To be or not to be. That is the question.

After years of bad luck in relationships and seven years of being single to avoid further heartache, I met a lovely young man and started a relationship once again. Everything about him is great, the best thing being that he truly loves me and treats me like a princess. The only catch is, he is 19 years younger than I.

This would not matter so much if he did not himself express doubts about our future. He did it again today, mentioning he did not see us lasting forever. In fact, he thinks we will probably break up five years from now. He thinks he may want children then (he is 25 now) and obviously won’t be able to have them with me.

I have cried so many tears in my life, all because of my choices with men. I feel like an utter failure for getting myself into this situation. I have been with him two years and breaking up will hurt a lot.

Honestly, I don’t know how to proceed. Straight after confiding his fears, my partner seemed to feel remorse and started talking about marriage. We’ve registered our relationship formally, as de facto. But it is a far cry from an actual wedding, and I sense his talk is false promises.

Maybe I am more willing to believe bad news because I myself have doubts. But then, I have such a bad history in these things, I will never be naïve or optimistic again. I am also a woman and prone to worry about my appearance, which surely will not improve as I age.

Am I making a mistake, or simply delaying the inevitable?

~ Mallory

Mallory, Emmanuel Macron, the new president of France, is married to a woman 24 years his senior. He and his wife, Brigitte, are said to be inseparable. Though this much of an age difference between a woman and a man is unusual, we have seen it before.

What you ask is a deeper question.

Can you accept the uncertainty of life? Can you accept that our lives are only partly under our control? Can you taste the coffee and smell the roses today?

Wayne’s friend John was a journalist and editor of a newspaper. He was perhaps the best father we have ever seen. Until he developed early onset Alzheimer’s. This man who made his living through words saw his words and memories fade in a rapid decline into death.

Yet another friend, Ed, is 99 and not only still driving, but still driving too fast. He never forgets a name or a face. He was a college professor and rabid newshound. At least once each week he sends out a Note of the Day about politics around the world.

Can you accept that, though you own an insurance policy, nothing in life is assured? Can you accept that, though this relationship may end in two years, in four years you may find the man you have been searching for all your life?

Can you accept that optimism and hope, which are inborn within us all, will serve you no matter what fate, destiny or providence bring? Can you believe one day you will reach an understanding which will make sense of all the apparently senseless things in your life?

Today, Mallory, taste the coffee, smell the roses and let the future take care of itself. Thank you for writing a letter which, though it is from you alone, speaks to the fears and hopes within us all.

~ Wayne & Tamara

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