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by Abigail Van Buren

Family Advises Man Against Dating an Older Woman

DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old man currently dating a 39-year-old woman. We have been dating for 2 1/2 months. We have talked about our age difference a couple of times, but apart from that issue, every other aspect of our relationship is going well, including communication, intimacy and maturity.

We are not super interested in having children, and we both have expressed interest in adopting a child if we were to have one somewhere down the line. Despite this, I have heard from family (my parents, mostly) and close friends that I'm making a terrible mistake by dating a woman so much older.

They say it is not practical to marry a woman so much older because it will present major health and aging challenges as time goes by. This is the argument that most influences my feelings. Should I break up with her and tell her that the age difference is the reason? I feel I should decide soon so as not to waste her time. -- NOT JUST A NUMBER IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR NOT JUST A NUMBER: You have been seeing this woman for only 2 1/2 months. The relationship is still new. That you are discussing marriage and children seems to me to be premature. My advice is to slow down. Let time dictate whether this romance develops further.

Discuss the flak you are getting from your parents with your lady friend. But the 14-year age difference does not necessarily mean that she'll have health challenges that you won't. Decide together whether the age difference is a deal-breaker.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Family & Parenting