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Walker Stalker

AngelaDear Archie and Angela:

I’m glad my friend Marion told me about your over-50’s advice website because I have a problem with Henry, who lives in the same lightly assisted retirement home that I do.
We have quite a few group activities at our residence and I am pretty active even if I am over 80 and have an arthritic hip. I get lots of compliments about my looks and mental alertness and can even dance for a time before I have to take a breather.
The problem came up when Henry, who can’t hear very well and has a little tremor and who’s older than me, kind of follows me around even when I play mah jongg, and other board games. He also has asked me if he can sit next to me during some movies they show and a music concert brought in. Henry thinks, (so he’s said), that these are dates and we’ve been dating now for 2 months, but I disagree. So Henry also kind of comes over and stands between Frank and Samuel who I like, and me every time we’re talking or they ask me to dance. I am feeling like I’ve been branded and cut out from the herd if you know what I mean.

Really! it’s beginning to annoy me no end! And I am not flirting (a lot).

Last night Henry didn’t want to stop at my front door after we played bingo, and he once again secured a seat right next to me without my inviting him!! He said we’ve been on 10 “dates” now and it’s time we could make some love and stuff. Well! I told him he was out of his mind, and not to bother me anymore and that I was not “his” at all!

He didn’t like this and I’m afraid he’s going to pester me some more now about “dating and sex”. What can I do to feel safe and secure from this old rooster?? Should I go join one of those on-line dating sites for older people and really find a boyfriend?  I’m at my wit’s end, Archie and Angela.
Ruth of Dubuque, Iowa


Dear Ruth,

Henry is clearly not “hearing” or respecting your boundaries.  If you are certain that you have done everything you can to communicate your desires (or lack thereof) to Henry, then it is time to get some help in changing Henry’s behavior.

Certainly, the resident management, friends, and family are all resources to help Henry get the message and change his ways.

Since there are two other men there that you like, why not ask them out on dates?  And by “out”, I mean even to the scheduled events at your residence.  “Two in the hand is worth putting Henry in the bush”, so to speak!

And by all means, try online dating!  You will “meet” some very nice gentlemen there.  You can begin by exchanging emails or even chatting online.  Be sure to take your time and get to know them to your comfort level online before meeting them in person.

If you can leave the residence, have a relative or very good friend drive you to a coffee shop and “hang out” (in the background) while you talk to your new fellow.  Then once you are sure you like him and trust him, invite him over to where you live for one of your events.

This is a time to celebrate your life and really enjoy it.  Don’t let Henry spoil the day!


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