Steve is a 50-something married man who's been around the block. Mia is a 20-something single immersed in the Center City dating scene. They may not agree, but they have plenty of answers. If you'd like an answer to your romantic troubles, e-mail them at S&M@phillynews.com or write: S&M c/o Daily News, Box 7788, Philadelphia, PA 19101.
Q: My wife and I have four daughters, ranging in age from 21 to 13. They have made it a habit to unlock our bedroom door and help themselves to their mother's things while I am asleep and nude. They will also come into the bathroom while I'm in the shower and pull open the curtain. I mentioned this to my wife and she says they're just curious. So I feel like they won't be offended if I decide to start walking around the house in the nude. What do you think?
Steve: I think a closed door means you knock first. I know I sound like an old curmudgeon, but I was a young curmudgeon once. I think your daughters need some lessons in mutual respect. Walking around nude won't make your point nearly as well as a family sit-down to discuss manners and respect for privacy.
Mia: Um, ick. I hate just seeing my dad in his bathing suit. Your response could seriously scar your daughters. I suggest the ground-rules conversation. And a reminder that they probably don't like it if people rifle through their personal belongings or disturb them in the shower.
Q: I want to know if being a virgin at age 26 is too old. Also, what's your opinion of someone who's 26 and never had a girlfriend? I just couldn't ever get a girl.
Mia: Of course it's not too old. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone loses their virginity on prom night. But what you need to think about now is how you want to move forward. You obviously don't have a lot of experience with women, so try to get out there and start meeting people. Join a sports team, a book club or a bowling league. Try to start talking to women and making more female friends. The dating (and the sex) will happen with time.
Steve: Be careful what you wish for. Relationships with the opposite sex are not always warm laughter and goo-goo eyes. So I wouldn't worry a bit about your age or lack of experience. Having friends is a different matter and you ought to see if you can widen your circle. Mia's advice about joining groups is sound. The more friends you have and the more social events you attend, the greater your chances of meeting someone who'll be attracted to you. Once you meet someone and begin dating, you'll have a whole other set of problems and we'll be here to help you.
Q: My wife's unmarried sister lives nearby and comes over a lot for dinner or just to hang out and watch TV. I like her, but feel like every time she and my wife get together they turn into teenagers giggling at inside jokes and watching reality television and generally ignoring me. How do I tell my wife that this hurts my feelings without sounding like a huge baby?
Steve: Whether you're a baby or not depends on the definition of "a lot." If it's once or twice a week, you need to get a social life of your own. How about getting together with pals one night a week to shoot pool? On the other hand, if the sister-in-law is coming over four or five times a week,
you've got a real problem. Then it's time to have a heart-to-heart with the missus about whether she wants a marriage or a roommate.
Mia: You could also ask that your wife and sister hang out somewhere else sometimes and let you have the house. They could go out to a movie or dinner sometimes to get out of your hair. Then maybe you could have a friend over yourself. *