Ask Amy: Online match might be age-related mismatch

Dear Amy: I am 35. About three months ago, I matched with someone on a dating app. This person listed their age as 24.

We really hit it off. We would chat for hours every day.

I brought up the fact of our age difference. My match said it didn’t bother them.

Although they were far away, we decided to meet. I decided to make a trip of it and stayed for a few days. We spent the whole time together and had a wonderful time.

Our connection grew deeper, and we continued to chat every day for hours.

We have the same sense of humor, philosophical and spiritual beliefs, political views, and ideas about what we want in a relationship and in life. During our chats I never really noticed the age gap.

Well, my match recently revealed to me that they lied about their age.

This person is not 24, but 20 years old.

My match has accepted responsibility, apologized, and accepted any possible consequences.

I was able to forgive, and I can easily move on.

My main qualm now is the very real social stigma associated with the 15-year age gap, especially with this person being so young.

My heart tells me to just continue. I really care about this person, and my feelings are reciprocated. This is not some fling for either of us.

But I worry about what my family and friends will think of me.

Your thoughts?

— Concerned Lover

Dear Concerned: I wouldn’t want to date a 20-year-old (even when I was 20), mainly because I once was one — and I’ve helped to raise several.

Inflating your age by a full quarter of your total lifespan is exactly the sort of choice 20-year-olds make, but I give this person credit for coming clean about this. (You should ask to see a driver’s license.)

It’s natural for anyone to want their friends and family to approve of a serious relationship, but at the end of the day only you two need to resolve the question of whether this feels right to you. And if it does feel right — really right — then you’ll still seek approval, but it won’t be a game-changer if you don’t receive it.

Dear Amy: I had a 10-year marriage and two beautiful children with someone I couldn’t live with, but who has been my best friend ever since.

While it didn’t work out, my ex and I have remained solid parents, confidantes, and friends.

He has been in a long-term (10-plus years) relationship with a brilliant woman whom I have trusted heart and soul with my children for over 10 years.

She and I are truly close friends.

Everyone in my life is aware that I have stage-3 blood cancer.

Here is my question: If I had to write my funeral plans today, at 59, and I had my ex-husband’s permission, I would like for him to give my eulogy.

He is clever, witty, humble — and a great friend and father.

I do not expect anyone to object to this request — they just won’t want to talk about it.

I don’t know how to raise this topic.

I don’t want to make it about my illness, although, of course, it really is.

— Trying to Prepare

Dear Trying: Asking your ex and close friend to deliver your eulogy sounds like a wise choice on your part. I assume he would be honored to do so.

Your question is about how to go about asking. I suggest putting it in an email or letter. That way when he receives it, he can think about your request without feeling pressured to react in any specific way.

You should be as straightforward as possible. Including phrases like, “I don’t expect you’ll be called upon to do this any time soon, but my illness has me thinking about making plans. I don’t want to put you on the spot, but given our long history and friendship, I think our friends, family, and children would be very comforted if you gave the eulogy. It is certainly my preference, and I hope you’ll consider doing so.”

Dear Amy: I am done with your insistence on using “they/them” to signify a singular pronoun. It is so annoying, and you’re just pandering to “wokeness.”

— Grammarian

Dear Grammarian: “They/them” is used when a gender is not specified.

I love a good pandering as much as the next person, but in this case, I am following standard journalistic practice. Get used to it.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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