Is she too old for me?
Q: I am a 27-year-old woman who has fallen in love with a woman (“Mary”) who is twice my age. Mary and I have been thinking about moving in together. I am so in love with Mary, and I have never been in love before even though I have dated quite a bit. We have a wonderful time together and have so much in common. The problem is that all my friends think I am crazy to be with someone so much older than me. They say they like her and find her very nice but they think I could do better. They have also talked about her not being able to keep up with me physically as we both get older. None of this matters to me, but when most of my friends are all against our moving in together it makes me wonder if I am wrong to find love with someone so much older than I am. It is really making me doubt myself, my feelings, and my relationship with Mary. o you think a relationship like this can work out or should I listen to my friends and move on?
May and December
A: I certainly have seen many relationships work where there is a large age difference. If you and Mary are in love and enjoy each other, I wouldn’t let age be a determining factor. There are much more important factors than age, like compatibility, mutual respect, and love. Your friends are right in that when you are 50 Mary will be 76, and may not be able to keep up with your physical activity – that is assuming you are healthy and active. I think that the most important thing here to consider is that we never can guarantee what the future holds for us; I certainly wouldn’t give up on love because of an age difference.
Worried to be outed at work
Q: I am having a problem at work. I have worked for an insurance company for five years and am hoping to get into management. I think I have a good chance as I am getting more important assignments and have had a lot of training in the last five years. My problem is that I have a new co-worker who happens to be gay – her name is “Sasha.” Well, I am a gay woman also but am not out at work. She came out the first day she came to work here. She hangs around my desk a lot and wants to go on breaks and out to lunch with me. We know each other from the community. I have told here I am not out and she hasn’t said anything to anyone about me, but I think if they see me hanging out with her all the time they will put two and two together and know I am a lesbian. Sasha has been accepted by most of the people at work but, of course, some people are pretty turned off by her being out. I don’t think I would get a promotion if the company realizes I am gay, and I’m not willing to risk that. How do I let Sasha know that I don’t want her coming around all the time without hurting her feelings?
In the Work Closet
A: You can tell Sasha the same thing you told me. She may or may not be upset when you tell her. You didn’t ask me, but I am concerned that you are willing to take a job in management (if offered) and live your life as a lie as long as you work there. What if someone finds out about your sexuality once you are in management? Would you be fired? What if someone sees you in the lesbian community? Are you willing to risk hiding for the rest of your career. Being in the closet and worrying about all you can lose – if you are outed – will be very stressful. I guarantee it!
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