Age is relative and not related to ones relatives:

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

I have been the odd man out for the holidays for the last seven years. All of my friends are married by now, some of them even have kids, and I am now in my mid-50’s and have never been to the altar. For a long time, it didn’t bother me, but in the last year or so, I have felt as if I really want to connect with someone and start a home.
This year, I met a wonderful woman who is 25 years younger than I. We were working together on a project and became closer and closer and now we have begun seeing each other in a more intimate manner. She went to see her family for Thanksgiving and I spent the holiday alone, with a couple of friends visiting. All I could do was talk about her. I really think there is a chance this will work, because she seems to want to have a real relationship as much as I. But I am terrified at the thought of meeting her family at Christmas. In fact, I am a bit apprehensive over all.

If this doesn’t work out, I feel I will NEVER meet someone. I know our age different might be a problem.
I am happy and anxious all at the same time. I’m afraid I’m going to blow this through sheer nerves and over-thinking.

Any suggestions?

Old Man River

Dear O M R,

I am happy for your happiness. The apprehension you are experiencing is 100% normal; if you weren’t worrying about your age difference, there would be something else to worry about.

Integrating with a partner’s family is never simple. Unless children let their parents do the matchmaking, all relationships will be scrutinized. Expectations will have to be adjusted and there will be growing pains. But if the two of you are happy with each other, the family will most likely adjust over time; they really have no choice.

If anyone tries to engage you in conflict, don’t fight with them, just agree to disagree. I wouldn’t ask their permission for your relationship either. They don’t own her and it would probably invite conflict.

Just be yourself- it is the only way anyone will get to know who you are. Understand that her family might not be thrilled at first; but over time if they see the two of you fit together happily, that’s all it usually takes to help them adjust. In the end, most parents just want their kids to be happy. When a parent can’t accept their children’s choice of life style or partner, it isn’t about the kids really, but rather their own stuff. Never let someone else’s neurosis dictate your life.

You didn’t expect this woman to walk into your life… so if this doesn’t work out, there are probably other possibilities out there too. Don’t worry too much about the future; if it’s working for now, that’s what’s important.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: I can tell that you are at an age where you are taking this relationship idea very seriously. That’s great- you need to take a relationship seriously if it’s ever going to work.

However, I have a word of advice. I suggest that you make sure you are having a real relationship, not just pumping it up in your head because you need it to be real. Make sure the two of you are on the same page.

Many a woman with her biological time clock ticking has made the mistake of letting her fantasies run wild and has imagined herself married and with three kids… all within five minutes of meeting some guy! People who really want something badly tend to do this. You could be one of these people… your new girlfriend could be too. So keep your eyes open.

You need a relationship to be real at this point in your life. The up side? When you find one, you will be much more likely to succeed at making it work.

I can’t tell you what will happen here, but whoever you are with, there will be problems. If you are honest with yourself, and with each other, whatever happens, you will deal with it like two adults- and that’s the kind of relationship people of ALL ages should have.

No regrets,


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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2 Responses to Age is relative and not related to ones relatives:

  1. Susan Hurd Comments:

    This guy sound pretty insecure, via not secure enough to date a woman his own age. A woman 25 years younger is a huge age difference and most women do not want to be a nursemaid for man old enough to be their father. I counseled a woman in her 50’s and her husband was at least 15 -17 years older and he was in his 70s. She did not realize when they married that it would not be so fun as they aged. He was already an elderly man with heart disease and other health issues and wanted to sit in their 3 room senior assisted apartment and rest and watch TV. He was on a low income fixed retirement income and money was tight. She was in her early to mid 50s and still wanted to be out being active. She regretted no one helped warn her to think it through or what a serious age difference it would be when he was elderly in 70s and she still was middle age. Many men wanting to be with much younger women are not secure or mature or they are more into arm candy and status, either way, its a concern. Wealthy, celebrity men in their mid-50’s and into their 60’s marrying young women young enough to be their daughters and having kids with them is disturbing enough, like Billy Joel age 66 marrying a woman age 32 and having a child with her, however they have lots of money, status, and power, along with enough to pay for the live in nannies and private schools and life insurance security when they pass away to keep their kids and wife very comfortable….they are not having to get up in the middle of the night to deal with feeding times, changing diapers or caring for a sick child along with up early for work and figuring out who will care for their baby or their sick child, or figuring out work and school schedules or retirement schedules…is this guy really thinking this through? I suspect not since he never has been in a serious relationship and now getting cold feet once more, via serious commitment and intimacy issues and self esteem issues. Aging means less energy to do what we could do when younger like working and up half the night with a child. I know someone who is 70 with a young wife and a son that is now around 10. I guess this guy is semi-retired and has more time to be with his son than for younger men working full time. They seem happy enough. I wonder what its like for a child whose parent is old enough to be their grandfather. I know a couple in their mid 50-60s with adopted children and grown children in their 30s from previous marriages and have grandkids along with raising adopted kids now around 10-12 years old. God Bless them!

  2. Dr. Brilliant Replies:

    We toss the idea around of fostering once all our kids are grown?? We will be old farts by then but someone is better than no one for these kids and age is relative.

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