Age Difference In A Relationship & The Holidays

QUESTION

I have been in a wonderful relationship with a much older man for over a year now. I am in my late 20’s and he is in his early 50’s and although we both were reluctant at first to start a relationship we have found ourselves to be very happy together. With the holidays approaching we are wondering how to introduce each other to our families. I am very close in age to one of his children and he is close in age to my parents. We want to make this as easy on everyone as possible and would love any suggestions you have on breaking the news of our relationship and the age difference to our families.

ANSWER

JILL:
The only important fact is that you are ‘very happy together’. Those who want the best for you both and who love you unconditionally will accept the relationship for that reason. In the first initial moments ‘yes’ the age difference will be a surprise but the more you both make an issue of it the more of an issue it will be.

At one of the family gatherings there may be someone who makes a comment about the two of you, which will probably be followed by an awkward silence. Don’t be defensive, that indicates that on some level the person has struck a cord with you. Just smile and respond quietly.Good replies are: “I’m sorry that you feel that way”.“This really isn’t the time or place”.“___________ & I care for one another and we feel that is all that matters”.

You should each introduce yourself before hand to the person who is giving each respective family gathering. This will break the ice and establish you as an individual and as a courteous person.A phone call to say, “Hello, my name is _________ I will be ________’s guest on _______. I was wondering if there was anything that I could bring.” Whether the answer is yes or no be sure to take a thoughtful gift for the hostess (es). It is not only polite but an indication that all you want is to spend a pleasant time with the family.

So relax, be yourself and enjoy your special relationship.

VICKI:

Do tell your respective families’ before the holidays. To just walk in with your partner may be a shock. Start out by telling them how happy you are in your relationship; let them know the ways you have enriched each other’s lives. Your happiness will be the key to your family opening their minds up, whether a little or a lot.

Then let them know about the age difference. If you have had any concerns about how the age difference may affect your relationship be honest and let your families’ know. This will demonstrate to them that you have indeed thought things out and are acting with a level head.

Before you each talk to your families make sure you are in a positive state of mind. Whatever you do guard yourself from being defensive. Remember that when we expect the worst from other that’s generally what we get; instead be in a positive state of mind and expect the best of them. Then do follow through, as Jill said, and make those introduction phone calls.

Congratulations on finding a relationship that brings you both true joy.

Romance With An Older Man

QUESTION

I am 20, but am completely in love with a man that is 40. I can’t stop thinking about him. I’ve not had much of a chance to talk to him about it. I can barely sleep, let alone eat. I work indirectly with him, and it makes things a bit more difficult. I don’t know how to handle the situation. I don’t want to seem like I have a schoolgirl crush because it’s not. He is the most amazing person I have ever met. What should I do without hurting myself in the process?

ANSWER

JILL:
Take a deep breath. What you shouldn’t do is ‘talk to him about it’. If you were to tell him everything that unfortunately would seem like a schoolgirl crush to a 40 year old man. I don’t say that to hurt your feelings but so that you will take the time to slow down and start to think things through.

Are you actually dating him? If you aren’t you need to see first if he wants to spend time together. He needs to get to know you better and vice versa.
What you expect from your feelings of love may not be what he wants at this point in his life. Before you put yourself out there and run the risk of getting hurt you need to see if there is the foundation for a relationship.

You should make sure that you take care of yourself, continue to see your own family and friends and be capable and energized at work. Pursue other activities and don’t make him the sole center of everything that you do. That way you show yourself to be a mature, interesting and well centered woman. Also, your life will become more balanced again.

VICKI:
You mention that you work indirectly with him and that makes me wonder just how much interaction you have had with him and how much you know about him. The most important question being is he married or in a relationship?

If he is married you can only get hurt in the process, as your ongoing needs will not be met the way they should be or the way you would like them to be met. You deserve someone who makes you feel special all the time not just some of the time.

If he is single that’s great. I want to remind you that before you declare yourself totally in love with this man consider that how he conducts himself at work may not be representative of who he is when he is at home. Should you get to know him better he may not be who you presently think he is.

With all that said, listen to Jill’s advice about not talking to him about your feelings and just ask him out for a coffee to sit and get to know him better. By doing this you should get an idea of whether he is interested in you or not, and you have the opportunity to see more of what he is really about.