To think that a 20yo shouldn't be 'seeing' someone in his 30s

(153 Posts)
minimarshmallow81 Sat 02-Feb-13 00:45:47

My younger sister had lunch with me today (read, she met me on my lunch break and I paid for a meal- probably the first portion of veg she's had in weeks given she's a student) and she casually informed me she's been on a few dates with somebody. She doesn't talk to me (or any of our family) about her love life so I was very excited to be having a personal conversation with her. All was going well until I asked her if he was on her course. She then (again, very casually) informed me that he wasn't and he was in fact in his early 30s.

I get that she's an adult and I get that she can see whoever she wants but I can't help but think that it sounds rather sleazy for a man in his 30s to be interested in a girl who's only a second year student. How can they have anything in common? And how can they have an equal relationship if she's a skint student and he's a fairly well-of businessman.

She treated the age as just something a little awkward and says she can't relate to 'boys'. I think she's a bit star-struck by the lifestyle he's showing her. Should I say something to her? I can't see this ending well...

manicbmc Sat 02-Feb-13 00:47:33

What? confused

She's an adult and she's going out with another adult? Oh the horror.

usualsuspect Sat 02-Feb-13 00:50:51

Are you serious?

lalabaloo Sat 02-Feb-13 00:51:05

Really? I don't think there is anything wrong with that, as long as she is happy in the relationship and they are both adults then age doesn't matter surely!

Eh? Can we only go out with people our own age?

Dominodonkey Sat 02-Feb-13 00:52:18

YABU - So there is an approximately 12 year age gap between adults? Unless she is particularly vulnerable, for some reason you don't want to mention, you sound a little bit unhinged.

WorraLiberty Sat 02-Feb-13 00:52:21

Thank God for you OP

You're the giver of veg and one day she'll be truly thankful for that.

As for the relationship 'advice', yes please give it to her but only when she's assured you she'll make an MN account and tell us all her reply....

BreconBeBuggered Sat 02-Feb-13 00:53:15

The one thing guaranteed to not end well is any conversation expressing your reservations about a man you haven't even met.

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 00:56:05

what would you say to her?

"hey little sis, i know you think you're all growed up but this is a real scary grown up man, and he'll want to have sex and all sorts. i think you should stick to boys your own age who dont know what to do with it. now eat your veg"

BookWormery Sat 02-Feb-13 00:56:12

You are being hugely unreasonable.

SirBoobAlot Sat 02-Feb-13 00:57:00

Oh do fuck off.

You wonder why she doesn't talk to you about her love life? You're still treating her like a bloody child. She's an adult, you tit.

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Feb-13 00:57:10

Aye, has nowt to do wi' you.

Can you think of any reasons why she might not discuss her relationships with you? <subtlety fail>

I had a relationship when I was 18, with a 32 year old man, I was in my last year of flippin A levels!

I moved to London to study when I was 20, and if my sister had bought me veg and told me who I could date, I would have flippin told her where to stick her debit/credit card!

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Feb-13 00:57:55

Or what SirB said grin

AreYouADurtBirdOrALadyBird Sat 02-Feb-13 00:59:52

Omg you looper. Leave her alone.

SirBoobAlot Sat 02-Feb-13 01:01:05

Not feeling my most subtle tonight Agent grin

WorraLiberty Sat 02-Feb-13 01:02:15

Personally I think her choice of men is down to her lack of 5-a-day.

HopAndSkip Sat 02-Feb-13 01:03:11

At the risk of getting flamed here, I'm going to go slightly against the general theme here... I agree OP that it's a bit of an age gap with certain people at 20.
It depends on her maturity really though, if she is quite sensible, and future orientated then maybe he's seeing that in her and looking ahead to when she finishes her course. But if she is into the clubbing, drinking, nights out side of uni I would worry slightly that he was just seeing it as bit of fun/leading her on.
You will be able to tell a bit more if you meet him really though, so try not to judge beforehand.

minimarshmallow81 Sat 02-Feb-13 01:03:35

So the overwhelming consensus is leave her to it? Will do.
FYI- I don't care if she's having (hopefully safe) sex, it's just the idea of my much younger sister dating a man older than me weirds me out. Shouldn't she be dating feckless students who's idea of romance is warm cider and some horrible indie music?
(I feel really conservative now!)

Lyrasilvertongued Sat 02-Feb-13 01:04:28

Dearie me, I met my DH originally when I was 16 and he 26 - didn't get together properly until 8 years later, but clearly our marriage and the relationship with the father of my child won't end well as we got together properly when I was early 20s and he in his 30s. sad I better go and tell him that when he's finished seeing to dd

minimarshmallow81 Sat 02-Feb-13 01:05:22

HopAndSkip- She's quite mature (went through a lot as a teenager) but isn't very future-orientated, she's happy being a student with no responsibilities and has no interest in work/career goals.

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 01:06:01

"I would worry slightly that he was just seeing it as bit of fun/"

at 20, why would she want anything more than a bit of fun? confused

fallenangle Sat 02-Feb-13 01:07:10

Ok, I nearly fell for it, its either a wind up or the OP meant early eighties.

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 01:07:54

"Shouldn't she be dating feckless students who's idea of romance is warm cider and some horrible indie music? "

does that sound appealing to you?

manicbmc Sat 02-Feb-13 01:11:01

Bleurgh to warm cider grin

HopAndSkip Sat 02-Feb-13 01:12:50

booyhoo The "getting starstruck by the lifestyle he's showing her" bit made me think maybe she was talking about it as a more serious/long term thing.

mini hopefully she's not expecting too much if shes quite settled with the student life for now then.
She's likely to get hurt at some point by a relationship, and it's bound to be hard for you to see when it does happen as she's your little sister, but there's not really too much you can do unfortunately, you're best off staying supportive with her choices and just being there in case things do end badly.

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Feb-13 01:13:08

In my 20's I saw a couple of blokes who were quite a bit older than me, and also had a fair measure of feckless idiots, and it's unfair of you to think this bloke might not be a feckless waste of space.

You can be old and feckless wink

Sometimes experience and a good lifestyle can offer you more than spontaneity and firm buns.

SirBoobAlot Sat 02-Feb-13 01:13:11

Yes warm cider, casual sex and shit music sounds much better doesn't it?

Bugger that.

I'm 21. My DP is more than double my age. I'll stick to our nights discussing philosophy, watching operas, learning about history and the rest, thanks.

CaseyShraeger Sat 02-Feb-13 01:16:15

A good friend of mine did this at about that age (or might have been slightly younger). Over 20 years on they are still happily married with two children (both children under 10, so they didn't rush into children). I think you need to keep your opinions to yourself.

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 01:16:21

the ones that fucked me over were all my age or younger.

RozziRaspberry Sat 02-Feb-13 01:16:27

I was 19 and seeing someone in his 30's fastforward 15 years and we are still together, married with 3 dchildren and still very happy and FYI I probably wasn't at the time getting my 5 a day but I thankfully survived grin

SirBoobAlot Sat 02-Feb-13 01:18:20

Same here Booyhoo... I'm totally with the OPs younger sister. I can't manage lads my own age.

fallenangle Sat 02-Feb-13 01:21:11

rozzi maybe OP is worried that a man in his thirties can't manage 5 a day.

Pickles101 Sat 02-Feb-13 01:25:54

There's 24 years between me and my partner, but I daren't tell you our ages...

TheCatInTheHairnet Sat 02-Feb-13 01:26:05

SirBoobalot, your post made me shudder more than the OP!! And I got married young!!

FFS mind your own business! It doesn't sound like she's serious about this man anyway, why shouldn't she have some fun and a few shags with anyone she likes? People in one's own age group can be arseholes as well.

I am 48 and idly contemplating the possibility of a date or two with a 25-year-old BTW.

Morloth Sat 02-Feb-13 01:53:42

I think 20 year olds can date anyone they like, as long as the other person is also an adult.

Their business.

robbins Sat 02-Feb-13 02:15:46

I was 22 went I started dating my partner she was in her 30s still together almost 7 years later & very happy - as long as your sister is not vulnerable & he is not taking advantage then its none of your business leave her alone

hmm i was much younger than her & seeing men in their 40's- i'd mind your own on this op unless you want to alienate her.

andubelievedthat Sat 02-Feb-13 02:27:52

most likely "older" guy has wooed sis with a chilled bottle of Blue Nun !

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Feb-13 02:30:09

Good point about the vulnerability robbins.

I think I was a bit vulnerable and unconsciously looking for something, which isn't a problem unless you happen upon a predatory male who's also looking for something, but not as benign as you'd hope for.

Some minds just fit together regardless of the body's ages, but then some men are not beyond using their experience and better financial position to seek out someone younger who can't see through the veneer these things can create.

Maybe all relationships are a trade off of one thing or another though?

OTTMummA Sat 02-Feb-13 02:33:44

You think that's bad, you should of seen my mums face when on Sunday 'Lil Sis' (19) bought home her new bf (43) who actually looked more like 60 really, mum was only a few yrs older than him, don't know how she didn't swing for him grin
Really though I would just leave her be, if you start getting all opinionated now she probably won't talk to you about it again.

OTTMummA Sat 02-Feb-13 02:35:30

one Sunday

FreePeaceSweet Sat 02-Feb-13 02:37:54

You did inform the church elders didn't you? shock What did they say? <steels herself>

nillynoon Sat 02-Feb-13 05:31:57

I was 23 and my husband 38 when we met. Married for nearly 2 years now with a three-month old baby, and we've got plenty in co.Mon. YABU

nillynoon Sat 02-Feb-13 05:34:11

'Common' - stupid bloody kindle

Fairylea Sat 02-Feb-13 05:40:21

Ehhhh ???

This is madness.

I met my dh when he was back at his mum's on a uni break. He was early 20s. I was mid 30s with (the horror) a 6 year old dd. I had my own house, a difficult ex and a mum from hell smile

We were perfect for each other and moved in together a year later.

Fast forward some years later, we are married, I am a sahm and we have a 7month old ds.

Was he too young for me?

Judgy pants.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 02-Feb-13 06:17:16

I remember when I was 16 and had a brief flingette with a 19 year old. Massive age gap when you're that age/as naive as I was.

Looking back, I'm fairly certain my parents were horrified. But did they let on for a second? They did not. The 'romance' fizzled it out before it had time to even get revved up.

Only way to play it.

My DH was 15 and I was 25 when I first met him. He was 19 and I was 29 when we started dating. He was 23 and I was 33 when we got married. We now have 3 children and will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary this year.

How do you feel about them apples OP??

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 02-Feb-13 06:39:13

' She doesn't talk to me (or any of our family) about her love life so I was very excited to be having a personal conversation with her.'

'She treated the age as just something a little awkward and says she can't relate to 'boys'. I think she's a bit star-struck by the lifestyle he's showing her. Should I say something to her? I can't see this ending well'

See the connection? She's old enough to explore her relationships without you guiding her into 'acceptable' channels.
FWIW my DD is at uni and despairs of the number of fellow students who have become bed-hopping shagmonsters with no respect, no foreplay and no conversation other than trivial. I can see her finding an older man far more acceptable.

mathanxiety Sat 02-Feb-13 06:47:29

Why would you wish warm cider and horrible indie music on anyone, let alone your own sister...

15 year age diff between my mum and dad. They had 33 solid years together.

Nagoo Sat 02-Feb-13 06:47:37

Are you jealous? Perhaps you would like a nice 30odd yer old boyfriend op? wink

Don't judge him by his age. -wait until you've met him and judge everything else--

mathanxiety Sat 02-Feb-13 06:49:11

Otoh, there was a 2 year age diff between exH and myself. Notice that EX bit..

JeezyOrangePips Sat 02-Feb-13 07:20:01

When I was 18-24 the age group I was attracted to was almost invariably 10-12 years older than me. I stop at 24 because by then I'd settled with a 10.5 years older man.

I can assure you that there was nothing weird or freaky or untoward with the relationship. Just two people that wanted to be together. We did split, but it was 14 years and two wonderful kids later.

Fifi782005 Sat 02-Feb-13 07:27:05

Lyra - me and DH met at those ages also (16 & 26) and 19 years later still together and we both get our five a day !! grin

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sat 02-Feb-13 07:30:52

WhennI was 21 I was seeing someone of 35. We now have 2 children and have been together 17 years!

Clearly, we have nothing in common thoughhmm

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 02-Feb-13 07:33:52

Interesting that there have been a couple of recent threads with an older woman having sex with a younger man with very different responses.

ChristmasJubilee Sat 02-Feb-13 08:02:36

16.5 years between myself and dh (of 21 years) and I've always had my 5 a day.

Get a grip!

ImagineJL Sat 02-Feb-13 08:05:32

I'll no doubt get a massive flaming for this, but I do sometimes think big age gaps are a bit disturbing. It very much depends on the people involved.

Some women are more mature than their contemporaries, so have lots in common with older men, and can have happy and equal partnerships with them.

But sometimes it's not like that. I've come across relationships in which the man wants control, so is happier with younger less savvy women that he can boss around and patronise. Women their own age are too much of a challenge for them, which I think is a bit pathetic to be honest.

But, with your sister, I certainly wouldn't say anything to her about your thoughts. If she's happy, then be happy for her and be glad she's opening up to you a bit. And you certainly shouldn't despair of it all until you've met him - they might be perfect together.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 02-Feb-13 08:07:02

'But sometimes it's not like that. I've come across relationships in which the man wants control, so is happier with younger less savvy women that he can boss around and patronise. Women their own age are too much of a challenge for them, which I think is a bit pathetic to be honest.'


But sometimes it's not like that. I've come across relationships in which the woman wants control, so is happier with younger less savvy men that she can boss around and patronise. Men their own age are too much of a challenge for them, which I think is a bit pathetic to be honest.

BinksToEnlightenment Sat 02-Feb-13 08:08:46

It's lovely that you care about her. It's lovely that you're worried. You don't have to be, but there's nothing wrong with a big sister being protective.

MamaGeekChic Sat 02-Feb-13 08:11:20


When I was 22/23 I had a brief relationship with a 37yo and a longer one (we're still friends) with a 30yo. I would have been incredulous had anyone suggested I shouldn't because of my age. My younger sister (22) has just moved in with her 31yo boyfriend...

Mind your own beeswax!!

poachedeggs Sat 02-Feb-13 08:16:37

At 21 I was a "feckless student" and began a relationship with a 31 year old man.

We've been together ten years, we've two young DC and we're now married. There's nothing predatory about the old goat grin

chrome100 Sat 02-Feb-13 08:18:26

I'm 31 and my OH is 22. We have been together 2 years. Age is just a number.

differentnameforthis Sat 02-Feb-13 08:20:30

Shouldn't she be dating feckless students who's idea of romance is warm cider and some horrible indie music?

Urgh! That would be a huge turn off for any self respecting woman. Let her alone.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Sat 02-Feb-13 08:26:26

When I was 21 I began seeing a man who was 33. He was the elsest of a group of people who had become friends; the group varied in ages and I was the youngest.

We've now been together for nearly 13 years, married for 6 and are expecting out first baby.

As long as he is a good man, who treats her well and respects her then leave her alone.

I bet she won't be speaking to you about her love life again if you were so judgemental.

RubyrooUK Sat 02-Feb-13 08:29:25

When I was 20, my boyfriend was 33. I was not vulnerable or taken advantage of...he was a loving and supportive partner who thought I was amazing and we got on brilliantly.

When we split up four years later, it had nothing to do with the age gap and everything to do with our lives and work going in different directions - I moved abroad, he stayed in the UK. We couldn't overcome that distance and grew apart.

I went on to marry my DH who is 18 months older than me so I don't think I'm particularly into older men - he was just the right guy at that time.

OneHandFlapping Sat 02-Feb-13 08:31:24

It doesn't sound like a relationship of equals to me. Man: Older and richer; Woman: younger and impecunious student.

I would be worried if it was my daughter sister.

Still, as others have said, she is an adult, and all you can do is be there for her if it all goes belly up.

SkinnybitchWannabe Sat 02-Feb-13 08:35:54

YABU I was 19 when I got with my oh...he was 28. We're still together 17 years later.
She is an adult who can date anyone she wants too.

HecateWhoopass Sat 02-Feb-13 08:37:58

There's 10 years between me and my husband. We met when I was only a few years older than your sister, and he was early 30s.

now, we've been married 14 years, I'm 39, he's 49, the kids are 12 and 13 and that 10 years doesn't seem like a big gap, does it?

When I was in my 20s, blokes my age were pathetic. Into driving around in their crappy little red cars, hanging around car parks at night hmm and just generally behaving like kids.

No thanks.

Men in their 30s were mature enough that I didn't feel like I was a bloody babysitter. It felt more a relationship of equals than hooking up with someone of my own age ever did.

redwallday Sat 02-Feb-13 08:41:24

I was going out with a 28 year old when I was 17. We've now been together for 14 years, married for 5 years and have two children together. Stop being judgemental and just support your sister.

BikeRunSki Sat 02-Feb-13 08:41:51

Had MN existed in the 1960s I imagine my GM may have posted similar to the OP, about her DD (although with less concern for the veg ). In that scenario the early 20s girl and 30 something (divorced! not Catholic!) man became my parents, along with 3 other DC and were together until Dead died nearly 20 years ago. DM still says he was the most interesting person she ever met.

Maybe your sister genuinely likes this chap?

JakeBullet Sat 02-Feb-13 08:43:08

Freddie Starr (in his 70s) has just married that girl young enough t be his granddaughter (early 30s).confused I am always mindful of Tony Curtis when he married some very young woman while in his 70s. When asked about the age difference he shrugged and said tongue in cheek..."hey if she dies, she dies".

Okay so the above is a bit random but OP I think you are being a bit unreasonable....many couples will have 10 years or so between their ages.

LessMissAbs Sat 02-Feb-13 08:43:18

Perhaps she sees the elder businessman as her "future career goal" OP? ;-)

Wouldn't be my personal choice, but then I can't stand older men - I find them very irritating!

ripsishere Sat 02-Feb-13 08:53:00

YABU. Since he is older, and presumably has more money, he can buy her six or even seven a day.
Get a grip OP.

skullcandy Sat 02-Feb-13 08:54:51

I was 20 when i met my DH, who happened to be 33 at the time.

We've been togethee 12 years and married for 8 and have 2 kids.

why dont you fuck off with your judgyness, we're adults, there is nothing sleazy about it.

KenLeeeeeee Sat 02-Feb-13 08:55:13


TheFallenNinja Sat 02-Feb-13 09:10:29

Your her sister, not her mum.

Amazed people still think this way.

EuroShagmore Sat 02-Feb-13 09:21:01


I had a lovely relationship with a 35 yr old when I was 22. It didn't work out between us, but we are still friends at 37/50. In fact, he gets on with my husband as well as he gets on with me and spends a lot of time with us. My parents weren't keen but it was none of their business.

mrsjay Sat 02-Feb-13 09:29:53

she is 20 she can go out with whoever she wants, but saying that you are her sister and probably still see her as young I have a nearly 20 yr old and even though she is an adult I still see her as young and you know I would probably gulp a bit at her going out or seeing a 30 yr old, but id get over it and so should you, it is ok for her to see an older man

catnipkitty Sat 02-Feb-13 09:47:49

My dad is 13 and half years older than my mum. They were 21 and 35 when they got married. They have had a long and happy marriage of 43 years, 4 children and still love eachother dearly.
Back off and mind your own business.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 02-Feb-13 09:48:57

When I was 20 I was dating a 31 year old. 12 years on we are happily married with kids. The sheer horror of it all!

ClaimedByMe Sat 02-Feb-13 09:51:16

my dsis was 21 when she starting seeing her OH who was 35 or 36, they have now been together nearly 7 years and got married last year smile

FreshLeticia Sat 02-Feb-13 09:53:43

I started seeing my DH when he was 24 and I was 36 and a single mum of two. 15 years later we are married with a house and daughter.
He will be 40 this year and is a right old fart smile

AmberLeaf Sat 02-Feb-13 09:59:02

I wouldn't think a 20 year old who is at uni counts as someone with no career goals?

Re the age thing, I dont think it has to be an issue, however it all depends on the man, if he's lovely then fine.

I know of a few arses who go for younger women now as they know they are more likely to tolerate bullshit than their older counterparts.

Dont be judgy about it, keep an open mind and keep talking.

Lots of stories here as proof it can work out well.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sat 02-Feb-13 10:00:30

What's wrong with an adult aged 20 seeing another adult who is 30 something?

mrsbunnylove Sat 02-Feb-13 10:05:54

if the only problem is his age, there is no problem at all.
why are you so critical of your sister?

"but isn't very future-orientated, she's happy being a student with no responsibilities and has no interest in work/career goals."

Yup, that was me as a student.

Did not stop me developing career goals and go for it after having completed my BA and then my MA.

Be a sister to her, without trying to be her life coach!

mrsjay Sat 02-Feb-13 10:27:06

I think the Op is just worried about her sister getting hurt TBH she maybe think this man may take advantage of her, but she is 20 maybe having fun with this guy it may go somewhere it may not, Op i am sure she will be fine just be there if it all goes a bit pear shaped and dont say I told you so,

Adversecamber Sat 02-Feb-13 10:39:52

Don't lecture her, remain interested. There are so many outcomes, he could break her heart, they may get married in two years. Who knows just be there for her like a sister should and carry on giving her her five a day as often as you can.

CotherMuckingFunt Sat 02-Feb-13 10:45:51

I met dh when I was 23. He was 40. I'm now 33 and he's 50 and we're about to hit our ninth wedding anniversary.

Stay out of her business - no wonder she doesn't talk to you about these things.

I was 19 and dh was 33 when we got together, almost 14 years down the line we are still together. They are both adults nothing 'sleazy' about it.

SoniaGluck Sat 02-Feb-13 12:22:19

I was 22 when I began a relationship with a man of 37.
Barring accidents, next year we will be celebrating 30 years of marriage.

As many of the previous posts testify, age gap relationships can work.
He doesn't have to be sleazy, he might just, you know, like her. shock

timeforbrandy Sat 02-Feb-13 12:51:54

As a student in my early 20s I dated a string of men in their 30s and 40s. It was brilliant, so much more fun than hanging out with skint immature students. Proper dates with decent cars, nice restaurants and bars, weekends away and some amazing sex grin

Sounds like she's making the most of her youth, there's no need to assume that she wants every relationship to last. I certainly didn't.

pigletmania Sat 02-Feb-13 13:05:26

Yabvvvvvu get over yourself she is a consenting adult so what!

Happiestinwellybobs Sat 02-Feb-13 14:58:51

I met DH when I was 18 and he was 26. A year later we started dating. 17 years later we are happily married.

Why don't you give the guy a chance before making assumptions about his intentions towards your sister?

Hobbitation Sat 02-Feb-13 15:19:16

I went out with someone who was 33 when I was 19, for four years. Lots of fun times, it didn't work out in the end, but I certainly don't regret it one bit.

PilotRochester Sat 02-Feb-13 15:25:24

When I was 18 my 'boy' friend was 30, the main thing we had in common was the amazing sex! He was experienced and I was very eager.

They are both adults, if you want to have a good relationship with your sister I'd stay well clear and let her get on with it.

MoominmammasHandbag Sat 02-Feb-13 15:31:42

I have a good looking friend who went pretty much from being a student to being the trophy wife of her older, but very charming, boyfriend. She freely admits that all she ever wanted was to be a SAHM with a rich husband, a nice house and a brood of kids. They seem very happy ( she is now late 30s).
Perhaps your sister has a similar life plan?

LadyHullyEyes Sat 02-Feb-13 15:32:19

My niece is getting married to her partner this year, she met him at about nineteen, they've been together nearly 4 years and have two children.
He is in his thirties, and is a lovely bloke.
I never even thought about the age gap.

Dawndonna Sat 02-Feb-13 15:47:44

I was 34 when I met 23 year old dh. Twenty years and three children, we're still together. Should I not have considered going out with him in case I was too old?

I was 21 and a student when I started seeing a 32 year old stockbroker. 6 years later, we are married and very happy together. I can see where your DS is coming from - 'boys' never appealed to me after the age of about 18. Re: warm cider and stinky student bars, remember that teenagers are doing these things when they're about 15, so your sister, like me, has probably got all that out of her system a long time ago.

So I thinks it's BU to assume things are a bit fishy due to age gap, but I cannot tell you YABU for worrying about your sister because I'm a big sister too and used to worry non-stop about my DS's awful boyfriends. But then each one of them, she agrees, was a genuine fanny and she is now a happy lesbian with a beautiful girlfriend who I adore. Don't worry for now - this relationship might not last. If it does, invite your DS and the guy out for a drink, and hopefully you'll come away with the impression that he's decent. My mum was v suspicious, initially, about what a 32 year old wanted with a 21 year old, but fell in love with my OH when she met him and now, I would guess, loves him more than me!!

thegreylady Sat 02-Feb-13 16:12:16

My dh is 8 yrs older than me so he would have been 30 when I was 22-flipping heck op !

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sat 02-Feb-13 16:17:37

I was a 20 year old student when I mat DH who was in his mid thirties - there was nothing sleazy about it.
In fact, I find your opening post quite offensive.
We've been together for 23 years now so I think it ended well.

Lets face it - she could be in a relationship with someone her own age and it could end up being sleazy, sordid and messy.

PamBeesly Sat 02-Feb-13 17:06:23

Don't be so mean about paying for her lunch and disparaging about her diet. I think being concerned about our siblings is natural however its really none of your business, keep it under your hat

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 02-Feb-13 17:15:45

She doesn't talk to me (or any of our family) about her love life

At least we don't have to ask you why she doesn't talk to the family about this stuff.

CaseyShraeger Sat 02-Feb-13 17:24:17

Actually, the most disturbing thing about this is that it's made me realise that I now think of early 30s as "young". I'm not sure when that happened.

Buzzardbird Sat 02-Feb-13 17:30:10

I bet he buys her naice veg though.

MusicalEndorphins Sat 02-Feb-13 17:48:58

If he isn't married, is of good character, and makes her happy, that is all that counts. Relax OP!

mumandboys123 Sat 02-Feb-13 17:58:42

I don't get the veg thing. I had no money as a student but prpbably ate the best I ever have cos had ti cook from scratch and make it all stretch...

FlickeringCandle Sat 02-Feb-13 18:02:27

My sister dated someone when she was in uni and there was a 14 year age gap.

Fast forward to the present day and they have been happily married for 5 years and have a DC.

Age doesn't mean anything.

mathanxiety Sun 03-Feb-13 02:13:23

The thing that is worrying is that she doesn't talk to her family about her love life. That is unlikely to change even if she desperately needs to talk to someone about it due to problems. If your family motto is 'I told you so' she might be miserable for a long time before deciding her family could be trusted with her tale of woe. It's more important to listen than to express your pov when someone confides in you and that confidence is unusual.

nannyof3 Sun 03-Feb-13 02:53:00


I was 17, he was 28....

Sooooooooo.... Big deal , get a life !!!!

MyBaby1day Sun 03-Feb-13 03:54:32

YABU, 'age is just a number'

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sun 03-Feb-13 10:27:12

Yabu I'm 29 and my dp is 41 it's just a number and means nothing, she is an adult let her make her own decisions and stop being judgemental.

Tigresswoods Sun 03-Feb-13 10:44:47

YABU. met DH when I was 19 & he was 34. Been together 13 years.

milkandribena Sun 03-Feb-13 12:31:22

I'm bucking the trend but as a big sister (to many people) I would have an opinion on such a relationship and would make it known to that particular sibling. (whatever their gender was)
That isn't to say that they couldn't and shouldn't make their own decisions about it and completely have the right to as well.
I agree to many age is just a number but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be concerned or reserved about it, call it protectiveness in some way.

But as siblings we tell each other these sort of things and we would expect the others to have a vocal opinion on what the others do in everything.

EauRouge Sun 03-Feb-13 12:41:47

I was 21 when I met 33yo DH. We will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary this year with our two DDs.

Why not ask to meet him first before you get your judgy knickers in a twist about the age gap?

firesidechat Sun 03-Feb-13 12:41:56

I don't get the veg thing. I had no money as a student but prpbably ate the best I ever have cos had ti cook from scratch and make it all stretch...

Agree with this. Youngest is currently at uni and eats fantastic homecooked meals with lots of veg. Last time she came home she seemed to have developed a strange love for swede. Very odd.

Not all students live off Pot Noodle thank goodness.

As to the age difference thing, I think you need to relax. Husband is 7 years older than me and I'm very thankful. Lads my age just weren't mature enough.

HannahsSister40 Sun 03-Feb-13 12:50:13

I wouldn't dream of saying anything about a relationship with a big age gap. But yes, I'd wonder (privately) what a 20 year old and a 30 something guy had in common. Such a chasm in experience between 20 and 30 something. My sister is 35 and with a guy who is mid fifties, 2 kids. Have I said anything? Not a word. Do I judge? A little. He's controlling, talks to her like she's his daughter, makes every decision around the house and get mistaken for her dad in public. Also, he'll be 70 something when their youngest is 18.
I absolutely wouldn't say anything though.

HildaOgden Sun 03-Feb-13 13:12:28

You are being unreasonable.And judgemental.And silly too.

I like the sound of your sister,sounds like she is happy with her life.Are you jealous that she isn't as responsible uptight as you seem to be?

HannahsSister40 Sun 03-Feb-13 13:27:42

Hilda, all humans have private feelings, private opinions, private thoughts...whether they express them or not is something else entirely. it doesnt automatically follow that you must be uptight or jealous to have a bad feeling about something. We can't help the thoughts we have. We can decide whether to verbalise them or not.

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sun 03-Feb-13 13:31:00

OOh it's all a bit fifty shades, you make sure she doesn't sign one of those contract thingies, I hear there's a lot of it about.

<purses lips and pushes bosom up with folded arms>

My brothers spent my university days warning me off men who were only after one thing, dammit if only I'd realised I might be after it too.

SparkyDudess Sun 03-Feb-13 13:36:41

I was 19 when I started going out with my then 30 year old DH - give it a chance.

feelingdizzy Sun 03-Feb-13 13:37:02

I was 24 when I met and marrried a 43 year old man.He did turn out to be a total knob,but that wasn't age related.

SparkyDudess Sun 03-Feb-13 13:38:57

Oh, and for those concerned that a gap indicates a man who wants someone he can control/mould? While I think that's true sometimes, it can also work positively. I woudnt have done many of the things I have without DH seeing potential, and gently encouraging me to believe in myself.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 13:39:15

No wonder she doesn't talk to any of you much about her personal life.

It's really none of your business.

'Shouldn't she be dating feckless students who's idea of romance is warm cider and some horrible indie music?
(I feel really conservative now!)'

That sounds appealing . . . when you're about 15.

abbyfromoz Sun 03-Feb-13 13:40:32

YABVU! Age has nothing to do with anything. I was 21 when I met my DH (32 at the time!) we have been married 3 years, together 7 and have a beautiful 21 month old DD together. We both work equally as hard, enjoy spending time with eachother's friends (range in age between 25 and 45!) i don't think it has ever been a problem for our families (i am pretty sure they are just happy to see their son/brother in a loving relationship) and although he wore mc hammer pants while i was playing with barbie dolls i am pretty sure we can get past that and look at what we now have in common as adults. wink

abbyfromoz Sun 03-Feb-13 13:47:44

By the way- i found out recently that a colleague of my husband said that when he first heard about me he judged. This was pretty hurtful to me. He said 'i don't see what he saw in her being so much younger apart from her being 'fit' and i don't think it will last'... Well it did, and now this guy has admitted he really enjoys chatting to me at social events- in fact looks forward to hearing my views. Please don't be closed minded and judgemental. It hurts people! Get to know them before making silly assumptions about their relationship!


I (24 when we met) have nothing in common with my OH (34 when we met). Nothing at all. Which is why we're living together with our first baby. Nothing in common.

cumfy Sun 03-Feb-13 13:52:56

Reverse much ?

jester68 Sun 03-Feb-13 13:59:04

Well not really sure what the problem is to be honest? or actually what is has to do with anyone other than your sister as she is an adult!

I was 18 (just) when I got together with my partner. He was 34.

Nearly 11 years later we are still together. He will be 45 this year and I am going to be 29.

We have 2 children. One is nearly 7 and the other nearly 3.

Fairly happy I think

When my cousin was 22, she dated a friend of her parents. He was 45. They were together for years. Only broke up because she wanted a family and he didn't.

NoraSpect Sun 03-Feb-13 14:38:07

I was 17 (one month off 18) when I met DH. He was 27. We've now been together 5 years, are married and very happy.

Don't you think you should meet him before you judge, op?

stormforce10 Sun 03-Feb-13 16:50:46

YABU - dp was 39 when I met him. I was 23. 13 years and 2 children later we're still very happy.

She's an adult let her make her own choices

OTheHugeManatee Sun 03-Feb-13 16:57:59

The Standard Creepiness Rule for age gap dating is half your age plus seven years. If the gap is bigger than that, it's creepy. So 50 can date 32, but if 50 dates 22 it's creepy.

By that rule of thumb, 30 can date 22 without it being creepy. But 20 is creepy, albeit borderline creepy. So YANBU, if by a relatively narrow margin.

HTH grin

chocoluvva Sun 03-Feb-13 17:09:37

You're right to be concerned OP. I'd wonder why a man in his early thirties was dating someone who was still a teenager last year. It's natural that you have reservations - plenty of men his age will have settled down and had children.

As other posters have said, big age gaps sometimes work out though and you haven't met him so you don't know what this 32YO is like - he might be lovely.

She won't want to hear your reservations. How about going on a double date so you can meet him?

chocoluvva Sun 03-Feb-13 17:10:14

Or inviting her and the new man to yours?

maddening Sun 03-Feb-13 17:19:20

Yabu - my friend is married - her dh is 12 years older than her - she was 21 he was 33 when they started seeing each other.

ratbagcatbag Sun 03-Feb-13 17:25:42

Met my DH when I was 19 and he was 38, now married, been together 11 years and due our first baby in eight weeks. Lads my age pissed me right off!!

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sun 03-Feb-13 22:21:07

thanks Manatee Apparently I can date anyone between the ages of 29-74 without it being at all creepy, dp will be relieved to know he's in the zone.

chocoluvva Sun 03-Feb-13 22:33:29

SIL married a man 15 years older than her when she was 23.

They divorced 16 years later.

OP, other people's stories aren't really relevant. It's lovely when these relationships work out and I hope your sis is happy, but it's very understandable that you're concerned.

GoSuckEggs Sun 03-Feb-13 22:41:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

hellymelly Sun 03-Feb-13 22:48:14

I met DH the week I turned 31. He was 22, four months off 23. We are still together 18 years later, so no, I don't think its a problem!

hellymelly Sun 03-Feb-13 22:50:15

Am pleased that I just made it into the ok zone of the creepiness rule! (now at 40 and 49 we are no longer even close to the creepy zone)

My DH was 31 when we met, I was just 19. Nothing wrong with an age fgs.

When I was 16 I was seeing someone who was 28/29 (for about 10 months)
When I look at it now I do think it was a bit pervy - he knew me whilst I was at school and we first slept together about 2 months after I finished school.

I'm 24 now my OH is 33. I like men older than me.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Mon 04-Feb-13 00:44:26

I do cringe when people go on about "all men my own age were losers" hmm

Of course they weren't. Fine if you could only attract a geriatric found true love with someone older, but don't act like that was your only option! There's hardly a shortage of charming 20 year olds.

(I kid about the geriatrics!)

Early thirties isn't that old compared to 20 really.

I'm 22 and if I was single, I think my limit would be about 33ish.

ots Mon 04-Feb-13 00:49:59

What?! It's not as if she's 15!! I met DH when I was 18, he was 33. We have been together 7 years and have so much in common. I find a lot of my friends partners, who are my age, seem so immature. Don't judge him on his age, and be supportive of your sister!

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Mon 04-Feb-13 01:08:07

A typical 20 year old student doesn't have that much in common with someone in their 30s unless the older person has a serious case on arrested development though. I have a 20 year old student sister and any 30 year old who wanted to live like her would be seriously immature. I'd wonder why some old loser wanted to hang out in her hovel with her earnest student friends.

Now if we're not talking about an average student, but one somewhat staid and boring older than their years, fine.

Hobbitation Mon 04-Feb-13 12:34:38

My boyfriend of the time had come back to University to study the same subject as me so he could change his career. We had a fair bit in common with music, films, TV likes and dislikes as well, and a fair few things we didn't share a liking for! Mainly looking back it was mainly a sexual attraction, but so what? We didn't get married as we saw it for what it was, in the end.

I wonder how people can be compatible with others from a different culture, when you have almost no similar cultural references, and I've never been out with anyone who isn't English, let alone British. But that's up to them, people obviously DO have successful relationships in this context, who am I to judge?

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