Dear Amy: At the be­gin­ning of the year, I hooked up with an amaz­ing woman. She is in her mid-40s — I am eight years her ju­nior.

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Amy Dickinson Con­tact Amy Dickinson via email,

She is sweet, car­ing, gor­geous, sexy, strong, fun, in­tel­li­gent — the whole pack­age. How­ever, af­ter we hooked up, she turned things off pretty quickly. She said she’s sure that there is an­other per­son out there for me, but it isn’t her.

We are still friends and talk on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Her fam­ily dis­owned her for rea­sons that I found to be petty and cruel, given how amaz­ing she is.

I just have a hard time be­ing around her lately. I don’t know if it’s just a de­sire to prove to her that I’m good for her, and that she is good enough for some­one to love (she has prob­lems with self-es­teem and de­pres­sion, like me). I won­der if I’m re­act­ing to hav­ing some­one easy to get along with af­ter an eight-year hiatus from dat­ing, or if my feel­ings for her are just lust over how good the sex was.

When she told me that peo­ple didn’t re­mem­ber her birth­day last week, I rushed out, bought flow­ers, a case of her fa­vorite beer, and came over to her house and talked and laughed with her un­til mid­night.

I don’t want to lead her on un­der false pre­tenses, but I can’t con­tinue think­ing that the only rea­son I’m do­ing this is a ju­ve­nile lust­ing. Help! — Wor­ried Friend

Dear Friend: Don’t di­min­ish the power of ju­ve­nile lust­ing. All lust­ing, on some level, feels ju­ve­nile — and that’s a good thing. But you may have to con­front the idea that the sex was good for you, but maybe not for her.

You are ob­vi­ously at­tempt­ing to court this woman, and that’s also a good thing. The trick is to be hon­est about your in­ten­tions, and re­spect­ful of her hes­i­ta­tion. She has al­ready stated that she doesn’t want to con­tinue with a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship, and if that is her low self-es­teem talk­ing, your on­go­ing courtship and friend­ship might prove to her that you are an able and trust­wor­thy part­ner.

Don’t make any sud­den moves, and in­clude and in­volve her by con­vey­ing your in­ten­tions. How­ever, if she wants to keep you in the friend zone, it is im­por­tant that you learn to take “no” as an an­swer. She is right — there is some­one out there for you, and this ex­pe­ri­ence should also give you the courage to get out there and keep try­ing.

Dear Amy: I am a pro­fes­sor at a small lib­eral arts col­lege. I have been teach­ing here for 18 years.

I do not have a doc­toral de­gree, but I sup­pose be­cause of my age and aca­demic rank, stu­dents al­ways call me “doc­tor” when ad­dress­ing me.

I feel un­com­fort­able and do not know how to cor­rect them when they do this. I don’t want to make them feel put off, so I’ve just let it go.

It should be ob­vi­ous not to ad­dress me with such an el­e­vated ti­tle since on my fac­ulty page I do not list any de­grees above master’s.

Do you have any ad­vice on this topic? — Pro­fes­sor

Dear Pro­fes­sor: Con­sider it part of your aca­demic men­tor­ing to of­fer a clear cor­rec­tion when stu­dents make a very un­der­stand­able mis­take. As they go through life — in and out of school — they will need to read cues and ac­cept cor­rec­tions with­out feel­ing put down or put off.

The first day of class, you should write your name on the white board and tell them how to ad­dress you: “My name is Bill Wat­son. You can call me Pro­fes­sor Wat­son. I un­der­stand that I am an­cient and that you might be tempted to ad­dress me as Obi Wan Kenobi — or Doc­tor — but I don’t have a doc­tor­ate de­gree. In academia, this is an im­por­tant dis­tinc­tion.”

Dear Amy: One more thought about el­derly driv­ers: my fa­ther had mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion and couldn’t see, but he re­fused to give up driv­ing. My mother sat next to him, “Now slow down; now turn left,” etc. Re­ally!

I fi­nally called his in­sur­ance com­pany. I didn’t want to do it, but he was go­ing to kill an in­no­cent per­son. —S Dear S: You did the right thing.

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