DEAR HARRIETTE: I haven’t dated for several years. I just haven’t met anybody who was interesting enough. My friend at work suggested that I meet one of her friends, so I went out with the guy, my friend and her boyfriend. We had a nice time, though nothing too special. The guy invited me to go out to dinner again, and I went. We had fun, but at the end of the meal, he propositioned me. He actually thought I would have sex with him since he had taken me to dinner. What’s wrong with people? Is this what’s required in the dating world these days? -- Old School, Dallas
DEAR OLD SCHOOL: As you re-enter the dating world, you do not have to change your values. You may continue to be propositioned by potential partners, as plenty of people do engage in sexual intimacy very early on in a relationship. But you can say no.
If you like a person who makes an advance too early, you should talk about it. State your case, including when you think intimacy is appropriate. By being clear, you create space for the way that a relationship can blossom -- or not. Admit to being "old school," and explain that you want to get to know someone and see if the two of you make a good team before considering anything more.