Dear Coleen

I’m 25 and my girlfriend is 36. We met through work and started dating 18 months ago. At first the difference in our ages wasn’t an issue, in fact, I loved that I was seeing an older woman I really admired and respected, plus she’s absolutely gorgeous.

However, she’s changed over the past few months and seems very insecure about our relationship, even though I’ve given her no reason to feel that way. She’s really funny about me going out alone with my mates or even for a drink after work if she can’t make it – it’s like she has to be glued to my side.

She’s also been asking me stuff about whether I still find her sexy and interesting. She keeps dropping into conversation that she wants us to move in together and the other night she mentioned she’d been thinking about having kids because all her friends have them or are about to. I didn’t respond to that.

The truth is, I really love her and I’m 100% faithful, but I don’t think I’m ready at 25 to move in with her and start a family. I’d like kids in the future, but not now. I only left ­university three years ago!

I really want to stay with her, but I don’t want the same things she does at this time in her life.

Can you help?

Coleen says

At 36 I think she can hear her ­biological clock ticking loudly and, to be fair, she has to give it serious consideration if she wants to be a mum. The fact is, a woman’s fertility declines quite significantly after the age of 35. So, I think it’s a tough dilemma for both of you – you’re in love and you want to be together, but you’re at very different stages of life.

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She does sound insecure and, again, I get it. I don’t think I could have a ­relationship with someone a lot younger because I’d always have that nagging worry that he’d end up going off with someone his own age.

However, it’s very tiresome to have to reassure your partner constantly and this, more than the age gap or the baby question, might put an end to your relationship.

I think the only way you can tackle this is to have a really frank discussion about where you each see the ­relationship going and what you want in your future.

I know you don’t want to hurt her, but you have to be honest that you don’t want to settle down and have babies right now because, in the long run, it’s the decent thing to do.

Then it’s up to her to decide if she’s willing to wait until you are ready and take a gamble on her fertility.





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