He is Really Crabby. How Do I Handle It?

April Braswell

Written by: April Braswell

April Braswell

April Braswell is a senior dating expert, dating coach and professional dating profile writer. She leads dating, relationship and communication skills workshops throughout California.

See full bio »

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

Reader Question:

I have met a very sweet man. I am 65. He is 69. He treats me very well, but the one thing that turns me off is he is crabby.

He thinks all lawyers and doctors are crooks, and he has relationship problems with his kids. He is very opinionated. He is never critical of me, but I still hate to listen to all of the grouchiness.

-Sheila (Indiana)

April Braswell’s Answer:

Hi Sheila,

Congratulations that you are paired off with such a sweet senior man. I’m sure all of your single lady girlfriends are envious of you.

By the time someone is in the silver years of life, much of life has already occurred. You are seeing the fruit of what he was like years ago with his adult children.

What matters most in your relationship with him is how he treats you. You said he treats you well. I am delighted to hear that.

If he treats you with gentlemanly ways as his special lady, that’s 95 percent of the relationship. Isn’t it?

Now, mind you, I’m sure listening to his grouchiness can be just exasperating. Unfortunately, what works for gently persuading a gradual change in that mindset is to not directly confront him about it.

What is most effective, actually, is to start pointing out one or two times lawyers and doctors are not crooks, which deflates the tire a bit. Then you can say, “Well then, not all of them are crooks. Right?”

Use a gently teasing, giggling tone when you do so he can retain face and giggle along with you.

Then ask leading questions to change the topic to something that is positive so the majority of the time you two engage in positive and interesting conversations.

You’ll likely still have to listen to some grouchiness, but aren’t we all guilty of that just a wee bit?

Happy dating and relationships,


No counseling or psychotherapy advice: The site does not provide psychotherapy advice. The site is intended only for use by consumers in search of general information of interest pertaining to problems people may face as individuals and in relationships and related topics. Content is not intended to replace or serve as substitute for professional consultation or service. Contained observations and opinions should not be misconstrued as specific counseling advice.

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.