Dear Dr. Romance:
I read an article you wrote that was on Yahoo! about age-gap relationships. I am 20 and in a mature, very passionate and understanding relationship with a man in his mid forties. I met him at work and we have been together almost a year. My parents do not agree with the relationship at all and have told me they don't want me apart of their family if I stay with him and can never accept it. I was hoping you may have some advice on how to ease the subject on them once more.
Your parents are worried for your well-being and safety, and they probably don't trust a fortysomething old man who'd date a 20 year old. They may have a point. What they're trying to do is pressure you not to date him, which probably won't work anyway. Just please be careful, go very slowly in this relationship, and make sure you're not being used. Once your parents see that the two of you are serious, that he's not a married man who's using you, and that your relationship is aboveboard and honest, they'll probably relax. In the meantime, let them know that you love them, too, and you'll take good care of yourself. Read my articles "Coping with Critics" at which will help you deal with your parents, and "Stupid Cupid" which will help you make sure your relationship succeeds. You'll get a lot of help and support from How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free , which is designed to help any couple create a healthy, successful relationship, even if the people around them disapprove.