Dear Barb – Brother Capable of Making Own Decisions

Dear Barb:

My brother is dating a woman who is 10 years older than him. He is 30 years old and hasn’t had much dating experience. His girlfriend is 40 and is divorced with two children. I don’t think she is the one for him and neither do my parents. There is nothing wrong with her, aside from her age and the fact that she has two children. We just feel she is not the one for him.

We don’t want to alienate him, but we don’t want him to make a mistake. I believe we have done a good job of keeping our feelings hidden from my brother. Should we just keep quiet and let him do something he will regret, or should we confront him with our concerns?

Thanks, Bonnie

Hey, Bonnie, good to hear from you. In your question you really don’t say what your concerns are other than the fact that your brother’s girlfriend is 10 years older than him and has two children. As we age it becomes more likely the person we meet will have children from previous marriages or relationships. If you have other concerns my response to your question may change, but since you seem to be mostly concerned with the age difference, let’s discuss that.

The fact that your brother has not had a lot of dating experience and has chosen to become involved with this woman, should indicate there is something beyond age that is drawing them together. Do you trust your brother’s decisions? How has he done when making decisions in other areas of his life? If your answer is positive, then why would you question this decision?

Age is really only a number. If this scenario were reversed, with your brother dating someone 10 years younger, would your response be the same? Possibly not. At 30 years of age your brother should be capable of making the decision of whom to date.

Therefore I would say you and your parents are right in keeping your opinions to yourself. If there are other issues with this woman, your brother most likely will discover them over time. If it turns out that the relationship doesn’t work, hopefully he will have learned something from it. As you say, he hasn’t had a lot of dating experience, so this could be an opportunity for him to learn more about himself and what he wants in a potential partner.

I hope I was able to help, but with the limited information you provided I’m not sure how helpful I have been.

Good luck, Bonnie

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