Savage Love Letter of the Day: How Many Flakes Does It Take to Make A Flake A Real Flake?


Dear gawd please don't ever have any kids....
OMG a Gay man attracted to "younger men" how novel. He must be one of a kind.
My general advice to the LW: never give a guy a second chance to make you waste your time. If he's done it once, he'll do it again. And again. And again.

Other things that are nonsense: Panic attacks that are fixed by a lil dab o therapy. I've become semi-convinced that, the standards of... comfort for young millenials are so god damn high that even vague nervousness is now a "medical" thing. Like, yeah, I didn't want to stand up and give my book report to the entire 6th grade teacher, and I rocked nervously back and forth, stammered and stuttered, etc. It sucked. But it turns out, just doing in like, 9 or 10 more times and you get used to it and it's fine.
LW needs some dating self-respect. One shouldn't put up with consistently shitty or flaky behavior from anyone, regardless of looks, sexual prowess, money, fame or whatever thing you find awesome about them.

Otherwise, you devalue yourself, allow the pattern of poor behavior to continue, and keep the other person from learning and growing. If there are mental health reasons for the behavior, that just means the person isn't fit to date until they fix themselves first. Like Dan says, dump them. Do this for yourself, for them, and for the next person they date. Don't let lust or loneliness make you desperate, desperation make you settle, and settling for someone who treats you poorly make you unhappy and emotionally overwrought.
Hey ya'll, give twinks a break on flakyiness. Youth = inexperience.

@5 "if there are mental health reasons for the behavior, that just means the person isn't fit to date until they fix themselves first" = unkind to those with mental health issues of any age. Sometimes, dating and being in a relationship helps solve the issues and is part of the therapist-prescribed solution.
@6 but it's still on the person to be somebody worth dating warts and all. They shouldn't get special credit for mental health reasons, like "I wouldn't ordinarily get together with you, but since you're depressed..." If they do, now they're in debt and under a time limit to make good, and that sucks for everybody.

The previous post was talking about "consistently shitty", not about everybody with any mental blemishes.
The LW's issue isn't really how to pitch himself on dating apps as a leathery (not in that sense) 49 year-old. It's that he's obsessing over the 'equatorial ephebe'. He knows he shouldn't be; he knows it's not a match; he's mortified by the guy's 'how RU?'. But it's like _he's_ 22 again. He can't help himself.

He knows what the right thing to do is (to move on). There's no shame in being pierced by Cupid's arrow. There may even be pride in it--in being still in the game, still alive. This particular man either doesn't care for him; or, in leaving and returning, is overinvested in his being older and a mentor-, father- or richer figure. Not a match. Painful, but he needs to find someone else, younger or not.
Ricardo @3: COFFEE gave this guy several second chances. He needs to decide how desperate he is for the possibility of substandard sex.
All the reader advice on this particular letter is superb! I love it - lots of great general dating advice for anyone involved with a selfish and immature person.
I have a real problem with people who date waaaaay down in age and then get pissy when their date acts their age. LW, if you don't want flakiness stop going for it! If text shorthand is a deal breaker then break the fucking deal! Stop whining because the hot (?) 22 year old you're fucking has failed to live up to your dreams for a relationship. You're almost fifty grow up.
Concur w/#7 : someone's mental health might well be a product of elements out of their control, but it's still the brain you'll have to deal with in a relationship. The answer to your car running like crap because the engine's fucked up isn't, gee, guess I shouldn't expect to drive very far or fast, it's to take the car to someone who can fix it. Or tell the car to take itself there, as it were.

And as others have noted, second and third chances were given. LW would not be doing this guy any favors tolerating his nonsense. Dude, 20-somethings are known for a number of things, firstly often being hot tight bodies, but non-flakiness rarely tops the list. You don't go to Vegas and complain about the lack of fine museums.
It seems like SL is experiencing a spike in border line (and beyond) fake letters depicting gay men and trans women, the most maligned groups amongst haters, in totally fucked up and often inappropriate situations that don’t make much sense in real life.
The sort of stuff haters can point to and say, “You see? Gay men and trans women are all fucked up.”
Not that there aren’t any fucked up gay men and trans women, I’ve met some personally, but this is not the sum up.
Jujubee @11 wins the thread!
Wow thanks it sad that you made my morning?
A real life attractive gay man in his 50's would have figured out the age issue some 20 years ago if not earlier
One would think/hope CMD but I'm not so sure. I have a pretty good straight male friend who is 42 and recently dated a 19 year old. For an otherwise rational and intelligent man he somehow cannot fathom that he has zero business being angry at her for not maturely communicating her needs before breaking up with him. *sigh*
Your friend is a het man who probably had a surprising, out of the ordinary romance with a 19 yo woman. Good for him!
I assume a gay man in his 50’s who is still attracting men in their 20’s did also attract that same segment of population some 20 years ago.
BDF @ 9 - "COFFEE gave this guy several second chances"

I'm aware of that, but since I expected everyone else to tell him to DTMFA, I figured I'd give him some advice for the next times he comes across such a flake.

As a 51 y.o. who's often approached by youngsters*, here's my impression: hot young guys often think that older guys are desperate for their attention and will tolerate anything for the chance of being with a hot young guy. As a mature adult, the biggest favour one can do these kids is to show them that they're wrong.

*This is not bragging. These guys are often looking for a father figure, a mentor or a sugar daddy; they're not really attracted to me, only to what I might do for them or provide them with. Which is amusingly paradoxical, since they act as if they're the ones who have more to offer. YMMV.

@19 sage advice, Ricardo. or should I say, SAGE advice:

CMD @18: Your "good for him" is my "wow, he's sad." At 45, I don't think that people my age are "lucky" to pull immature partners with no life experience. Perhaps the more accurate view is "good for her," though I'm reminded of Groucho Marx: Anyone who would date someone less than half their age isn't a great catch for someone half their age.

Ricardo @19: "hot young guys often think that older guys are desperate for their attention and will tolerate anything for the chance of being with a hot young guy."

Sounds about right -- and this LW is proving that in some cases, these guys are right. Overweight women and trans women experience similar phenomena. It takes some people decades to realise that a hot body isn't as important as good old r-e-s-p-e-c-t.
BDF @ 21 - "Sounds about right -- and this LW is proving that in some cases, these guys are right."

Unfortunately, there are many like him. But if the LW isn't that attracted to them, as he says, it's way past time he learn to put them in their place. There'll be more - some who'll treat him better, I'm sure. More than respect, what he needs is self-respect.
BDF and Ricardo- and how old were you when you figured out the hot young bodies conspiracy? Does it really take an experienced person to be 50 yo to wonder what's going on and make him send a letter to an advice columnist?

The "good for him" was just another way to point to the out of the ordinary dating situation jujubee brought up. Apparently it wasn't good for her.
CMD @ 23 - "how old were you when you figured out the hot young bodies conspiracy?"

When I started attracting young guys, which is when my beard turned white pretty much all of a sudden, about 7 years ago. If it had happened earlier, I probably would have figured it out sooner. The thing is that I look about ten years older with the beard. That's why the kids gravitate towards me (and probably towards the LW, now that he's pretending to be older than his actual age): they think I'm too old to actually get laid without making some serious concessions (i.e. money, gifts, tolerating childish behaviour, pandering to their whims, letting them basically run the show in terms of activities they engage in, sexual or otherwise, etc.). I call it the Santa Claus effect; they're looking for an older man, wise (so he'll teach them about life), but generous and indulgent.

It's also true that as many men grow older, they become obsessed with youth, so it provides those youngsters with a willing clientele which they erroneously think I'm a part of.

As a confirmation of my hypothesis: I recently shaved off my beard, which makes me look five years younger than my age (I've been told), and now the kids no longer look at me. It's the same every time I shave.
Just reading the letter made me tired. For the good of humanity, these two men should become exclusive and leave the dating pool.
CMD @23: I was a thirtyish divorcée when I concluded that boys in their early 20s, while pretty, are not relationship material. I remember how hard it was to convince the 22-year-old whom I dated when I was 31 that someone who'd slept with fewer people in his whole life than I had at the same time had insufficient life experience for anything more than a fling -- and the fact that he didn't understand this proved it. It was during my early-40s period of swingledom that I realised the attentions of younger men aren't even necessarily a compliment. Some guys may in fact still find me attractive, but others may think I'll be grateful, and others may be looking for a (sugar) mommy.

Unfortunately, I have not been pursued by younger women to any conclusion-drawing extent.
I ended up married to a guy who is 20 yrs older because I figured out around 19 that a lot of guys in their early 20s didn't have much going for them in terms of being relationship material.
Flakers of any age are usually trying to show you that they are not that intested but can't bring themselves to say the (unkind) words out loud. Having been brought up as the good boy who should live up to the highest expectations and where disappointing people is a cardinal sin, I can relate to flakers, and I have been one. At the age of 50, though, one would expect the LW to have learned the implied air quotes around repeated excuses of "sick" and "lost my phone," unless the LW is rather inexperienced with hooking/dating, which is also possible (and nothing to be ashamed of).