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Age gap? At what point is it an issue? Or become one?

(21 Posts)
RocketSalad Mon 22-Oct-12 12:36:07

I have been dating a guy since July who is 11 years younger than me. I am 45 and he is 34. I have 4 children (21, 19, 16, 14) he has 2, (4 and 2). He is separated and I am long since divorced.

Our lives apart from the above are pretty much parallel. Values, morals, way of living, interests all similar and in terms of compatibility and intelligence we get along famously. My children have no isses whatosever and relate to him very well. As yet his children remain out of the equation due to issues with his ex and the fact they are so young.

I pretty much leave it to him to decide the pace of the relationship. He has much more at stake than I and there are a couple of issues on his side. His family have decided not to like me (not met me) ergo it has become easier to keep it quiet. Also his marriage only broke down at the beginning of this year and he is mindful of how it affects his children. He wants to take things slowly and quietly (no problem for me) but then when he has had a few to drink tells mutual friends he is seeing me (again no problem for me) but a contradiction. When I bring it up he apologises and it is left. Ftr no apology is necessary and he knows this.

My insecurities take me down the road of I am so much older. Not sure I understand why he is attracted to me (his ex wife 10 years his junior so throws me completely). Perhaps I am too hung up on age but certainly I am vastly different from a 24 year old.

I have very strong feelings for him which I am attempting to keep under wraps. However he is no idiot and I am sure he is aware. I dont feel able to share how I feel right now because of all of the above. Back to the age thing (which he claims is no problem whatsoever for him) I worry, if our relationship continues, how that 11 year age gap will be in the future.

I will be glad to hear any thoughts...

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 22-Oct-12 12:41:03

I think age-gap is only as big an issue as either of you believes it to be. If you're uncomfortable with him and the relationship makes you feel insecure, then listen to your inner voice and work out if your fears have some foundation. More worrying to me would be that he has opted to keep quiet about you and give in to his family rather than stand up for you as a couple. That implies a lack of maturity and if he displays immaturity in other areas of life (rather than simply being younger in years) that is probably what will annoy you eventually

CrackerJackShack Mon 22-Oct-12 12:44:45

Honestly I think at both your age's, and with the fact that you're both probably done with the baby thing, I don't think it will be a huge issue.

He's not exactly some deer in the headlights young thing. Perhaps after being with someone younger and more immature, he wants someone older and more mature. Also, women his age might want more kids.

If he's telling mutual friends your seeing each other, he obviously likes you, but it's smart of him to take it slow, especially since his divorce is recent.

I'd say sit back and enjoy OP. If anything ends the relationship it will be that he's not ready for another one yet, not the age thing IMHO.

RocketSalad Mon 22-Oct-12 12:54:01

Thanks both.

Cogito, his family know he is seeing me but he just doesn't discuss. Despite their disappraval he continues to see me regardless. It is not possible to hide away completely as I live on a main road in a small town. His vehicle stands out like a sore bum as it is sign written. We just don't make a big fuss. Lack of maturity would certainly be an issue for me but I see no signs as such.

CrackerJack, I had not looked at from the perspective of young against more mature... just why I posted in the first place, for more insight.

sleeplessinsuburbia Mon 22-Oct-12 13:50:46

I have a ten year gap, very happy, married with children, don't jinx it if you're happy.

fluffyraggies Mon 22-Oct-12 14:02:30

I think with age gaps, once the younger of the two is past 30, then any gap is not really a big deal.

Just like the age gap between siblings - the older they get, the less it matters.

A 30 something man is old enough to know his own mind.

It's very squirmy when you start torturing yourself with sums in your head. For eg: ''when he was 10 i was 21!!!'' <clutches face>

But 45 + 56 for example isn't going to make any headlines grin

(my DH is younger than me)

I wish you luck. I would also say dont build up the difference to the size of a cow, as they say, if you love each other, then enjoy smile

MolotovBomb Mon 22-Oct-12 21:32:48

I think that the fact of his ex's age being a concern of yours is a mark
of insecurity, chiefly beig due to this being a new relationship. So much emphasis is placed on youth in our culture that for a man to prefer a 'mature' lady over a younger one begs is met with suspicion.

He's obviously looking for something different because his previous relationship failed. Maybe it was her youth/immaturity/insecurities that come with being so young that put him off. Whatever the case, he with you now and you need to let that be and stop questioning it.

FWIW, I'm a touch under 30 and have always been attracted to older men. My DH is 6yrs older than me, but I would say that I find men up to the age of 45 attractive. I think advanced age would only bother mr once a potential partner was getting near to my Dad's age - so 50+ doesn't really appeal.

His relationhip ended near the beginning of 2012, you say? That was nearly a year ago. Time for your chap to man up and introduce you as his girlfriend! Maybe gently to his children first as they are so young, but certainly to his family. Your card might be marked as far as they're concerned but you can only prove them wrong.

And fuck'em if you don't grin

LoveHandles88 Mon 22-Oct-12 21:44:19

One of my friends goes on the rule of if they're old enough to be her father, or young enough to be her son, she won't date them. Any age in between is fair game!!

janelikesjam Mon 22-Oct-12 21:45:25

I have come to think the issue of "age difference" is only an "issue" if it is an issue for either parties. Otherwise, its a non-issue IYSWIM.

I went out with a man 10 years older who had massive issues about ageing (why do people always think its women who have these issues?), and was also in a different place in terms of thinking about retirement, etc.

It doesn't seem like any of that applies in your case. 45 and 34 is not a huge gap and you seem at similar stages in your life, young children etc.

It seems so sad that you feel you have to keep your feelings under wrap because of this issue. I am still not sure what the issue is about, are you? Is it attractiveness or what?

Perhaps if you get to a place where you feel you can have a real discussion with him, that may also help you clarify things?

janelikesjam Mon 22-Oct-12 21:48:29

p.s. Just seen you are dating since July, so only a few months. From what you describe, early days and quite a few things still unclear yet, still developing? ...

MolotovBomb Mon 22-Oct-12 21:51:18

Oh yeah, I overlooked the July thing, too. What I said about him introducing you applies to the New Year i.e. once you've been together for 6 months, not just three.

ratbagcatbag Mon 22-Oct-12 21:54:37

My DH is 19 yo than me, I got with him when I was 19, now 29 and expecting our first child together. Age is just a number. smile

ratbagcatbag Mon 22-Oct-12 21:55:14

Older than me smile doh

RocketSalad Mon 22-Oct-12 22:17:12

Thanks all for your input.

I realise I am being an insecure arse. Actually can't believe my luck or even go part way to understanding wtf. He is just such a lovely man and on my level in so many ways plus he is gorgeous to boot. Pinching myself quite a bit.

Age has never been an issue before, in fact I often don't enquire. Perhaps I just like him rather a lot...

Sad about the card being marked with his family. They stalked my facebook and made judgments on very limited info, namely a photograph of me and him with a mutual friend which said nothing, it was just a lovely moment. They didn't think it should have been posted (he was tagged on it with his permission) and accused me of being manipulative. Although he doesn't agree with their judgment, he is very close with his family, so slowly slowly catch a monkey methinks.

RocketSalad Mon 22-Oct-12 22:21:06

Yeah very early days given his marriage only broke down this year. Neither of us in a hurry, this post was so you'd all give my a kick up the arse about my age insecurities...

Although it would seem other things are coming out,

janelikesjam Mon 22-Oct-12 22:26:39

"age insecurities" is a very vague thing! It might be worth looking a bit closer at that. Is it a body/attractiveness thing? An unworthy sort of thing? A female inferiorty sort-of-thing? Being too boring or not exciting/intelligent enough? So, worth looking into as you describe.

Also early days, so you may not be so clear about his feelings about you, so perhaps you are in that middle phase of not knowing how things are developing.

Sorry, can't comment on FB thing, as don't understand any of it confused.

RocketSalad Mon 22-Oct-12 22:54:50

Janelikesjam I think physical attractiveness is a part of it for sure as I have no worries about the other things you mention, if anything I seem to intimidate men because of intelligence, house, business etc. I am perhaps judging him by behaviour of others if I am truthful. Most men cannot cope with my independence and success, he doesnt seem to be phased. Argh I dont know. I am just being an arse probably. And publicly now too ;)

blueshoes Mon 22-Oct-12 23:17:52

Do you look much older than him when you are together?

RocketSalad Mon 22-Oct-12 23:25:49

Blueshoes no not at all.

blueshoes Tue 23-Oct-12 12:08:54

That's enviable on all fronts, looks, intelligence and finances!

If you don't look older than him and you are compatible in terms of interests etc. there is no reason why an outsider would know or comment on the age gap. You should not even notice day-to-day when you are with him, out and about or at home.

I think he should consider himself lucky to have someone who has gone through as many experiences as you have and still keep your relatively youthful looks. A lot of men and women (myself included) cross their forties noticeably worse for wear but you have a track record of weathering this, as opposed to his ex.

Anyway, this is all just looks, of course <shallow emoticon>

RocketSalad Tue 23-Oct-12 12:50:58

blush blush

I guess we don't always see stuff ourselves blueshoes. You are right, appearance is shallow however we are all human. Appearance aside, I have truly busted my ass over the years in every aspect of my life and will continue to do so.

I think on reflection it all boils down to the fact it has been such a long time since someone wanted to spend time with me for me I am scared out of my wits. It has been the only thing missing in my life and no one is that lucky...

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