DEAR ABBY: I have led an unusual life. I lived abroad alone in my late teens, spent my early 20s exploring the West, and finished my college degree a year early while working full time. It gave me independence, experience and clarity.
My problem is, in dating I feel leagues ahead of men who are my age. I am attracted to much older men. My current boyfriend is 15 years older than I am. The age gap is often a topic of conversation among my acquaintances, co-workers and some family members. My boyfriend has also experienced unwanted comments about dating a much younger woman.
What are your thoughts on who a person should be dating in her early 20s? And how should I deal with those who believe I am breaking a social code? -- OLD SOUL IN COLORADO
DEAR OLD SOUL: I can't give you an unbiased opinion because when I was in my early 20s, I dated older men. They liked to talk, I liked to listen, and I learned a great deal about life from them. I hope the same will be true for you.
As to how you should deal with people who accuse you of breaking a social norm, unless they have a valid reason for criticizing the man you're dating, I think you should tune them out.