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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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My girlfriend is 24, I am 50. After several months of friendship

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My girlfriend is 24, I am 50. After several months of friendship and secretly dating we have gone semi-public over the last month, spending every night together, and except work, all other hours. We go out in public as a couple. All my co-workers and the majority of my friends know that we are in a relationship. Only one of her friends (her roommate) has been told of our relationship, all others only suspect because they have seen us together so much. Yet she has yet to introduce me to her friends as her "boyfriend" or acknowledge to anyone in her circle that she has a boyfriend. She tells me the reason is her concern is that her friends will think badly about her dating an older man, as well as give her a bad reputation for being a golddigger. She wants me to attend a party with at her apartment but does not want to introduce me as only a friend. I find this unacceptable and am seriously considering breaking up over this. Recommendations?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

Keeping a relationship a secret only works if both parties want that kind of secrecy (and even then the success rate is questionable). By introducing you as a friend (as opposed to her boyfriend) it sends the message that you're exactly that -- to both her friends and to you. In that sense, it's disrespectful of your feelings. Explain to her that you'd be happy to be her friend OR her boyfriend. However, she can't have both ways (publicly just friends, privately more.) She'll need to choose.
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