Dear Bearded Confidant,

So, here's the thing. I've been in a relationship with a man 10 years my senior for about 5 years now. It's great, he's great, I love the son of a bitch, and we're very happy... or at least I thought so. Lately he seems to be obsessed with his age and how wide the age gap between us is. At first it wasn't so bad, just a few comments here and there about his age, but nothing you wouldn't expect from the average person his age to say about aging. But here lately he's gotten a bit worse about it and he's also been making comments that indicate he's somewhat insecure about our relationship because of the age gap. I've been doing everything I can think of to reassure him that I'm in love with him, regardless of the age gap, but nothing seems to work for long and after a while he goes right back to being in that negative mindset.

Can you give me any advice on how to handle this? I know I can't make him feel completely better about getting older, I know that's an insecurity we all have. Can you help me to make him realize that I love him, regardless of his age or the age gap between us, and that I'd like to be with him for the long haul?

Dear In Love,

Age differences need not hinder a relationship, especially not a gap of only ten years.  My best guess is that your partner is worried that in the coming years your eye might stray to a younger man, and he's (perhaps unconsciously) proactively protecting himself from a future disappointment.  Now, he's clearly mistaken, based upon what you've communicated, so the challenge is helping him to relax into the joys of the present and to forget worrying about possible future regrets.  Since your reassurance efforts aren't taking hold, I must suggest that the next step is to schedule an appointment with a relationship counselor.  If you can't get past this hurdle, your partner's negative mindset is sure to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.