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Ask a Newlywed: Can I Confront My Dad About His Girlfriend?

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. This week, a newlywed offers her advice to a woman concerned about her father's younger girlfriend. If you have a question, you can submit them here.

This week's question:

My parents have been divorced nearly 20 years. Since then, my father remarried and was then dumped by his new wife. Now, two years later, he is dating a young woman only 24 years old. I'm 21! I am glad to see him finally so happy but can't help but feel disgusted at this. At 52, he's more than twice her age. I hate the idea of my dad being the kind of man who schmoozes up to young women. I also hate the idea that my dad would be attracted to someone who could be a friend of mine from school.

Do I confront him about this and tell him how I feel? Is it even my business? Or is it OK for me to feel so awkward and awful about this?

Thanks,
21

To see the newlywed's answer,

.

Dear 21,

It's normal to feel uncomfortable in this situation. In fact, feeling completely indifferent would be a more surprising reaction.

You should explain your feelings to your father in a respectful way. You can tell him that you are happy he has found someone, but that it will take you some time to get used to the fact that he is dating someone close to your age. Your dad might not be aware of how you feel, so if you don't tell him, he could remain clueless.

Since I don't know your father, I can't guess how he will react. I don't think you should expect him to change his actions or dump his new girlfriend, but he might say something about the relationship that makes you feel better, or at least helps you understand him. Either way, it seems that your family is important to you, so it is worth it to communicate your uneasiness so you don't continue to secretly resent your father.

Signed,

A Newlywed

Image Source: Getty
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samischo samischo 6 years
I'm sorry, but as a fellow 21 yr old with a divorced dad around the same age, I have to say that would be reaahlly disturbing for me. I understand the mature way to go about this, but GROSS! Personally, I would tell my dad to snap the hell out of it and stop being a "pedophile," although this probably wouldn't work for most families.
ali321 ali321 6 years
I seriously don't think it would change much if you talked to him, because he should probably already know that it's weird. I would not deal well in this situation and would probably assume she was after his money. It all depends on the girl though. She could be decent. It's a tricky situation. As for those saying it's not your business I guess that's true. But my family is a huge thing to me so I would choose to speak my mind if I thought the girl was going to mess up my family or something. And honestly the age difference doesn't bother me so much. It's that she's your age that is weird to me. If she's decent than in the long run it won't be so bad as long as she doesn't try to be your mom. If she's a sleaze than it probably won't last anyway. Good Luck.
ali321 ali321 6 years
I seriously don't think it would change much if you talked to him, because he should probably already know that it's weird. I would not deal well in this situation and would probably assume she was after his money. It all depends on the girl though. She could be decent. It's a tricky situation. As for those saying it's not your business I guess that's true. But my family is a huge thing to me so I would choose to speak my mind if I thought the girl was going to mess up my family or something. And honestly the age difference doesn't bother me so much. It's that she's your age that is weird to me. If she's decent than in the long run it won't be so bad as long as she doesn't try to be your mom. If she's a sleaze than it probably won't last anyway. Good Luck.
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
I don't really think you should be too concerned with it. He's an adult, you're an adult, and his dating choices have little to no impact on you. You can talk to him about how you feel, but i honestly wouldn't. Why make him feel anything negative about it. I don't neccesarily like it, but im not really into that whole MUCH older man, younger woman thing just becuase men see it as a status thing so often, but it's not really any of your business. You don't have to like it, and you don't have to like her, but if you want a relationship with your father you will have to be civil, and it won't kill you. Unless there are harmful things going on (stealing, using for money, cheating, etc) i think you should probably grin and bear it and keep your negative feelings to yourself. You will be a LOT happier if you accept it and accept her as she is, whether you like her or not, and move on with your life as it was before. This is your relationship with your father, who you obviously care about, so why let who he is dating negatively impact that when it doesn't have to?
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
I don't really think you should be too concerned with it. He's an adult, you're an adult, and his dating choices have little to no impact on you. You can talk to him about how you feel, but i honestly wouldn't. Why make him feel anything negative about it. I don't neccesarily like it, but im not really into that whole MUCH older man, younger woman thing just becuase men see it as a status thing so often, but it's not really any of your business. You don't have to like it, and you don't have to like her, but if you want a relationship with your father you will have to be civil, and it won't kill you. Unless there are harmful things going on (stealing, using for money, cheating, etc) i think you should probably grin and bear it and keep your negative feelings to yourself. You will be a LOT happier if you accept it and accept her as she is, whether you like her or not, and move on with your life as it was before. This is your relationship with your father, who you obviously care about, so why let who he is dating negatively impact that when it doesn't have to?
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 6 years
I agree with Spacekatgal and Totygoliguez. Respect your Dad's decision to date a (much) younger woman. It seems that she likes him, too, and they mutually consented to date. Nothing wrong with that.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 6 years
I agree with Spacekatgal and Totygoliguez. Respect your Dad's decision to date a (much) younger woman. It seems that she likes him, too, and they mutually consented to date. Nothing wrong with that.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I get where you are coming from, but its not really your business. Your dad is not telling you who you should or shouldn't marry, you shouldn't tell him who he should or shouldn't date.
TidalWave TidalWave 6 years
Does it really matter?My father is older than yours and is dating a 21 year old. I met her. She's nice and everything but the entire situation is weird. I don't really like him talking about her to me but you know what, she makes him happy. Really happy. So I do my best to change the subject and ignore it and I don't hang out with the two of them or anything - but I just want my dad to be happy.
TidalWave TidalWave 6 years
Does it really matter? My father is older than yours and is dating a 21 year old. I met her. She's nice and everything but the entire situation is weird. I don't really like him talking about her to me but you know what, she makes him happy. Really happy. So I do my best to change the subject and ignore it and I don't hang out with the two of them or anything - but I just want my dad to be happy.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 6 years
I reckon you should meet the girlfriend before passing judgment, see if she's there for the cash/sex/status or if she genuinely likes your dad.
pinkpolkadots88 pinkpolkadots88 6 years
I think that newlywed hit it out of the park!!! You should confront him, but do so in a respectful positive manner.... Good luck! Brit
pinkpolkadots88 pinkpolkadots88 6 years
I think that newlywed hit it out of the park!!! You should confront him, but do so in a respectful positive manner.... Good luck! Brit
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 6 years
If you are that uncomfortable with it than you should talk to him about it. But it isn't really your business who your adult father decides to date.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 6 years
If you are that uncomfortable with it than you should talk to him about it. But it isn't really your business who your adult father decides to date.
Zivanod Zivanod 6 years
You should tell him how you feel. Don't expect it to change anything. But perhaps he will not bring her new girlfriend around you until you are more comfortable with it.Me, I'd probably never be comfortable with it but I'm a judgemental b****! :)
Zivanod Zivanod 6 years
You should tell him how you feel. Don't expect it to change anything. But perhaps he will not bring her new girlfriend around you until you are more comfortable with it. Me, I'd probably never be comfortable with it but I'm a judgemental b****! :)
skigurl skigurl 6 years
i would feel the same way in your situation! don't worry, i think any girl in her 20s would be put off by her dad dating a fellow 20-something...you can confront him if you want. like the newlywed said, we don't know how he will react but you're likely to have a better sense of that so unless you feel that he will fly off the handle, just talk to him and try to get some answersthis is not an uncommon thing for a divorced middle-aged man, but more often than not, the girl is just a gold digger or has daddy issues....how many 20-something girls do you know who would seek out to date a 50-something twice-divorced man with grown children and anticipate a healthy relationship with that guy?he will hopefully realize that but maybe you can also just nudge him in the right direction to start realizing it
skigurl skigurl 6 years
i would feel the same way in your situation! don't worry, i think any girl in her 20s would be put off by her dad dating a fellow 20-something...you can confront him if you want. like the newlywed said, we don't know how he will react but you're likely to have a better sense of that so unless you feel that he will fly off the handle, just talk to him and try to get some answers this is not an uncommon thing for a divorced middle-aged man, but more often than not, the girl is just a gold digger or has daddy issues....how many 20-something girls do you know who would seek out to date a 50-something twice-divorced man with grown children and anticipate a healthy relationship with that guy? he will hopefully realize that but maybe you can also just nudge him in the right direction to start realizing it
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