DR. WALLACE: I am 20 and engaged to a wonderful guy who is 34. I met him at a friend's wedding a year ago, and I guess you can say it was love at first sight. My problem is, you guessed it, my parents. They can't accept that I want to marry a man 14 years my senior, and they are extremely upset. They keep telling me I'll be a young 51 when he's an old 65 and that I could end up someday being a widow for 20 years. My older sister sides with my parents; when she was over yesterday, she remarked that if we have children, my future husband could someday be their father and grandfather at the same time, and then my family members all laughed.
I don't see this 14-year age difference as any kind of problem, and neither does my guy. I've been reading your column ever since junior high school, and I feel you give fair answers. I need some moral support because regardless of what my family thinks, we will be getting married late this year. Please give me your opinion of my situation. — Bride to Be, New York
BRIDE TO BE: Age difference is less important when both parties are over 18. Marry your fiance and live happily ever after. It will take a little time, but your family will come to realize that mature love overcomes all obstacles.
But if you had been an 18-year-old senior in high school who wanted to get married soon after graduation, I would have encouraged you to wait a year to see if true love was still there.
FOLLOW THROUGH AND KEEP YOUR WORD
DR. WALLACE: I'm a 17-year-old guy, and my female cousin, who lives about 20 miles away, is a year older. Last week, she called and told me that a friend of hers saw my picture in my cousin's house and thought I was cute. She said this girl really wanted to ask me to take her to her high school prom, so she told my cousin to find out if it was possible. Before I would decide, I asked my cousin if this girl and I would make a "handsome couple" if I took her to her prom. My cousin said we indeed would and that this girl is a nice person.
Shortly after, I called this girl and we took a pre-prom opportunity to meet one another. When I saw her, I nearly cried because she was far from my personal "type," even though she's a nice girl who looks fine. It's just that I already know we are not a long-term match. Now I'm trying to think of a good way to delicately bow out of this predicament I've gotten myself into. Can you provide me any good suggestions? — Anonymous, via email
ANONYMOUS: I'm surprised by your inflated and self-centered ego. In no way should you cancel being this young lady's escort to her high school prom after you already committed to going with her. Be an honorable young man and keep your word. Make sure you treat her with respect and maintain a platonic friendship when you do take her to that school's prom! Remember: It will only take a few hours of your time, but her memories of that evening are quite important, as they will last a lifetime for her. It also could just be that you will have a good time enjoying the event and her company during this one date you will attend together. At the very least, you will end the evening with a new friend, and that's a very good thing. You'll learn to both respect and understand that this is the correct decision as you grow older. Please follow through.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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