Dear Rabbi & Susan, my wife and I have enjoyed watching your show on TCT for several years. We have also appreciated reading several of your books and listening to your podcasts.
A little background: we are a blended family; I am Jewish, and my wife is a non-denominational Christian. Neither of us have been regular attendees of any church or synagogue. We have one daughter, 41 years old, who lives a few hundred miles away; and who we see 4-5 times per year. Sadly, we did not introduce her to either Judaism or Christianity during her upbringing, and she is now an agnostic. We love her dearly, and respect that she has made herself a self-supporting and independent woman.
Our problem: our daughter has recently told us that she is “exclusively” dating a 62 year old man. She has apparently known him for about two months, and the exclusivity began about one month ago. We do not believe they are living together. He has been married, and has children and grandchildren.
Our daughter has never been married, but once had a 5-year live-in relationship; and she is childless. She recently stepped up her on-line dating, because she said she realized that the pool of eligible bachelors was getting smaller as she grew older. This was how she met this man.
We have not yet met her “boyfriend”, and are quite reluctant to do so until after we have first had an opportunity to visit with her alone and face-to-face. We told her that a few days ago when she called to arrange a visit from the both of them.
We are both having great difficulty with accepting the idea of her having an intimate relationship with a man easily old enough to be her father. Frankly, from a photo we’ve seen, we think it’s likely he’s actually older than the 62 years he claims to be (which we understand is common with on-line dating). My wife and I are in our early 70s, and he doesn’t look any younger than us.
When we next visit with our dear daughter, we plan to discuss the difficulties we see, should she continue this relationship; not the least of which being the statistically-likely steep decline in health he will suffer over the next ten years. We will try to use our best logic to overcome her apparent emotional attachment to the man. In the meantime, I’m looking at public sources to try to find out more about him.
We are really baffled by her choice. Regardless of whatever good qualities he might possess, his age is the real issue for us. Are we wrong to feel this way? We certainly don’t want to alienate our only daughter, who we love deeply. But we do believe we should try to discourage the relationship.
Please give us your advice.