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Give it to me straight- how old is too old?

(65 Posts)
Mumfortoddler Sun 23-Oct-11 15:36:14


Just met a new man just under 2 months ago- I am 31 with a two year old DS. The new man is seemingly wonderful, attentive, caring, romantic but is also 18 years my senior. He has been wonderful around my son (they met a couple of times so far but not too much as obviously that is not such a good idea early on!) and seems a generally ace guy- but we get funny looks when we're out and about and my family/friends tease me senseless about him being older. I don't really mind my friends and family being given something to laugh about, but I wonder really- is that age difference just too big? There is part of me that thinks age is just a number and the other half is saying oh dear that really is too old. Just to say he is lovely, and amazing, and clearly has potential for me to fall head over heels in love- but really- with someone 18 years older? Thoughts please...

LeBOOOf Sun 23-Oct-11 15:37:36

There's the same gap between my parents, and they've been quite happy for forty-odd years.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Oct-11 15:38:45

Hmm, he's my age. What's his history?

bubblegumpop Sun 23-Oct-11 15:44:48

I wouldn't bother with an 18 yr gap at that age, if you are both happy.

I'd be more concerned with where your boundaries are. Why are you even slowly introducing your ds after only knowing him 2 months. Especially if you are unsure of where this is going yourself?

Mumfortoddler Sun 23-Oct-11 15:46:56

He's going through a divorce with wife- they split up 4 years ago- has two kids- still sees them, good relationship and everything and amicable with ex I believe- she has got someone new she has been with for a while (years rather then months)...He's had a couple of relationships since the split but nothing too serious- his last ex went was from another country and went back to study. Not sure he was the best DH in the world when he was with his ex as he used to work abroad alot.

He seems like a good man- holds down a good responsible job (in a charity) and just generally has been pretty frank. He doesn't look younger, does behave a little younger, but not by much (I had originally assumed him to be in early 40's which I would not have minded so much!).

Thanks LeBooof glad to hear its not all doom and gloom-

squeakyfreakytoy Sun 23-Oct-11 15:49:17

I dont think it is too bad really. If you had been 18 and him 36 I would say too big a difference, but at 31 you are old enough and usually mature enough to be on a similar level to a man that age.

I also dont think introducing a friend (which really is all your child needs to know) is ever "too soon" unless you have very recently split with the childs father and it could be confusing for the child.

Better to get a rough idea of how a man is going to be with your child now than later in the relationship when you have formed more attachment to the man and making a choice between a relationship and your childs happiness and comfort becomes a possibility. (Something I have seen happen to a few friends).

squeakyfreakytoy Sun 23-Oct-11 15:51:28

I would play very carefully with this bloke though, having read your last post.

Did you know him before you started dating? Are you sure he is being 100% honest with you.

Is he still working abroad "a lot".

Mumfortoddler Sun 23-Oct-11 15:55:13

Re: boundaries- its not really easy as far as that is concerned- My ex has my son on a Monday and Tuesday night and as these are my work days and the new boyfriend also works these days and lives about 100 miles away we make it to meet up usually one of those nights- but apart from that I have a distinct lack of babysitters (my family are not responsible enough). I want to spend weekends with my boy as its the main time I get with him, so don't want to be shoving him off to babysitters so I can date. So that means the best compromise is having the BF around anyway occasionally at weekends but treating him like a friend in front of my boy. I have struggled with this one ethically myself-apart from giving up on dating all together there seems like no other option really. Very conscious of my boy getting attached to BF so have limited the time they spend- BF wanted to come over this weekend but I turned him down until we spend a bit more time together just me and him- and I am a bit more decided about whether I want this to go anywhere...

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Oct-11 15:56:42

Good that he's amicable with his exW. It's always a red flag if he bad-mouthes her, and I've seen several threads here where the considerably-older man turns out to be a touch controlling at best. Do you feel he treats you as an equal, that he values your opinion?

Think another 30 years into the future though, he may be pretty elderly while you're still quite youthful. (Not all people approaching their 80's are elderly, though, and of course you could be hit by a bus tomorrow)

garlicBreathZombie Sun 23-Oct-11 15:58:20

I approached this by turning it round - if a 38-year-old man was interested in me, would I have a problem with the 18-year age gap? Hell, no! I was 12 years older than x2 and, though he was an arse of the lowest order, the age diff wasn't an issue. 18 yrs is an absurd gap in your twenties, but becomes relatively less significant as you age.

What do they say? Half your age plus seven? That makes him eligible for a 32-yr-old, so I wouldn't worry about the extra year smile

Am a bit considered about the vague relationship history in your second post. Keep a large cynical streak in you for some time yet, please.

Mumfortoddler Sun 23-Oct-11 15:58:32

Squeakyfreakytoy- he is not anymore- but he worked in sports coaching at a professional level so worked in other countries as a result. I have to admit I was a bit dubious that he was for real at the start. He no longer does coaching as he has moved into charity. He is saying he has committed to me and believes in monogamy- I am not sure how much I believe this yet as he is a big flirt!!

garlicBreathZombie Sun 23-Oct-11 15:58:47

Am a bit concerned, not considered!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Oct-11 16:03:50

Committed? Within 2 months? Don't like that.

Mumfortoddler Sun 23-Oct-11 16:05:07

garlicBreathZombie- I am with you there. A healthy degree of cynicism I do have- I had a horrible ex who was abusive a couple of years back (my DS's father). So I probably come at it with a very healthy degree of distrust. But so far so good- he is whisking me away on holiday next week (my DS is away with his dad visiting relatives). Seems to value my opinions and respect me tremendously- we already had our first row and he behaved very well and calmly in response to me being angry about something. He has never said bad things about his ex which IS reassuring and has let them stay on in the family home- hence the delay in the divorce- he's still paying the mortgage too.

bubblegumpop Sun 23-Oct-11 16:08:20

He is committed to you, whisking you away in hols, vague, met your dcs. Really op? You were in an abusive relationship with dcs df you say?

Mumfortoddler Sun 23-Oct-11 16:09:00

OldLadyKnowsNothing- you are right smile I keep him in check about that. I'm not ready for being too serious just yet. We still have plenty of getting to know you conversations to have..

lubeybooby Sun 23-Oct-11 16:10:55

My best relationship ever, the most fun, the most loving, the best meeting of minds and the best sex was with a man 26 years older than me. Age really is just a number with the right person

AnyPhantomFucker Sun 23-Oct-11 16:13:20

I would reserve judgement that he isn't actually still married in more ways than one...

I get that your ds is only two, so much easier to introduce a bloke who is a "friend"

that gets harder when your children are old enough to ask questions

"whisking you away" ?

that's a very passive term...what is he, a hurricane ?

do you hold him in awe because he is older ? if you do...that is very inadvisable

AnyPhantomFucker Sun 23-Oct-11 16:15:07

to answer your "specific" question, I think the age difference is not that relevant here if you have your head properly screwed on wrt to red flags etc

Beamur Sun 23-Oct-11 16:18:24

Same age gap as between my Dad and his 2nd wife - they've been together 10 years.
Surely 'whisking someone away' is just a figure of speech?

AnyPhantomFucker Sun 23-Oct-11 16:20:13

yes, it is a figure of speech

"figures of speech" can be very revealing about someone's mindset

he could use it in a very paternalistic, patronising way

she could use it in a very passive "have things done to me" way

or it could just be an inocuous term

just something for the Op to consider, that is all

startail Sun 23-Oct-11 16:22:28

By strange coincidence in all 3 of the couples I know with big age gaps it's about 17 years. DHs parents were together 35 Y when his dad died and the other 2 couples have been together 20+ years (one married for that long and the other got married this Summergrin)
So it certainly can work.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 23-Oct-11 16:23:37

"Whisking someonevaway" can also be pretty controlling, if he just decided and booked without consultation. Abusive men (and I'm not saying he is) often start relationships with expensive gifts so you feel indebted to them, and yhis holiday may be that. Or it may not.

What was your argument about?

AnyPhantomFucker Sun 23-Oct-11 16:24:41

2 months in and being "whisked away" just makes my radar bleep

notlettingthefearshow Sun 23-Oct-11 16:28:27

I wouldn't let the age gap bother me if I was otherwise happy, but I think there are other potential issues here.

I see 'whisk away' as a romantic expression! Especially if it's a one off / occasional and not constant, which might imply a degree of control.

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