Q: If at the end of an evening together I invite a man into my apartment, why does he always assume I want to sleep with him? Often I just want to continue the conversation, maybe over a glass of wine. For some reason, men think I'm inviting them in for sex. It ends up being awkward and embarrassing. How can I make it clear that's not the case without alienating him?
Steve: Ah, the old gender divide. After an evening out, when a man invites a woman into his home, it's for sex. Thus, when a woman invites him in, he assumes it's the same. He can't imagine any other reason. The solution is simple: Don't invite him in. If you want to continue the conversation, offer to buy him an espresso and Sambuca before he takes you home.
Mia: Men's brains go from zero to sex when there's a bed anywhere within spitting distance. So, lay out his odds before you invite him in, and never invite him in on the first date. If you have a first-base-only or clothes-stay-on rule, make it clear and stick to it, and then stick to just one glass of wine before you kick him out.
Q: I'm in my mid-30s, and for the past six months, I've been dating a woman who is separated from her husband. She has custody of their 4-year-old daughter. Our relationship has been running hot and cold, and a recent incident has me wondering. We were at her house ready to go out, and the husband came over to pick up the child. My girlfriend met him at the door, and they kissed on the lips. They were extremely friendly, and as he left with their daughter, he gave my gal a pat on the fanny. She smiled, and I sat on the sofa feeling like an idiot. When I asked her about it, she laughed it off and said, "Look, it wasn't an angry breakup, we both love our daughter and we were married for five years." Does this sound right? I don't know what to do.
Steve: I'm having a Clash moment:
"Darling you gotta let me know/Should I stay or should I go?"
This lady doesn't sound free and clear to me. Time for a frank talk about where her heart really is. And to brush up your OkCupid resume.
Mia: Ask yourself this: When you pat a girl on the fanny or kiss her on the lips, is it platonic? Your relationship could be running cold when hers is hot with him and hot when hers is cold with him. A word of advice from a woman: She's just not that into you. If you stick around, sounds like feeling like an idiot will turn into just plain being an idiot. Cut your losses and move on. They may be separated, but they're not separate. Find someone who will commit.
Steve is a 50-something married man who's been around the block. Mia is a younger, recently married woman with an all-together different attitude. They may not agree, but they have plenty of answers. Contact them at S&M@phillynews.com or S&M c/o Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.