Large age gaps in a relationship: our readers respond | The people's panel | Opinion | The Guardian
I just wonder if this man your mom married graduated to more than just . A close friend of ours married a man 10 years younger then herself. George Clooney and his new wife, Amal Alamuddin, are the talk of the town. I always seem to date guys between 10 to 20 years older than me, and the attraction for the older man type, and it used to freak my mother out. My grandmother was 11 years older than my grandfather. They did divorce, but after 20 odd years of marriage and 2 kids, I guess it depends on.
May 30, at And we do want to have kids and keep making our lives worth wild with for our Futute families. But I really see a good point this relationship and I just wish I had the same motivation with others as well.
It is imperative though that conversations take place regarding family, children and future aspirations. They are probably giving you advice based on experience. Some men like younger women like yourself, because you are easy to mold and easily influenced.
In addition, people change as they get older. When you are in your 20s and early 30! He is who he is, so the challenge there is you may outgrow each other. I experienced this with my first marriage. He was 10 years older and by the time I finished college and got a job, I was not the same naive, easily influenced young woman at age So I wanted out of the marriage.
I was the one who changed and he no longer met my needs or interested me. The very large age difference also means that you will likely become his caregiver if you stay together long enough. That may not sound bad, but at age 40 when you are still in your prime, he might be dealing with chronic illness.
Plus handling the kids. In other situations it works fine, but I would feadup more and experiences of women who took this route. I really thing some of your friends just want to protect you. He is with you because of your yoouth. Because at 24you are still finding yourself whereas he is already etablished. As we are melanated ,physically, I look like a 14 year old and he like a 17 year old.
My mom is okay with that, she is But all the men in my lifestarting from my dad, uncles they just can stand that. They have their vision of men, used to be manipulativeplayersfool and whatever. If you were 35 dating a 50it would be okay or as you are a 24 dating a 34it would be perfect.
But 16 is too much as you are still young and he is olding May 30, at 2: If he is divorced, how long was he divorced before you met him? Sometimes when men are back in the dating pool they will definitely try to meet women much younger, sort of an ego boost for them. Has he introduced you to his family and friends? This applies especially if you have been dating for a few months or more.
If he has children, he might want to hold back considerably longer for you to meet them, which is a good idea generally. Some older men like younger women because they are often naive in the ways of the world. At 19, you are very young.
Trust me, love is wonderful but you need so much more. Look, I am old enough to be your grandmother, in fact I am a great grandmother. I have my beautiful step granddaughter living with us for the summer. She is 19 and if she was dating a 40 year old, my husband and I would be very concerned. August 22, at He knows what he wants in life and he such a great listener… August 22, at 1: There are many couples that others think are mismatched and they are the best couples that can be.
This can manifest in many ways, I have friends where the guy is like twenty centimeters shorter than his wife and many laugh at them but they are really happy with kids, great couple and they do not care about it at all. When I first dated a much older man, think 16 years, I used to be ashamed publicly in the beginning also because he was very wealthy and many would think I am after his money which I did not know about in the beginning and did not care anyhow.
The relationship ultimately failed in part due to the fact that people started telling him that I was after his money, also I was much better looking than him. But he was the first guy I chose not based on looks and other external factors and the chemistry was great. I dated several other older men and they worked the best for me. What is hard is that there can be a cultural gap, they also want different things in life, are in a different life stage, many do not really want a family anymore, even more baggage.
The worst is that most of these guys have narcissistic tendencies and can be quite controlling. Still, I did not often have a good relationship with a guy my age, I had one. The others did not really work for me. Younger is a disaster to me. Only for something casual if you may. Care about what and who makes you happy, not what others tell you that should make you happy. January 3, at 8: This is not really compatible, unless you make a hell of an amazing living in marketing and he aspires to be a single dad.
My own parents were 19 years apart, but as a rural conservative, my mother was very like someone of my father's generation for their time and place, etc. However, as their youngest, I never knew his parents, and he was more like a grandfather; further, the difference or the fact that my mom was about your age when they married contributed to a heck of a midlife crisis when she was in her mids and he fell ill.
I personally am very much for gambling in favor of love. This is the case in my extended family. My aunt does do a lot of caregiving and it does limit her. On the flip side, they are very happy together and very much in love. You just never know. As a mids woman, I wonder more what this year-old wants with a year-old.
Why does your life experience and maturity level match his so well? I've figured out who I am, I've travelled, I've dated different types of guys, I've started my career, and so I feel ready to settle down, if I meet the right person.
I have by no means decided that I want any kind of long term relationship with him. At the same time, I'm not thinking "Yeah, I'm just messing around in a short-term fling". That's why I want to know if the age gap would cause issues. I'm more concerned right now with figuring out if he ISN'T long term material than if he is I definitely agree that the latter takes time. Oh, you want more? And I definitely was, which was apparent in the fact that ALL of my social relationships are with slightly older people.
That said - I was Twenty-two is so young. Even when you get to my age basically 30 you are going to look back at 22 and realize that you were a baby, have changed so much, and now want different things.
This is inevitable, so matter how much of an "old soul" you are. You don't think it's true, but it is, and you can only fully appreciate it via the aging process.
I'm excited to see how turning 40 will change my perspective. It's funny and sad because it's more likely to be true. We work on that together by planning our insurances and finances and such so that I am not left a destitute widow or so he's not out in the cold if I get hit by a bus, randomly. It make me really sad.
But I still wouldn't pass up the opportunity to be with him. I know you are. But please remember - you are There are a lot of older men who like 22 year olds. There are a lot of selfish older men who don't mind disrupting young lives for their pleasure and amusement.
And 22 is young; if you were 30, this age gap would bother me less. But, listen - you are You haven't had a lot of relationship experiences. You may not have had a lot of bad relationship experiences. Some dudes know this. Some dudes will take advantage of this. And you are smart, but you may not have enough experience to be fully aware of how this goes down.
I was smart, and ended up in that failed earlier relationship because I didn't realize what was going on. And I got burned, despite my best efforts. Though at the time I thought nothing of an even larger age gap, I know pause and think, "Why does this year-old want a year-old girlfriend?
I didn't pause before. And though I am not a total cynic, I do think there is grounds to pause. I am all for love, and have really never been hung up on some of the age differences that my friends have though odd. Do not sacrifice you values, goals, and career for this man. If he ends up being a good partner, he won't want you to. In fact, he'll help you achieve them. But you need to establish yourself as an independent human being, and if you get any sense that he is not going to allow you to do that properly, it is your responsibility to bail.
You shouldn't really be reading too much into things at this point, you know? Like you, I felt like I had a lot of things sorted out, and that I was mature enough to be with someone much older. We had a wonderful relationship for many years, and eventually, I realized that you just change and grow so much in your twenties - much more than your partner is growing and changing in his thirties or forties - to the point where after almost ten years, it became clear that it's hard to plan a whole life with someone when you are in such different life stages at the start.
I don't regret the relationship, nor would I advise you not to pursue yours, but I look back at how convinced I was of my own maturity at 22 and sometimes wish I'd spent my twenties as my friends did - dating more people of various kinds and then settling down ten years later. He also wants to write Along the lines of what Sara C. You're got some specific goals and are looking to settle down, and he seems to still be in a very Lots of us would love to work for the UN, but it's sort of competitive, and French literature is not normally how one gets there.
And he wants to write - ok, does he actually write, or is it something he thinks might be fun to get around to someday? Are you compatible with someone whose life plans, goals, etc. Vivid postcard's advice is really good too. Not so much, it turns out. I have a friend who married her soon-to-be ex husband at 22 when he was in his 40's. They have an 8 year old, and after two separations, are finally getting divorced for reals. If not, he needs to skip this pipe dream. I worked there, as do friends of my family, who are in high positions.
Unless he has a serious foot in the door it ain't happening. And I grew up in that milieu. As to the rest My husband is 9 years younger than me. I was shocked on our first date to find out his age. He told me, "Age is just a number: Provided expectations are manageable. I gave you an example above of two very happy people that couldn't make it work no matter how hard they tried.
It was her age that really tanked it.
- I want to read about...
She needed more than he could give as she traversed her 20's. The problem is that 22 is NOT You will change more than he will in the next couple of years. Just letting you know! It's really more about a generational thing. I swear, I have yet to see one of these "should I keep dating this guy" threads in which the majority of people say "yes". The age difference here is not really that great. Twelve years is a blink of an eye.
I'd LOVE to be 35 again. Fuck the age difference. If you still like him, and he's still a good man, don't stop. I'll take your words for it: So, with no evidence, but you asked: One issue with dating someone 35 is the question that vivid postcard and snarl furillo asked - why is this 35 year old man interested in a 22 year old woman.
Among the answers you don't want - because he wants younger women, less experienced women, etc. And if that is what is going on for him, to note that you will always be younger than him, but you won't always be younger, or less experienced. The only way to figure out what's going on around that though, is over time, to discover more about each other's dating history.
That usually unfolds in it's own time. Does he have a history of dating women like you? How did those relationships end? What does he say about women is own age, and his own race? Does he make generalizations or is his response nuanced? That said, my uncle's second wife was 22 years younger, and the loved each other madly. Sadly, he did pass, and she is raising two teens. But I don't think she would have traded it. And to be honest, there might of been a little bit on his side of being more experienced and therefore able to 'lead' the relationship.
True Story: I'm 10 Years Older Than My Husband -
But as she matured, I think that dynamic changed. They did have a lovely life together. And the fact that you are employed and he is a student doesn't reverse things, unfortunately. I'm assuming you asked him what difference age makes, though perhaps a more neutral question is how age differences affect relationships - what did he say? Hopefully his response was thoughtful? And, depending on where you guys live, and your cultural backgrounds, dating someone Black and 13 years older could bring up a bunch of shitty reactions on the part of his friends and family.
Not necessarily, but it could. That's not a reason not to do it - it's just something to be aware of and prepared for it it happens, because you're both going to need to handle that as a team. One of my good friends in his mid-thirties dated a year old for quite some time.
I would say that one thing to consider is that there is what is between the two of you, and there is how the two of you as a couple face the world together - that includes your hopes and dreams, but it also is how you navigate day to day amongst your social circle and how much satisfaction or frustration that brings you. Between the two of them, they were pretty compatible and had a great time one-on-one If they wanted to go out together and spend time with friends, it was always one side's friends or another.
They found it difficult to organically bring all their friends together in any way that would meaningfully stick. Either he spent his weekends hanging with all her early 20s friends, listening to their early 20s conversations about grad school hopes and roommate drama and wanting to teach abroad, or she came along to all of our more relatively sedate mid 30s dinner parties and listened to us drone on about wanting to refinish our floors and the challenges of having newly real pressures at work and how we felt about how politics had changed since we first started voting a decade and a half ago.
It wasn't just a disparity in type of activity - it was the pace of it, the cost of it, the tone of it. Neither felt fully comfortable in the other's world. Not that this sort of constant switching of hats as a couple was inherently a bad thing, but it became a very split existence for them as a couple, and increasingly lonely for each of them to be the lone fish out of water while the other was "at home" amongst their generation.
It made them each feel, over time, that their relationship existed in some strange vacuum that took an exhausting force of will to sustain. You hope that as a couple, you build not only the foundation for your relationship but a foundation for a circle of loved ones you both feel at home in. I think that can be much more of a challenge when there's a significant age difference. The two of you may be able to get along cross-generationally, but I wouldn't underestimate how lonely it can get when you feel like you two AS A UNIT don't really feel like you have a place in the larger fabric of your lives.
You sound like you are in a tearing hurry - and you don't need to be. The person is much more important than arbitrary factors like age. You could spend ten years waiting to meet the right person who is the "right" age.
You could meet him and he could be hit by a bus three months later - or you could. So just date him. There aren't any rules. An old soul knows how seldom we form those real connections, and wouldn't think of losing one over an something so irrelevant. In regards to "what does a 35 year old want with a 22 year old" - he didn't go and seek me out for being younger. We met salsa dancing - the salsa community is small enough that 19 year olds are mixed in with 60 year olds, and people go primarily to dance, rather than find people to go home with them like at a bar.
So we just started talking, and he was new to the area, so I agree to go hang out with him. And then there was a connection, so we saw each other again.
It was only the last 2 dates that age came up - he thought I would have been older. I didn't ask what difference age makes - he asked me. I told him my concerns You are putting the cart so far in front of the horse that the horse can't even see the cart.
He had already had a career as a dancer in vaudeville, a stint in Germany during WWII, a failed marriage, and an affair with a German chorus girl resulting in the birth of his first son. She had worked behind the bar at her parents' tavern and, I believe, had never been out of the state where she was born.
Sixty years later, they're still together -- she's 81 and he's going on And yes, she does a ton of caregiving because: But they have had an absolutely devoted marriage, during which they ran a business together and raised a terrific, happy family. So can it work out?
Do I think you need to worry about it right now? All you have to do right now is enjoy getting to know each other. Take care of the present and the future will take of itself. If he's 35 and not married, not in a long-term relationship, hasn't bought a house, doesn't have kids, doesn't even have a long-term career, then those things are probably not very high priorities for him. They aren't high priorities for many people.
But it sounds like they might be for you. And that could cause conflict. But there I was—32 years old. It happened really fast and was not amicable at all.
But now, having gotten to the other side, I see that period of my life as the greatest gift. How did you meet your husband? Nick and I were friends for 2 years prior to my divorce and another year before he ever asked me out.
I met him when he applied to be a tutor for the program I was teaching. He was in college and was considering getting his teaching credential. So he was sort of like my assistant or my student teacher. During the group interview when I was hiring our new crop of tutors, I asked everyone around the table what they saw for themselves in the future. All the interviewees mentioned things like finishing their degrees in order to attain their career aspirations.
Your Turn: “My 46-Year-Old Mother is Dating a 22-Year-Old!”
Take it down a notch. His life ambition is to be of service to the people he loves. That includes being the best husband and father, and son, grandson, cousin, friend. The rest of his interview was good and I ended up hiring him. Over the next two years, as we worked together, I got to know him better and found that he was super smart and funny and really cared about the students he worked with. Our whole team loved working with him.
He and two of the other tutors became part of our teaching team. We were all great friends and worked together to get the best from our students. I respected Nick for how seriously he took his job as a role model for our students. How did you respond the first time he asked you out? I moved to a school across town and started the school year there. Nick was finishing his degree about an hour and a half away. The last half of was a blur.
I was beyond heartbroken.