Family

Carolyn Hax: Mom needs to get past age gap

DEAR CAROLYN: Our daughter, 25, has started seeing a man 16 years her senior. Yes, do the math, he’s 41.

I’m 51. Am I crazy to feel this is just not right? The man’s last girlfriend was also in her 20s, and most of his “crowd” is just as young.

My daughter’s answers to this are, “He’s young at heart; he had a rough time and made changes when he reached his 30s; he’s a good man.” My husband and I have serious doubts. I think even if he were much closer in age, those same doubts would be there.

Yes, we raised our daughter to be smart, successful, caring and open-minded. And she is. We’ve talked about this issue a few times. Each of us shedding a few tears. I just can’t find it in my heart to accept him. (We’ve never talked to him about how we feel, although our daughter says he knows.)

She says she has a hard time understanding where I’m coming from. She doesn’t come over to the house with him. I feel the distance between us widening and I’m just a wreck. I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say I’m OK with the relationship when I’m not. How do I get past this?

– Is Age Really Just a Number?

DEAR JUST A NUMBER: Whether age is “really just a number” is a legitimate and interesting question, but not the one I’d be asking here. You veer that way yourself: You suspect having doubts “even if he were much closer in age.”

Opening: “I’ve handled this badly, I’m sorry.”

Detail 1: “I was wrong to make this about age. Happiness is about the right person, not the right age.”

Closing: “In return, and in hopes that set the record straight, I will trust you and butt out.”

.. And cross your fingers. Good luck.

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