Dear Coleen, I’m a 74-year-old man and I’ve met a young woman of 28, and we’ve been together six months.
My problem is that her parents, whom she’s been living with, are totally against our relationship. She married at a young age and has a son, who’s nine.
I’m prepared to take both of them into my home, but her parents say if she comes to live with me, they’ll disown her.
It feels right for us, but what advice would you give?
I think it might help to try to appreciate what her parents are concerned about and try to put yourself into their shoes.
There’s obviously a huge age gap – 46 years – so I can understand why they have reservations about the relationship working.
They might wonder what you could have in common, how long it’s going to last and the implications for their grandson.
Don’t forget, she’s been married before and that didn’t work out, and her parents have obviously been supporting her and their grandson.
I think it’s important to be honest with each other about what you’re expecting from this relationship and from living together. From your side of things, taking on a much younger girlfriend and a young child is a lot at your stage in life and I wonder if you’ve properly thought it through.
If it didn’t work out and she moves out again, it’s destabilising for her son.
I don’t know if it would help if you spoke to her parents and could reassure them.
Ultimately, though, your girlfriend is old enough to make her own decisions and can do what she likes, but she might have to accept that her parents will never approve.
Age-gap relationships can work, but when there’s such a huge difference in age, you might begin to realise you want very different things from life.