What will friends say about our age difference?

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Dear Meredith,

I'm a divorced 48-year-old straight dad. Long story short, I have met a women almost 16 years younger than I am, and we are feeling it big time. We only really hang out just the two of us and the age difference is not an issue besides the occasional pop culture reference.

I am kind of worried about what my friends will think, especially the women. They somehow are just not OK with a younger woman. And I am worried what her friends will think of the old guy. We have discussed it and decided that true friends will be accepting. But do you have any thoughts or wisdom for couples with a big age difference? I feel like I'm on the SNL skit "Meet Your Second Wife". Thanks.

– Older

Listen, it's your life, and if the two of you are happy, that's great. Assuming there aren't other issues (she's awful around your community, she makes you awful, she's bad for your kids, you were her boss, etc.), friends should celebrate your joy.

But please give people in your world room for temporary discomfort. That might preserve your close relationships. You can say to the friends who might eye-roll this, "This age difference might be a red flag to you, and I understand that. Before you turn on it, I ask that you give it time and see how it works – and what this brings to my life."

I say this as someone who's met a lot of friends' significant others; sometimes it's a gift to be told, "I’m not asking for immediate wild excitement or an endorsement, just love and support as I try something new."

Let people have their reactions. The "Saturday Night Live" bit got laughs for a reason – because it's a familiar tale, and it's OK if some friends are frustrated. Over time, people will see what's really there, beyond that age difference.

Also know that this relationship is about more than age. You could be very compatible – or not – for so many other reasons. Don't assume that all problems are about the 16 years. You need time to figure out if you share priorities and values. If this continues to work, you'll be more confident about the rest of it.

– Meredith

Readers? How would you advise dealing with friends? What else is happening here?