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.

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Interfaith And Interracial Dating

QUESTION

I am a widow who lives in a very white, middle class neighborhood. I have met a man who is a different race and faith. I do want to date him but I am worried about what my neighbors will think. Should I just tell him that it is not a good idea?

ANSWER

VICKI:
The fact that you want to date this man tells me that you see him as a man who is worth spending time with and getting to know better. Is it really worth it to you to say no to him because of what others may think? More importantly will you let others decide upon what should or shouldn’t make you happy? Especially if their ideas are bigoted and small-minded.

Your happiness is ultimately based on yourself. What a gift you would be giving to your neighbors and yourself showing them the confident and open-minded woman that you truly are. If dating this man feels right for you then please go for it. Be true to yourself.

JILL:
I can add nothing to Vicki’s advice regarding your situation with this gentleman; what she said is sound and authentic. What I would like you to consider is actually around your lifestyle. I am going to assume that you moved into the neighborhood with your husband and probably had a very enjoyable life there together. When you become a widow or single again sometimes you need to evaluate your lifestyle and see if it is still the right one for you at the present time.

With this assessment you may, for instance, find that a condo in a new neighborhood is a better reflection of your new life.

Dating and The Divorced Mid-Life Woman

QUESTION

My mom and dad are divorced and mom is starting to date. I think that the guys are all creeps but she says she is lonely. How can I get her to slow down and go out with a better class of guy?

ANSWER

VICKI:
The fact is that you can’t get your mom to slow down. She has a choice and though you consider then men she dates creeps, she may see them from a different point of view. You haven’t mentioned if you and your mom have had a conversation around how you feel about her dating and the types of men she dates. If you haven’t spoken to her please do. Sit her down and tell her, honestly, how you feel. Don’t make the conversation strictly about how your view her male friends, it’s very important that you tell her how you feel about her dating period as this may be a factor to you not liking the men she dates. One more thing she may have really good reason for dating the men she does please do really listen to her.

JILL:
I’m going to come at this from a different angle. You need to think about the fact that your mom is more than just a mom. She is a lonely, divorced woman. That is the person who is the doing the dating. I would like you to try to communicate with some of the men that are in her life; just talk to them. If then you find they are disrespectful, creepy or just don’t seem to be a nice person then you should let your mother know how you feel about that particular man. I just want you to give some of them a chance. However your mom does owe it to you to make sure that the men she invites into your home are decent and treat you well.