Q: My teenage son and I have lived alone together ever since his bum of a dad walked out on us five years ago. A couple of months ago, I met someone, and my son is so rude to my boyfriend that I'm afraid it's going to mess things up between us. It got so bad the other day that I told my son that he has to behave or leave. He went in his room and shut the door. He's been avoiding me ever since. I don't like the tension that's in our home now, but I'm not sure what to do about it.
Mia: Your poor son. He's had mommy all to himself and now he has to share her with some other guy. Since he can't control you, he's disrespectful to the man you're sleeping with.
He'll eventually grow out of it. But for now, he still needs his mom. Spend some extra time with him. Stay on top of how he's doing in school. Encourage him to be active in sports or clubs and have friends. Plan your sex romps with your new guy when your son is staying over at a friend's house.
And unless his father is harmful to him in some way, encourage him to reach out to his dad. Maybe with just a phone call or a short visit. Once your son is launched and happy and on his way, you'll have all the time you need to spend with your new friend. But for now, put your son first and when you see that new guy, be discreet.
Steve: Instead of fighting, tell your son how much you love him. Assure him that that will never change. But he must understand that you need romance in your life, and he shouldn't view that as a threat to your unbreakable mother-son bond.
Q: I'm in my late 20s, working as a sales rep that involves numerous visits to and lunches with people (almost all middle-aged men) from companies we do business with. Why do these guys feel obligated to flirt with me? I don't dress provocatively. I don't flirt. Nearly all these guys are married. What's the problem?
Steve: Studies show that men are far more likely to think they're attractive to the opposite sex than women are. Most men enjoy their greatest romantic success in their 20s (with women in their 20s), and they have a tendency to think they've still got game even when it's long gone.
If he has any self-awareness, a man reaching middle age will realize that he's become invisible to younger women and behave properly. The rest you have to hit upside the head.
Mia: Having a pretty woman walk into their office is the highlight of those old guys' day. But you can't teach an old dog new tricks. You could let their behavior bother you, or use it to your advantage to help you close more sales. If I were you, I'd concentrate on the latter.
Steve is a fifty-something married man who's been around the block. Mia is a younger, recently married woman with an all-together different attitude. Contact them at S&M@phillynews.com or S&M c/o Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.