Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

I'm 35. He's 22. I've been divorced for four years. I met my ex-husband when I was 16 and we were married when we were 23. The first few years of our marriage were bliss but as we reached our thirties, things became very stale. What finally put the nail in the coffin was the fact that he committed adultery with one of my so called closest friends.

It took me almost two years to get over the trauma of the divorce. I was on meds and therapy. I finally got over all the things that happened and was happy again. However, I had no intention of getting involved with another man at all. There was no physical nor emotional desire for me to do so, until I met a particular young man.

He's an African-American (I'm Caucasian) man who is in his last year of college. He's studying English Literature. I met him through a friend of mine - she's his lecturer. When I first met him I was immediately attracted to him. I know this is kind of playing up to the African-American stereotype, but the first time I saw him was at a college basketball game and his display of gruff physicality and explosive athleticism incited a physical desire I thought had died within me a long time ago.

He's an aspiring writer and my friend (his lecturer) has always raved about his short stories. I'm an avid reader so I read a few of his stories and was blown away by his talent. This led to a dialogue between us through email, where I got to know him more and the more I heard the more I liked. We ended up meeting for lunch as a casual encounter and we both really enjoyed ourselves. We had so much chemistry and loved a lot of the same things. Then we went on an unofficial date. And another one. And another one. This eventually culminated in us sleeping together.

In the beginning the physical side of our relationship was the most profound. To be honest I loved having sex with him. But as time passed, as I got to know him more, I became to really adore the person he is deep down. He's the most wonderful man I've ever met - he's caring, funny, highly intelligent, sweet and very romantic. We've been seeing each other for six months now and I've fallen head over heels for him. He also told me he's fallen head over heels for me, too.

The reason I'm posting this on this site is because the future between us is unclear. I mean, he's only 22. He's barely lived. He has his whole life ahead of him. He's graduating from college in the summer and a new adventure will begin for him. Whereas I'm approaching middle-age. We're two people going in two different directions and I'm terrified because I feel the age gap between us won't be able to survive the reality that is before us.

In a way I wish I never met him, because even though the last 8 months have been some of the happiest in my entire life, I can't stand the thought of what I know is going to happen.

Can anyone offer any advice or input on the situation? It will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

Let him go.

He's not mature enough yet. Seriously.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

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Originally Posted by spinach View Post
I'm 35. He's 22.
In the beginning the physical side of our relationship was the most profound. To be honest I loved having sex with him.

He's barely lived. He has his whole life ahead of him.
He's graduating from college in the summer and a new adventure will begin for him.
Whereas I'm approaching middle-age.
We're two people going in two different directions and I'm terrified because I feel the age gap between us won't be able to survive the reality that is before us.
I can't imagine that you have that much in common, but you certainly aren't the first May/December couple. Demi & Ashton come to mind for example. I guess you could just enjoy it while it lasts.

On the other hand, at 22 and 35 you are at vastly different life stages and it seems incredibly selfish of the 35 year old to have a relationship with a 22 year old. Slightly icky since he is still a college student and you met him thru his professor.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

Sex my be good but that's not all that is needed for a full relationship. He's not as mature or life experienced, as you. It will wear on your expectations after time. Don't be short sighted because you haven't found your match yet.

Good luck.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

When I first saw your post, my reaction was "icky". But that is because I have a son just older than this man and young men to me look like children.

My next thought after reading some of the replies was, if this was a man dating a younger girl, no one would care.

Having said all that. Realistically, do you want to be with someone in 20 years that looks young and fresh while you are looking more aged? I know I would not. Maybe I am vain, but I would never want to be with a man that was younger and/or better looking than myself.

In addition to this, you are right. He is just starting out. He has a career to build and a family to start. He seems like a very nice man and you seem like a nice woman, do what is right.

Good luck
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

I think if this were a man dating a younger woman, there wouldn't be as much of an outcry. There are some posters on TAM who regularly mention their wives are decades younger than them.

There is a big age gap between the two of you. You're also both consenting adults. I don't think you're taking advantage of him. I don't think you're being selfish. In the long run this relationship may not work out, but why not see how far it goes? Why give it up now?

A good friend of mine in her 50s dated a man in his 30s. They dated for nearly two years. They're no longer together, but the breakup was a result of his moving to another location, a requirement of his job. Had he stayed where she lived, I think they might even have gotten married at some point.

It's easy for us to say break up or give him up. It's harder for you since you have feelings for this person and he has feelings for you. I don't think there's a right or wrong...do what you both think is best.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

My daughter went over to a new friends house and I met the mother. She's 50 and looks it. Then the girl came to our house dropped off by her brother, couldn't have been more to 30! Nope her Dad, 14 years younger but looks 10 times better than his wife. My H and I still giggle over that one. They look ridiculous together!

Right now, maybe you can deal with the age difference, but when your 50 or 60... You think it will be as easy?
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

Big difference between the life of 30, 40, 50 year olds and someone who is just been allowed into a clubs/bars. IMO

And I'm still trying to figure out the reason she needs to point out her/his race? Does it bother her or is she worried it bothers others? Me thinks she may be a bit immature too.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

You have less than 10 reproductive years of life left. He has until he dies. That's the reason men are usually the older ones in relationships. Of course you're attracted to a young athlete with a great mind, who wouldn't be. Have fun for now but you're going to endup breaking his heart. You know there is little possibility of a ltr, why drag out the pain?
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

The age difference here isn't the real issue it's the fact that he's 22. He's going to change a lot as you know over the next 3-8 years and you may or may not be a part of that. It's a risk and only you know whether you want to take it or not.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spinach View Post
He's graduating from college in the summer and a new adventure will begin for him. Whereas I'm approaching middle-age. We're two people going in two different directions and I'm terrified because I feel the age gap between us won't be able to survive the reality that is before us.
You're just seeing each other. There's no emergency.

This "two different directions" comment is meaningless allegory without some specific basis like he wants to join the Armenian Resistance and you want to join the Peace Corps in Antarctica. One wants kids and the other doesn't. Something of substance.

It's phrased very strangely too - the age gap won't be able to survive? Is age gap an organism?

Quote:
Can anyone offer any advice or input on the situation? It will be greatly appreciated.
If he doesn't see a problem, why should you? I married a 19 year old at 49. What other people think doesn't matter to us. What mattered was whether we liked being together and had the same vision about a shared future.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

When I was 28 I had a brief relationship with a woman of 58.

She was the most beautiful woman I ever met. Love doesn't always look at age.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

No, love doesn't look at age, but the reality is every day life shows age. I have been with a man 14 years older (which was fine until his age started showing) and my STBX is 7 years younger. It's good but he's still so very immature on emotional levels.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

Rather than age difference, I think it's the percentage difference that counts... Also, maturity and life experiences.

I'm 15 years older than my SO, but we were both middle-aged when we met, so our life experiences are very similar.

Enjoy what you have and see where life takes you.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fallen for a man thirteen years younger than me.

There are issues that the age difference could cause.

The maturity issue is a big one. And it’s one that is there with any 23 year and a person 12 years older, male or female. The human brain does not finish developing until the age of 26. He will be a very different person by the time he reaches 30. Divorce rates are high for men under 30. I think that the immaturity issue is a huge factor in this.

Another issue that I read about recently is that when a man marries a woman 12 or more years younger, he usually has better health and a longer life. When a women marries a man 12 or more years younger, it seems to have a significant negative affect on her health and shortens her life span. The researchers said that they think the reason for it is that a younger wife tends to take care of her older husband and that’s why it improves so much in his life. But younger men do not take good care of their older wife.

I’d say enjoy it while it lasts. But don’t give up your life for this guy. He’s helped you find a part of you that was lost for a while. That’s good. Enjoy it.
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