I’m a 25-year-old guy and I’ve been dating an older woman, who’s 40, for a couple of years. She’s divorced and has two kids aged 10 and 13.
I absolutely adore her and want to spend my life with her, but she’s always pushing back and is reluctant to commit to anything serious like marriage or even moving in together.
She worries about the age gap, and more specifically about me moving in and then leaving her a few years down the line for someone younger, even though I have told her I would never do this.
I believe she loves me, but I don’t see the point in our relationship unless we move things forward. I get along with her children, who spend weekdays with her and most
weekends with their dad.
Her relationship with her ex is OK – it’s civil for the sake of the kids – but he married again and has a daughter with his new wife.
I worry that my girlfriend isn’t serious about me and that if some guy her age came along, who she liked, she’d dump me without thinking much about it.
Can you help?
I understand her being wary about the age gap. It might not seem too big now, but what about when you’re 40 and she’s 55 – at that point you might want very different things from life.
She also has two children to think about and might be worried how they’ll cope if you did leave her down the line.
However, if this is how she feels, then she owes it to you to be honest about that and to be clear about whether she sees the relationship having a future.
You could always try having a break from each other to see how you both feel. Keep in touch, but don’t put any pressure on each other. It might help her to see that she does really value you, and wants you in her life.
Fifteen years is a fairly big age gap, but I’ve known couples where the difference in ages is much bigger and it’s worked out.
The important thing is to acknowledge it and accept there might be challenges in the future as you get older and reach different stages in life.
My mum died a few months ago and it’s been very hard. Things are being made worse because my aunt is constantly interfering and almost trying to replace my mum with the things she does for me.
It’s getting me down because I feel I’ve got no space to grieve and it’s also a reminder that my mum’s not here.
I’ve talked to my cousin (her daughter) about it, but she was quite offended and said her mum was just trying to help.
I feel really angry with her though – what should I do about it?
I think you should tread carefully because I don’t think you need any more trauma on top of your mum’s death.
Your aunt clearly cares about you and is worried about you, so is probably just trying a bit too hard.
I think you should just tell her that you appreciate everything she’s doing, but you also need time on your own to deal with your grief.
Hopefully, when you tell her what you want, she’ll back off a bit and give you some space. You could even suggest that you’ll keep in touch and you’ll promise to let her know when you need something or want to talk.
People often don’t know what to do when supporting someone who’s been bereaved, and if they get it wrong, their intentions are still good. So tell her what will work for you.
You can contact bereavement charity cruse.org.uk for support and advice.
lost my husband in 2018 and I’ve been on my own since. I found his death very hard to cope with at first because we had such a wonderful relationship. We did everything together.
However, with the help of good friends, family and a close community where I live, I’m doing perfectly well.
My problem is, I have grown-up children – a son and a daughter – who have families of their own.
They can’t seem to accept that I’m doing all right and constantly badger me to date, and keep saying how great it would be for me if I found someone special.
I don’t need another husband or a partner, and I really am in a good place. I hate them feeling sorry for me because there’s no need. Do you have any advice?
I think their badgering is probably out of concern or worry, especially given the period we’ve all been through with Covid, as many people have felt very isolated.
It sounds as if your kids have taken on a kind of parent role, but I’m sure it’s out of love and because they want you to be happy now their dad is no longer around.
Maybe it’s also a way of letting you know you have their approval to have another man in your life.
But the bottom line is, their intentions are good. I think you just have to make it very clear that you’re happy and if some guy does come along, they’ll be the first to know!
And keep in touch and let them know how you’re feeling, as that will be reassuring.