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Age gap relationship

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 04 September 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

Two years ago I met and fell in love with a wonderful man. We adore each other and all the time we are together we are constantly laughing and being happy. He has now asked me to marry him and wants us to move in together. This should make me the happiest woman in the world, but there is a problem – our age gap – I am 29 and he is 58.

My parents are very much against our relationship and won't even allow him in their house. They insult him, insist he is trying to control me and wanting to change me, which is absolute rubbish. My friends say they don't understand why I would want to be with a man who is almost an old age pensioner, and never ask us out as a couple because they say it would be like having their parents there. My sister is the only one who seems to accept us as a couple, and she says she is just happy that I am happy.

I want to marry him and make our future together but am torn as I don't wish to lose my friends and family over it.

What should I do?

Thank you.

Patricia Marie says...

It is so irritating that people have an opinion about age gaps, even when they don't know the particular people involved. There are certain types of problems that can arise from dating a much older person. However, some young women have entered into blissfully happy marriages with wonderful, caring, older men, just as others have found misery with men of their own generation. There is no blueprint for human happiness in a relationship.

You are being overly influenced by your parents' emotional reaction. Parents can often be slightly irrational when it comes to accepting their children's life decisions. Even the most understanding ones can overreact if they feel what you are planning is not in your best interest.

Perhaps your parents are too negatively focused. Encourage them to see the positive side, such as the financial security your partner may have, a wealth of experience he could bring to your relationship, the fact that if you were to have children together, he would likely be wiser with them than in his youth.

I wonder if your parents are concerned that you could become this man's carer in later life, or that he could die and leave your children fatherless? Often it is presumed that the older one of the partnership will die first, but of course this is not necessarily the case. When Joan Collins married a man 32 years her junior, and sceptics commented that she may not last the pace, she laughed off the age difference, quipping 'If he dies, he dies!'

Talk to your parents. Tell them you are strongly considering marrying your partner, and that it would mean so much to you if they could try to accept him. Perhaps your sister could act as a mediator at this time to help encourage them to see how happy he makes you. Let your unsupportive friends know how disappointed you are by their judgmental views, and suggest that they may surprise themselves if they were to get to know him, and actually enjoy his company.

Whether you choose to marry a man who is older, younger, or a similar age, there will naturally be some necessary compromises. By stating that your age gap is a problem, you are expressing there are doubts in your mind. You must listen to these doubts, and be absolutely sure of this relationship, but do not make your decision solely based on the opinions of your parents and friends.

Do keep an eye out for Toni &Guy

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 28 August 2015
This week I went to the launch of Toni & Guy's newest innovation- the Fluid Metal Styler, a product aimed to keep tresses sleek and chic with its salon quality technology. The event, hosted not far from The Lady Towers, hosted a range of beauty writers and hair enthusiasts drinking champagne and getting their hair done by an on site Toni & Guy stylist.

I was greeted by two representatives of the brand who talked me through their latest product. Its glossy exterior is matched by its iridescent plates, and it even came in a shiny bag with a heat proof mat. The titanium plates of the straightener ensure heat transfer while protecting hair follicles, and at 25mm, they go much beyond straightening. The styler also doesn't snag or irritatingly get caught when you go to curl your hair, as I later found out.

Sipping prosecco and munching on mini quiches, we were entertained by a contortionist who bent herself into unthinkable shapes. In between ogling at the spine-aching poses of the acrobat, I chatted to the girls around the room about where they worked and what they came along for. The space was lit up with purple and blue hues, and bubbles were rampantly bursting out of a tiny machine.

I was then swiftly ushered into a stylist chair where a trendy lady in heels asked me what kind of hairstyle I wanted. I pointed at the girl that was in the chair before me, who had emerged with loose, effortless waves. Within seconds, the stylist was spraying my head with heat protector and parting sections of my hair. As she glided the straightener around my hair she started to tell me a little about her styling career, and all the crazy behind the scenes stories of chaotic events like London Fashion Week. Ten minutes later and a little tussling, my hair was bouncy and full of texture.

Goody bag in hand, I left the event (albeit only staying an hour) feeling like I had just had a spa day.

My daughter is beside herself with grief at the news of One Direction splitting

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 28 August 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,
I am very worried about my 14 year old daughter since the recent news of the impending split of One Direction. She is completely obsessed with them and is now beside herself with grief. Her bedroom is adorned with a huge mural of them, she has One Direction bed linen, curtains, calendars, books etc. She has idolised them since the band were first formed a few years ago, and I just don't know how to deal with her. I do remember how I myself felt when Wham and Bros split, but I don't remember feeling anything like her depth of anguish.

How can I help her come to terms with the news?

Patricia Marie says...

Millions of fans were left heartbroken on hearing the announcement that One Direction are splitting up. Reacting to the break up of a band can feel similar to the end of a relationship or another loss. Grieving fans cope in different ways. Some may sulk or have a good cry. Others could even resort to self-harm or use other destructive ways to cope. Being a fan of any celebrity gives passion and a sense of belonging. It can be exciting to look at their photographs, watch their interviews, follow their tweets and see them perform, making you almost feel part of their lives, which is why this news is so hard for traumatised fans to accept.

Your daughter might find it difficult to concentrate, and may be very tearful or anxious at the moment, finding it hard to think about anything else other than One Direction. If she has never experienced loss before, she could feel overwhelmed. Alternatively, if she has, the band's split may reignite the emotions she felt at that time.

Be careful not to dismiss or minimise your daughter's feelings. Encourage her to talk to you, as this will create an opportunity for her to explore her emotions. Listen, and share how you felt when your idols split, and you may be reminded that your feelings then were actually very similar to hers now. Help her to understand she will feel sad for a while, but that her low mood will soon lift when she becomes more accepting of the situation. It would also be a good idea to encourage your daughter to talk to other fans, as she will gain much strength and comfort from those experiencing the same heartache.

As a fan, she has contributed to the band's success, and even after they split, she can still continue to support them by following the respective lives of each member. It won't be the end of the individuals, just the band. Tell your daughter how brave they are splitting at the height of their fame. Ask her to be happy for them, to wish them luck and look forward to seeing what they can produce as solo artists in the future. Remind her that it may be the end of the group, but her memories of One Direction and their music will forever remain.

Imagination versus knowledge?

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Monday, 24 August 2015
For those who don't follow my blog, I should explain that we've been doing a little globetrotting. If I'm totally honest, it hasn't really been the backpacking + hostel-type of roaming. But there's little more that He and I adore more than showing our Smalls the world-at-large and so this year we tackled parts of Asia.

But this isn't a travel journal post; I'm simply making the point that having just spent a fortnight 24/7 in close proximity (mostly sharing a room) with my tribe, I have plenty of blog fodder for the rest of the year, and beyond.

Mealtimes, long journeys, early mornings, lights out, on the beach and all the bits in between have meant we could delve a bit deeper in our chit chat than manic London life allows.

During one particular meal, Small asked if we thought that imagination was more important than knowledge? I almost choked on my coconut juice as this boy's random thought process throws me every time. And so the debate was opened: I was interested that my Him thought that knowledge was always king as it gives you the power to know how. I disagreed (of course) stating that, within reason, knowledge can be acquired and yet imagination is harder to come by. Surely imagination must be life's differentiator, I ranted on.

But I soon realized why Small was asking this question. He's pretty confident that his vivid imagination is all he needs to get by. I quickly swayed my reasoning and set him on the straight and narrow; there are too many school years for us all to get through...

And I was once more reminded that these discussions (whether or not they are on a sandy beach) are precious and valuable and the essence of family life.

A Level results

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 21 August 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am reasonably intelligent, and have worked really hard at school, but somehow have managed to achieve dreadfully low grades in my exams. I have so far managed to avoid revealing my results to my parents, by staying at a friend's for the last few days, but I know I have to tell them, and they are going to be so disappointed in me. I am writing to you as some time ago my mum told me that you had really helped her through a difficult problem she had (she won't tell me what that was, though).

Would they know if I made up my results? Is there any way they could find out?

Patricia Marie says...

It can be difficult to predict the outcome of examinations. Whether a student is confident in their chosen subjects or not, exams can often be so stressful that students are not able to perform at their best. If this happens, and grades are therefore lower than expected, it can be a very upsetting experience.

Your disappointing results have come as a shock, and you are understandably unsure how to deal with telling your parents. However, fabricating your grades, isn't the answer, and could cause severe complications in the future. Nevertheless, I am concerned about your fear of approaching your parents, and wondering if you could share your anxieties with someone you trust who could offer support when you speak to them.

Try to look at this situation from their point of view. Surely far more than the importance of their daughter receiving top grades, would be for them to know that you will make the best of what you did achieve. I expect they would be devastated if they knew how much torment you are suffering.

If you haven't done so already, contact the Exam Results Helpline, which is open every day until 24th August. Their dedicated team can offer advice and guidance, as well as information on potential options that may suit you, such as embarking on a college course, enrolling in a Modern Apprenticeship, or gaining some work experience. The National Careers Service also offer invaluable ongoing support. Instead of dwelling on so much uncertainty, pick up the phone and use these services to help explore plans for your future, which will enable you to feel more in control of your life, and better equipped to speak to your parents.

I need you to know that not making your desired grades may mean looking at alternative options, but it will certainly not make you any less able to achieve what you want. Be proud of yourself for working so hard to obtain the grades you did receive. Life is full of uncertainties, but what you can be sure of is there is a new exciting future ahead. Go ahead and embrace it!

The Exam Results Helpline: 0808 100 8000
The National Careers Service 0800 100 900

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