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I’m 70, but I can’t stop my new partner from talking to other people | Dear Mariella

Life and style | The Guardian

If age teaches us anything, it’s that you can’t change other people, says Mariella. You may be wrong for each other, or you may need to adapt your behaviour

The dilemma I am in my early 70s and met a wonderful man three years ago. He is a Spanish national and we have been away together on winter holidays, which have been marvellous. He is very outgoing and strikes up conversations with passers-by, fellow customers in a restaurant – anyone around when we are out. In Spain, although my Spanish is improving and I understand most of what is being said, I cannot make much of a contribution. These conversations can last up to 10 or 15 minutes and happen three of four times during any outing.

He says I am “wrong” to have a problem with this and it is my British background that makes me reserved. I often feel these exchanges are more fascinating to him than any conversation the two of us have. Besides feeling left out, I cringe when he interrupts people. He accuses me of being jealous and says I have a “psychological problem” if I cannot embrace this part of his character. He has no inhibitions, for instance, asking people how much they paid for their holiday accommodation so he can compare our deal. Most disturbing, he will not even consider that these conversations can be annoying, boring or embarrassing to me. I’m an outgoing person, but I’m more interested in connecting with my partner than with strangers.

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May 19th 2019, 1:32 am
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