have a lot of time to waste and should seize the moment.

Rejectee type 4 – I’ll Get You For This

There is never a sign this man could be dangerous until you try to lose him. He will threaten you implicitly by raging like a maniac, or more subtly by insinuating retaliatory action. If he knows where you live, you may want to inform a neighbor, your siblings, your children, your boss, the police, or all of these. Sometimes it’s about money – he made an investment and it didn’t pay off. Sometimes it’s about insecurity – he revealed his weak side to you. Sometimes it’s about love – he adores you and wants you. Sometimes (usually) it’s about pride and breaking a trust.

Do not yield to emotional blackmail. Do not waffle. Cut off all contact – no emails, phone calls, texts, no meetings at Starbucks to “explain.”  If he continues to threaten reprisal, tell him you are filing his name with the police, and then do just that.

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'Breaking Up With Mr. Wrong' have 6 comments

  1. December 16, 2012 @ 9:43 am Mgirl

    I think I’ve actually had one of each of these types. The dangerous one I actually had on my doorstep and a neighbor fortunately was getting out of his car in front of my house and thought he was seeing me in distress, so he came to my rescue.

  2. March 17, 2011 @ 10:38 pm Sienna

    LOL — Molly, you’re the best! You’ll have to be a guest columnist, tell us single frails how it is on the other side.

  3. March 17, 2011 @ 10:14 pm molly campbell

    This all seems like wonderful advice. But having never actually DATED an older man, but simply one day woke up and realized that I am now married to one, I can’t really comment. I feel, however, that you are providing a valuable service to all women who do have to date the old coots! xo

  4. August 3, 2010 @ 1:14 pm Cherry

    I like your term “emotional blackmail.” This happened to me once when man I liked at first then became overdependent. I tried to cut him loose gently but I couldn’t get rid of him. Eventually I pretended I had met someone else, and that did it. I think he was afraid to confront me in case this phantom man would come after him. Thanks, Cherry.

  5. February 14, 2010 @ 1:20 pm Lydia A,

    I’d just like to get to the point where I’d have someone to try to get rid of! I had a really unhappy marriage, so I put up with a lot of sh#^ from men who take advantage of me. Most of them just want someone to cook for them and do the laundry.

  6. February 9, 2010 @ 1:26 pm Angelface

    I love the way you characterize men who just don’t get it that you’re looking for more than someone to cook and do laundry for. I broke up with a guy like that. He thought I was too hard up for a man to let him go. Sorry, I would rather be alone than be taken for granted.

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