I'm 35 and have met a wonderful man. As soon as we met, we just clicked. He has all the personality traits I’m looking for in a man, plus he’s handsome and talented!
However, he's 26 years older than I am! We developed a romantic friendship, but I felt I should let him go.
I'm afraid I’ll eventually not be able to handle the age gap. I'm afraid to hurt him.
I really miss him already and wonder if I’ll start regretting letting him go. I will at least have his friendship if we stay together.
What should I do? Is 26 years too big an age gap?
Many people who’ve had successful relationships with similarly large age differences report that the gap is what you both make of it.
He’s currently 61 and may be a vital companion for the next 20 years, or more.
From the most practical calculation, that’s what you’d hope for at the least, and it may well be a wonderful choice.
(Remember, life is unpredictable in every couple’s relationship, in terms of when illness or accidents can create changes).
But, given this obvious factor, you have to decide now and not drag on with doubts and fears, which would be unfair to both of you.
So think it through yourself, and talk it through with him, as to just what are your expectations and needs from any relationship.
He’s likely experienced enough to know if you’re being
realistic. And likely has his own questions or concerns which you should encourage him to reveal.
My son (early-30s ) is unemployed.
He’s had many interviews and come close. He has a community college education and worked at various part-time and full-time jobs since age 16.
His last job was full-time after he graduated, and it lasted a year before he was laid off.
He went back to school and now, four years later, still isn’t working.
His self-esteem’s suffered, he’s distanced from friends, stopped dating, and feels he can't get on with his life until he’s employed.
He lives at home with us. We’ve said we’ll always be there for him, but he’s stubborn about our advice.
My husband and I go from being understanding to arguing.
Our daughter, mid-20s, is working and I’m not worried about her, but she’s also living at home and impacts our everyday lives.
I think my son could benefit from some sort of counselling, but I don't know where to start.
They’re both good kids who need some advice towards getting on with their lives, without being judged.
Your son’s embarrassed, somewhat depressed, and isolating himself, which is counter-productive to any job search.
Don’t argue or push your advice. Rather, get on his “team” which currently needs an outside coach to get him motivated.
Career counselling looks at the skills, talents, and interests he already has, encourages refreshing or boosting what’s needed in the current job market, and helps guide him towards job-seeking with greater self-knowledge and confidence.
Do the research for your locale and show him what they provide, then hand him a choice of names and contacts for him to interview.
Meanwhile, start charging your daughter “rent,” which you’ll keep in a savings account for her to build enough to eventually move on her own.
Both adult children need to be aware that living with parents has a finite time span.
Note: If your son resists self-help, urge him to see his doctor to avoid deep depression.
COMMENTARY Regarding the woman living in an abusive situation (April 11):
Reader – “I wanted to thank the woman who wrote you about her abused colleague for being willing to help her.
“I was in a similar situation, and it was only after my husband and I separated, that people came forward and said they’d witnessed his abuse towards me.
“My then-husband would accuse me of having affairs if I worked late. He’d say I was wearing too much make-up when I went out. He’d humiliate me, often in public. He’d prevent me from working and seeing friends, and was becoming increasingly verbally and physically abusive.
“A therapist finally said, "You know this isn't right, don't you?" in response to my telling him that my husband tried to stop me from seeing my elderly parents during a visit to my home town.
“That’s when I finally understood what what was going on.”
Tip of the day:
An age gap is only as relevant as both people feel, or as circumstances enforce.