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I'm 63, She's 37. How Young Is Too Young?

jack nicholson
Hollywood ladies man Jack Nicholson is famous for dating younger women.

Q: I'm 63 years old and have been divorced for 19 years. I have met several women over the years, some were very special relationships but never lasted. My question is: How young is too young for a man in a new relationship? I have met a sweet and devoted young lady, and we share many values and interests together. But she is only a year older than my daughter at 37. Is she too young? - BK

Dr. Schwartz: You know the answer to this one. Think of it this way, what do you offer a woman who is that much younger than you?  What do you think her motives are? (Not how she acts but what she wants out of life.) Yours could be the romance of the century, there are always exceptions and I do know at least one match made in heaven where there is a 24 year difference. That said, there are usually only two main reasons a woman wants to be with a man so much older than her: security and money.

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Oh, I know that sounds crass, and maybe there is love in there too. But think about it: Would you like to be with a woman who is 90? How about a younger woman than that, say 75? There are wonderful women available at those ages, accomplished, funny, smart, etc. But you probably haven't been looking for them for a variety of reasons.  If that sounds too old, remember that in 10 years you will be in that age group and your honey will only be in her late 40s. What's the chance she will love you as you get not only older, but have to face the physical changes that come with age? Do you see her as your full-time caregiver, should you ever need her to be?

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Personally, when I get a backache I like the idea that my partner not only understands, but empathizes.  But more than that, unless I was convinced that my partner was capable of extraordinary foresight, great love and sacrifice, I would, to be frank, worry about being dumped or cheated on as I entered my old age, and my partner was in the prime of life. In fact, putting it another way:  If I loved someone I would want them to enjoy their active years and not be held back in any way by my own challenges as I entered my 80s and beyond.

Dr. Schwartz answers readers questions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Submit your questions hereRead of Pepper's columns hereFollow Pepper on Twitter  @pepperschwartz.

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