Dear Barb—Another, Years Older

Dear Barb:

I’m in my mid-twenties and a few months ago I began seeing a man who is twenty years older than me.  He is divorced and has a daughter a couple of years younger than me. I have not met her, but I hope to soon. I haven’t introduced John to my parents yet, as I think they will freak. My friends really like him though. Do you have any suggestions on what would be the best way to introduce him to my parents? Should I tell them about him first, or just spring him on them. I have hinted that I am dating someone who is older, but I am sure they don’t realize how much older. John and I are not at the point of talking about a future; we’re just having a good time. I was thinking of not introducing him to my parents until we are sure about the relationship, what do you think? Liz

Hey Liz:

Thanks for writing. Dating an older man has it perks and drawbacks. Usually he will be already set in his career and making a good income. He is likely emotionally secure with himself and has more life experience than you.  But, when you are out together, people may mistake him for your father. He may have an ex-wife or children, who may not approve. He also may feel, because he’s older, that he will make most of the decisions in the relationship. These things can all be overcome if you are aware and discuss them together as a couple. I don’t think you have to tell your parents right now, as it’s only a few months into the relationship. Wait until there is a good possibility you are in this for the long haul. You are an adult and it’s up to you who you date, so if your parents are reasonable people, they will come around, as I’m sure they only want the best for you. Happy New Year Liz.

Dear Barb:

Happy New Year! I made my New Year’s resolution and I’ve already broke it! Every year I do this, I begin the year with the best of intentions and I can never follow through. I feel like such a failure. A lot of my friends do the same thing. Why is it that people can’t stick to their New Year’s resolution? Thanks Chris.

Happy New Year Chris:

I think one of the reasons people cannot stick to their New Year’s Resolution is because they are not realistic. Choose one thing that you want to change or accomplish and stick to it. Do not expect miracles, you are going to have failures, but as soon as you can, pick yourself up, and get back on track. Remember your intent is to accomplish your resolution during this year, so if you reach the end of the year and have accomplished your goal, you have been successful.

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