DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother and father are divorced. Recently, my mom started dating a guy who seems nice. He treats her well and seems very genuine. Because of the physical distance between us -- we live thousands of miles apart -- I’ve only spent time with them together a couple of times. From what my siblings and I can gather, there is nothing wrong with him. But then I start to think, why is this great guy single at this age? He’s 50. Should I be worried my mom’s boyfriend has an ulterior motive or something that he’s hiding? -- Suspicious of Mom's New Boyfriend, Cleveland
DEAR SUSPICIOUS OF MOM’S NEW BOYFRIEND: Take a deep breath and calm down. Your mother is a grown woman. She is enjoying this next chapter in her life, and by your own account, her suitor seems to be a good guy who treats her well. As you get to know him, you will learn about his life. You can also ask your mother how it is that he is 50 and single. She will know if he has ever been married and what his former circumstances are. If you ask her out of genuine curiosity rather than sounding an alarm, she will likely tell you what she knows. Do not share your worries with your mother. Right now, it doesn’t sound like you have anything to be worried about.
Many men and women are single when they reach their 50s. In some cases, it’s because they never met the right person. Other times they are widowed or divorced, just like your mother. Many of them are perfectly normal, good people.