I'm 58, successful, handsome, accomplished. I'm financially set, very young at heart, and look at least ten years younger.
A few months ago, I met a young man who’s my complete opposite, and decades younger than me.
He's successful in his own right and wants nothing from me than to love him. He says he’s head over heels in love with me.
I'm the guy who isn't a pushover and my head’s on pretty straight. I'm known as the sane one who my friends go to for sage advice.
In fact, I never seek advice from others, that's how confident I am.
I've worked very hard to mask my feelings for this guy and he sees it.
He's not concerned about age, but I can't seem to get past a 32-year age gap.
I want to love him. What’s your advice?
The Sane One
Dear Confident Advice-Giver,
Three months ago, you met a man who’s 26 and wants you to love him.
You’re very successful and financially set. Your three-decades age difference means nothing to him.
No surprise. You bring everything that he could want to a relationship.
He doesn’t have to seek monetary support or expensive gifts, to benefit from being with you.
Here’s what I think you would say if someone asked your opinion about a similar situation:
“Head over heels” within three months is a rush. You haven’t had enough time to get past the pleasure of his ego-stroking, to know enough about him.
If this were a business relationship you were contemplating, you’d want to know his background, his associates and his previous dealings.
Transfer that approach to a romantic partnership, and you still need to know who his friends are, about his past relationship experiences, and how he dealt with them.
Spend another three months going beyond the emotional pull of his interest in you.
Once you feel informed enough to make your decision, you’ll not need to ask other advice-givers’ opinions.
I’m 16 and my parents are constantly fighting. When they fight, my mom hides in her room and cries. She suffers from depression and anxiety.
My dad just stays downstairs and throws himself into his work.
I’m an only child and I don't have anyone to talk to.
I don't want to talk to them about it, but I want them to stop.
Even when they try to hide their fighting, I can usually realize it’s happening because they never talk to each other. What should I do?
Tired of the Fighting
You’ve reached out for help, and that’s an important beginning.
I receive many emails like yours from teens and even younger children about their parents’ fights that cause stress and discomfort for everyone involved.
I wish I could be hopeful that parents would read and recognize themselves in these questions, and realize how much they negatively affect their children’s lives.
So long as there’s no hint of violence between them, I suggest you tell your mother that you’re aware of the fighting and wish she and your father would get marriage counselling.
If you say this without blaming one or the other, it might snap them into taking responsibility for trying to get help themselves.
If you’re unable to handle that approach, or it’s rejected, ask at school if you can be referred to talk to a counsellor privately.
If nothing changes between your parents, you’ll need counseling guidance to assure you’re focused on continuing your education until you’re ready to live independently.
Throughout 22 years living with this man, he’s had depression and refuses to get help.
I’m done with his negativity, constant criticism, doing nothing for me, and doing nothing as a couple for four years.
For two years, he’s become obsessed with religion and can’t talk to his children without quoting the Bible.
I don't know what to do for someone who doesn't want to help himself.
There may be nothing you can do for him… not because he’s become religious, but because his depression is too deep for him to find energy or practical means to get professional help.
However, it’s worth one more attempt: Use the one avenue that appeals to him and encourage him to see a pastoral counsellor of his faith.
If he refuses, ask his children to intervene before it’s too late. Insist they get him to a doctor, first, regarding his depression.
Tip of the day:
When a potential relationship presents obvious questions, take time to decide how to answer them yourself.