Outside Perspective

By Doug Mayberry

September 2, 2019 4 min read

Q: Our granddaughter has been dating a man for two years, and we just got an announcement that they're engaged. She's very level-headed, but our family isn't impressed by her choice of partner.

Nobody in the family has gotten to know him well — which most people do before getting engaged! From our brief interactions, he doesn't seem trustworthy. The ways he describes himself don't seem to add up.

It seems like our granddaughter is moving too quickly, but she's unlikely to want to hear any reservations about her relationship.

Should I share our negative feelings or keep quiet?

A: Get involved before it's too late, but tread carefully.

You have your granddaughter's best interests at heart, and it's better to be safe than sorry.

However, don't act too hastily. Your best option is to develop a more informed opinion. Arrange a few opportunities to get to know her fiance.

Before making up your mind about his character, see him a few times. A variety of experiences will help you get a grasp on his character.

Do your granddaughter's parents share your concerns? If they do, this is a good indication something's off. Talk through your reservations with the rest of the family to contextualize your opinion of the man.

Your sense of caution may be due to the relationship moving along quickly. Helping integrate your potential in-law before they marry will help him acclimate to the family.

Be careful about rushing to quick judgments. Keep an open mind while helping your granddaughter.

Don't be afraid to be wrong. In this case, it's the best possible option. Allow her fiance time to prove himself. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter


Q: We have two grandchildren entering college now, and they're like night and day.

These two cousins grew up together and are close in age but almost nothing alike. Our grandson is a fantastic baseball player at the expense of his academics, and our granddaughter is very ambitious and wants to be a marine biologist.

How can we best support each of them?

A: Everybody matures differently, and the road of life often ends up taking us in unexpected directions.

Your grandchildren are still young and will continue to change and thrive in the upcoming years. Men and women also mature at different rates.

Although your granddaughter knows what she wants, encourage her to be flexible with herself. She may have her life planned out, but college offers opportunities to develop as an individual and adult.

Encourage her to be open-minded to new ideas.

If your grandson doesn't appreciate his education, remind him of his talents and encourage him to expand his boundaries. There are ways for him to use his natural skills without having to become a different person.

Physical therapy, nutrition and teaching are all good careers for kinesthetically oriented people.

Encourage both of your grandchildren to be the best versions of themselves. Avoid comparing them too much. — Doug

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: PublicDomainPictures at Pixabay

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