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gailcalled's avatar

How do I write a Dear John letter to a 71 yr old?

Asked by gailcalled (54575points) September 29th, 2007

In High school, a guy whom I barely noticed in my French class noticed me.. At a reunion a few years ago, when his wife was off somewhere, he admitted to having a crush on me. Since then, the wife has died of cancer, I have written him some encouraging letters about getting on w. his life (w/o me)..He keeps wanting to visit (3hr drive) and I keep trying to end it. Just got another note. How do I make him listen w/o hurting his feelings? He bores me, is too conservative, predictable, and suburban country club, and is just the wrong guy. (I am still 70.) Shall I start sending him cake?

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19 Answers

ezraglenn's avatar

Just stop responding?

gailcalled's avatar

I am going to delay a while, but not writing anything back feels rude and hurtful ..even at our age.

Modern_Classic's avatar

You could send him a URL pointing to a strikingly similar situation:
http://www.fluther.com/disc/3290/how-do-i-write-a-dear-john-letter-to-a-71/

Perchik's avatar

I vote cake!

gailcalled's avatar

@modern: I was looking for a good example of tautology. I really need to find a middle-aged, conventional GOP, NJ widow who wants a boyfriend and fix them up. Near Tenafly. Any thoughts?

joli's avatar

Gailcalled! You are taking on too much responsibility for this person. He didn’t make it to 71 without some rejection along the way. Write him and be brutally honest. Tell him you enjoy the pen-pal friendship, but are not interested in taking things further. Suggest to him that if he wants a closer relationship he should pursue women in his area who have common interests and views on life. Tell him how much you enjoy your privacy and being single. Tell him you’ll seek a compatible spouse for him but you’re not the one! After this, ignore all suggestions he may have to get together. Continue to correspond with your own fluthering thoughts as if you never read a sentence of his.

joli's avatar

I have a similar situation going on three years now. I merely block him for a few months and his e-mails get deleted before they reach me. He doesn’t go away but he never knows if I’m reading his stuff or not. It’s quite ridiculous but I’ve given up. He won’t go away. No matter if I’m nice, mean, crazy, insulting, whatever toward him. After a month or two I’ll unblock just to see and within a day or two there’s an e-mail from him. I’ll respond but then I block him again. It’s annoying yet perplexing enough to keep me thinking about him, which is his plan, I’m sure. I’m going to shoot for 6 months this time.

gailcalled's avatar

I just wrote a long reply to Joli that mysteriously vanished. However, I would like to plagiarize some of yr text, Joli, if that is OK..

My guy is harmless and benign, just mildly fixated. I hope that your guy isn’t dangerous. He sounds nuts. Be careful

And my best bud (a gay guy up the road) suggests that I send a nude photo. I look pretty good for 70, but it is still a 70 yr old body. I nixed the idea because I can just see the photo appearing on the net. Maybe if I wear a paper bag over my head :-d

joli's avatar

He’s not nuts, Gailcalled, he’s just very shy and very horny! I don’t think the nude photo is a good idea, I’m thinking your guy will like it because he likes YOU! Never get advice from a gay man on hetero relationship issues and always cover your face in nude pictures! I think your question held your answer. Send him some cake, and bake it with salt instead of suger. A conservative man wouldn’t go for a lousy cook, would he?

gailcalled's avatar

Unfortunately, this guy is a good cook. But enuf.. I am going out to seize this beautiful day. (When I read yr 2nd note too fast, I thought you were planning to shoot him in 6 months.) Do you have a partner?

susanc's avatar

Joli is exactly right. The guy is an adult. Not necessarily a cool adult, but an adult -
so let him handle his feelings after you tell him there will be neither a visit nor further discussion of visits. He is guilt-tripping you and being pitiful. That’s
not good courtship behavior. No wonder you don’t like him. It’s not about his demographic; it’s about his ickyness, his pitifulness, his relentless ungentlemanly not-listening. He needs to be shoo’d (as opposed to shot). Bye bye, guy!
p.s. You do not have an obligation to find him a new girlfriend. What are you, still in high school? were you one of those really KIND high-school girls who made sure the sad cases were shored up? Good! But Enough!

gailcalled's avatar

Susan and Joli;

You are absolutely right about his pretense of being pitiful, his repetition of romantic yet mediocre Spanish poetry, his unwillingless to listen and his skill at laying a guilt trip on me. I will be brief and firm. And I was joking about fixing him up…it is hard to convey humor here without all those stupid emoticons

. I was a BITCH in HS. But I do wonder why he can’t find a suitable partner on his home turf. The suburbs are crawling w. women who would love to latch onto this guy…I, of course, am not one of them, but I do find the pathology moderately interesting. Not interesting enough, however, to drag this on. (He even offered to reschedule his root canal if I would see him on that day. Now, I ask you!)

As Joli says,“It’s annoying yet perplexing enough to keep me thinking about him, which is his plan, I’m sure.” Basta. I’m off to the movies: the Irish indie ONCE.

joli's avatar

Certain men want what they cannot have, and ignore the women who might want them. He finds you interesting and a challenge, so he uses your kind heart to keep his foot in the door. He would probably love nothing more than to win just one time. If you let him visit just once, you will never be rid of him because he will find more ammunition to suck you into his web! He sounds like a borish conservative ego-maniac. The exact profile of my immature cyber-space would be suitor. Men like that love women with eccentric spirit, but only to try to own them with what they consider their overpowering charm. He’s kidding himself. Set him straight!

ezraglenn's avatar

Just by the way, you sound like the coolest 71 year old woman ever. And my grandma is pretty cool, too, but you just edged her out.

gailcalled's avatar

@all; I have just written my second Dear John letter. Silence from NJ. Herewith how not to write a love letter. Thanks for all the good advice. “Helen” refers to H of Troy <gag>, SSS= son seguro servitor, or something.

*“Every-so-often-check-in-w-Gail”

Clever subject heading, eh wot?

Across the years, I will walk with you -
in deep green forests; on shores of sand:
and when our time on earth is through,
in heaven, too, you will have my hand.

Now, Gail… how do I get you to “relent” about my paying you a visit?... I do think it would be wonderful to spend a few hours with you. I’m not skilled at begging, but I’ll try that too if that will melt “Helen’s” heart! May I be granted “Milady’s” permission to do so before the cold weather sets in?.

As today’s generation would phrase it… “Like what else can I do? Know what I’m sayin?”

SSS, Guillermo*

gailcalled's avatar

@ezra; exactly :-)

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

Um, WOW. Not much more to say….

gailcalled's avatar

I certainly pray that I have had the last word. You should see the paragraphs I spared all of you.

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