My friend is dating my sister

I worry she’s setting herself up to be unhappy, or chasing something she’ll never get.

She says she falls in love with the person, not the age, and that some of her interests are better suited to older guys and that they don’t play as many games.

—Bystander Sister I know it’s tempting to try to psychoanalyze this, like: Is she searching for the emotional intimacy she may lack with your dad? Neither you nor I can know what’s truly going on for her.

And more important, you haven’t given me any evidence it’s necessarily even a bad thing. Of course, if she someday ends up committing to someone who likely has very few years left, then that is not ideal — but there are no guarantees of life span no matter how old your partner.

Even in her 20s, she would routinely go for middle-aged guys.

You state in your letter how you care for them both.

If you’ve a friend or family member who you can trust to share your concerns in confidence this may be useful, although you’ll want to avoid this escalating into a family drama.

For that reason expressing these feelings on Facebook is best avoided.

They are both charming and attractive, but my ex was Jekyll and Hyde and was possessive and emotionally abusive. And I’d say that your insight into the looks-can-be-deceiving nature of your ex gives you added power to scrutinize. Sure, some manipulative and controlling people hide behind charm as a cover, whereas other people are thoroughly and good-naturedly charming all their lives.

It makes me not trust this initial persona that I see. You’ll only know more if you continue to be mindful, keep checking in with yourself and avoid going on autopilot.

Read more Baggage Check: My friend keeps giving me gifts I don’t want, and I can’t take it anymore After a brutal year, how can I get my husband to take care of himself?

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