Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

When a man of senior age is used to doing things (and not doing
things) in certain ways that don&'t leave a lady feeling special, do you
think he can make some changes for the good of our relationship?  I&'m
giving him a couple of months to think things over while I go on a trip.
My vision is that when I return he will have missed me and come to
value me more. I’m hoping he’ll do such things as (l) call me when he
says he will, and (2) show appreciation for me with little gestures,
including the occasional flowers or small gift when he returns from a
trip, etc. Is this realistic?


Dear Hoping:

I want to be able to say, Yes, sure, some time away will make the
heart grow fonder. And it may. But it won’t necessarily change your
would-be partner’s romantic tendencies. Some of us are suckers for
hearts and flowers, chocolate and little notes, sweet surprises and
gifts, large or small. Others don’t even appreciate being the recipient,
let alone ever think of being the benefactor. It’s not just a male/female
thing, through the old classic Women are from Venus, Men are from
Mars wasn’t totally off base.

I understand your logic and hope with this test. But as much to the
point would be my question to you: Are you missing him? Because if
you are not, or if you want to see if you can “win” by changing him,
you’re playing a lose-lose game. If you are comparing him to an ex or
your own habits, you’ll always be measuring him against a standard
he’s unlikely to meet. Even if, like a young dog, he could learn some
new tricks, my guess is he’ll revert to current behavior much sooner
than you want. Rather than focusing on his flaws and failings, ask
yourself what attracted you to him in the first place. Do those qualities
still make you want to snuggle up to him more than other men you
know? If the answer is yes, try again to communicate what you need
to feel appreciated, with emphasis on his creative spontaneity in

providing it. You could also consider leading by example and hope he
gets the hints. But if those steps feel like too much effort, let the guy
off the hook and start fishing around for a true romantic. Be
forewarned, he may lack some other quality you might feel is a deal
breaker. Charm on the front end doesn’t always translate into depth
on the other. All of that said, I hope you find a honey who’ll spark your
senior years.