DEAR JOHN: Do men like independent women? I've been divorced for nine years. During that time, I've dated, but I'm yet to enjoy a long-term relationship. I can think for myself, and I appreciate a man who can do the same. I just don't want to be someone's mother, caretaker or floor mat. I want to be treated as an equal and be a companion who shares, talks and participates in activities with her partner. I can't imagine that this makes me come off as untouchable. I'm not desperate, and I'm not looking for a quick-fix relationship because those never work.
— Wanting Mr. Right, in Aspen, Colo.
DEAR WANTING: An accomplished woman is a turn-on to a man — particularly if she is not afraid to demonstrate that she is as human as the rest of us. After all, we all are vulnerable to some extent. If you put yourself on a pedestal, others can't get close to you.
It's hard to be a knight in shining armor to a woman who slays all her own dragons. Believe it or not, the man you want — that guy who is not waiting for his mother to reappear — is looking for someone who may actually need him. He wants to know that, in some way, he can do something for you. To attract him, consider activities where you don't necessarily have an expertise and can ask for help. Allowing yourself to be “rescued” every now and then is a great icebreaker. Believe me, if you kick things off with a new friend, there will be plenty of time to demonstrate your proficiencies in other areas, at other times.
DEAR JOHN: If a married man tells you that he is in love with you and leaving his wife to be with you, what variables need to be present to assist this individual in taking this step?