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Age is a number that can't be negative.

Dear MommaHattie,

I need some advice. I am currently dating a woman who is 10 years older than me. I am 40, and she is 50. We have known each other for about one year and have been "going steady" for roughly three months. I don't have an issue with our age difference, and I thought she didn't either, but recently a few interactions with people she knows have me wondering about our long-term future as a couple.

When she introduced me to her brother, she told me right before we entered his apartment, "I'm going to say you are 45. You are 45! Got it?"

I was so shocked I just played along, and when her brother asked me my age, I was a bit tongue-tied, and she just blurted out, "He's 45. Five years younger than me. So who wants to order pizza?"

A few days after that, we met up with two of her friends who she has known since junior high school. Once again, she told me before we walked into the restaurant at which we were meeting them for lunch, "You are 47. Age 47. Don't screw this up!"

And again, I was shocked and confused and don't even remember which of her friends asked me, but when my age was brought up, I just mumbled, "I'm 47."

What is going on? Is this going to continue, and I'm going to keep lying to people about how old I am?

Her parents are coming into town next month, and I'm sure I will be commanded to tell them an age that is not accurate. How do I deal with this?

Should I clam up and go along, knowing that I really love this woman and think we have a future together? Or should I question her on why we are fibbing to her family and friends about how old I am?


- Tim

Dear Tim,

Simply put, you need to discuss this with her.

You want to have a future with her. How will this play out? Eventually, her friends and family are bound to meet your friends and family, maybe even at your birthday party! What then? The fact that she asks you to lie about your age has me less puzzled than the fact that the age she asks you to say changes! A seven-year-old will even tell you, "The key to a good lie is consistency." (I say that tongue in cheek as there is no such thing as a "good lie," just so we are clear.)

I know fifty-year-olds that act twelve and twelve-year-olds that act fifty. Age is a number. It can't be negative, it starts at birth. Certainly, there are certain parameters regarding age appropriateness with dating concerns. Relationships work and do not work all the time. Rarely do relationships work or not solely based on age. And people outside any given relationship will always have opinions, whether it is regarding age differences, ethnicities, religion, jobs. If other's opinions matter to a person more than their feelings for someone, the relationship is doomed before it has even begun.

No matter what, it is best to get this straightened out early so you may know exactly where you stand in the relationship. Be honest and expect honesty in return. You deserve it. Everyone deserves honesty.

Love Lots; Smile Often



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