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Single Mum dating a 20 year old... Bad idea ?

(21 Posts)
NancyPiecrust Thu 22-Dec-16 22:48:05

I recently started dating someone whose family I've known since I was 10, we're from the same part of the country and I've recently moved back there and reconnected with him.. although we didn't grow up together I do have probably one memory of us playing as kids.. He's 20 & I'm about to turn 28. His sister is the godmother to my 2.5 year old daughter.
I have had a pretty rough few years with separating from DD's Dad who was emotionally, verbally & physically abusive with cleverly hidden behind charming, eclectic & middle class facade mental health and addiction issues. Spent the last year healing and detaching from that situation. Have dated a little bit but not met anyone who I felt would make a good stepdad or be a good solid prescence in mine and my daughter's life until this guy... I feel like I could see things getting serious & when we're together it feels very natural, calm, lovely, crazy attraction & incredible sex & we just get on so well. His family already all know me and love me & my daughter, he has said to his sister that he loves the fact I have DD, and that it doesn't freak him out & he's looking forward to meeting her. He works as a PT and is pretty sorted ambition wise and future plan wise he has a clear idea of what he wants and is going to do. He says he has tried dating girls his age & found them too high drama or immature or jealous & really wants an older gf. So... Seems like we are well matches in a lot of ways, as we have a lot in common too.
I just wonder whether it's silly for me to get involved with someone who could change completely their idea of what they want in a few years.. I still feel 25 in a way as I feel last few years or my life have been "taken away" by my abusive ex & the trauma of all that.. So he's probably a lot more sorted in terms of career and stuff than I am at the moment. He's not intimidated by the fact I'm a single mum, Infact he seems to see it as a bonus.. He's kind.. Hot.. Funny.. Gentle & considerate & hard working, family orientated.. Into health and fitness like I am. No sign of weed smoking or mental health issues like my ex! No red flags so far.. I know he doesn't have any skeletons in his closet & what you see is what you get with him kind of thing. So on paper he is great, but I wonder whether I'm setting myself up for him to get involved in mine and DD's life.. For me to fall in love & then few years down the line he decides he doesn't want to "settle down" young after all. He has had a lot of experiences though eg travelling, living away from home, festivals, parties, few long term girlfriends of 1 year or so... Any advice ??

ScruffyTheJanitor Thu 22-Dec-16 22:50:11

I think, ages to one side, any 'shit' that my fallout from this relationship will negatively impact relationships that ypou may not want impacting. Iyswim.

KnittedBlanketHoles Thu 22-Dec-16 22:50:36

Take it slow and see how it goes. As long as it continues to go will, enjoy it.

Cricrichan Thu 22-Dec-16 22:53:16

Not sure I'd want to go there. He's still very young and you're closely linked to his family.

Crispbutty Thu 22-Dec-16 22:53:51

Go for it .. Any man of any age can suddenly decide to leave, so his age is not a factor really. But..... The downside is, as you know his family well, his sister is your child's godparent, then if you do break up and it isn't amicable, the fall out could be quite bad.

Weimaragi Thu 22-Dec-16 22:55:39

I met my dh when I was 20, and he is 10 years older. He didnt have children but we have now been together for 13 years, married and kids. Some people are just ready earlier smile

NancyPiecrust Thu 22-Dec-16 22:57:22

Yea I see what you guys mean.... The biggest relationship I would worry about it impacting is his sister who has been my close friend for 18 years! And is Godmother to my DD. she basically set me up with him though and she gave me her blessing / convinced me I should give him a chance and go on a date with him! So.. I felt since she was ok with it & really keen on the idea of us being together & not phased by the idea of if it didn't work out.. Then I cautiously went for it(started dating). He's kind of liked me / shown interest in me since August but it took until November until I considered it was ok to have a properdate with him, with my friend's (his sister's) encouragement ! But I suppose there's always the option that she could change her mind or start to feel weird about it. But mostly she is pleased / excited about the prospect & thinks we'd be great together.

TheGruffaloMother Thu 22-Dec-16 23:03:21

I'm your age and I wouldn't. Though I admit, this is simply because of his age and my own experience. A huge portion of people aren't ready for kids at age 20. I'm not sure I'd trust someone so young to really understand the impact they could have on my child or to have the emotional maturity to accept the complications of a relationship with a lone parent.

That said, I don't know him and you do. You really are in a better position to judge this based on a lot more than age difference smile

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Thu 22-Dec-16 23:07:51

At 20, I was in a committed relationship with DH, who was 42. However I don't know if it's the same if the man is younger - not for any sexist reason but just because men mature at different rates to women. That said, there's only 8 years between you. That isn't much.

TheGruffaloMother Thu 22-Dec-16 23:09:23

For a bit of context, my DD is the same age as yours and my ex was also abusive with MH and substance abuse issues. Until recently, I don't feel I've been in a position to really make good decisions in terms of men so I understand your caution completely. I stopped trying to date after around a year post-leaving because it just wasn't working. The time alone has been enormously beneficial. Go slow.

ScruffyTheJanitor Thu 22-Dec-16 23:10:47

The sister encouraging etc is fine but what about in 5 years (or whatever) and she's heard his side of every argument, you break up and then she's caught in the middle, she'll naturally take his side, as will his parents. Etc etc.

I'm not saying that WILL happen, but its very likely.
Go in with your eyes open though. Don't let the fact that you might lose your friend and his family, should you break up, be a reason for staying with someone you don't want to stay with.

Helloooooitsme Thu 22-Dec-16 23:11:06

I don't think you should be looking at him as a potential father for your child at this stage. Why can't you just enjoy each other's company and see how it goes?

ALaughAMinute Thu 22-Dec-16 23:16:37

Youve had a rough few years so could probably do with some fun but I don't think you should see the relationship as long-term.

JustanotherMortificado Fri 23-Dec-16 00:56:45

I was 28 with 3 kids when I got with my oh he was 21 it can work.

Hellmouth Fri 23-Dec-16 01:17:32

I think you owe it to yourself to take a risk, he sounds great smile i have known some very mature 20 years old and some very immature 40 year olds; in my opinion, age is just a number and doesn't matter much in the grand scheme of things.

DancingDinosaur Fri 23-Dec-16 01:20:47

I think it could work. I'd take it slow, but if its right for you both then why give up the chance of being happy together.

pallasathena Fri 23-Dec-16 07:29:31

No, I'd allow myself to heal from the previous relationship first and spend time just focusing on myself and my children.
After a couple of years of being totally awesome I might go for another relationship but it would be on the basis of strictly separate households.
I do like my independence though.

NancyPiecrust Fri 23-Dec-16 07:36:26

Thanks for responses so far, really appreciate them. smile
GruffaloMother - interesting to hear your story which sounds so similar to mind.. I also gave up on dating about 6 months ago after I realised I just wasn't meeting available guys and needed to just concentrate on myself and do some more healing and inner work & focus on just being ok on my own with my daughter. Which I am still actively doing... Then in August this guy (the 20 y/o) showed interest in me and his sister, my friend, said he really liked me & kind of hinted that I should give him a chance etc... I was initially thinking no because I was off dating & the age difference, but actually spent a bit of time with him & couldn't deny that a big attraction was there .. So then we did have a proper date.. And that was 26th Nov... We have seen each other 3 times (during me moving from London so technically it's been long distance dating ! but he drive up to London to spend weekend with me.. DD was spending time with her Dad& Granny as she does usually on weekends... Then it just carried on from there & he's been messaging me without fail every day since that first weekend we spent together. No dramatics, no love bombing or grand gestures or future faking .. Just enjoying each other's company & being vocal about it. Really enjoying it & def just going with the flow & not thinking of him as a "Dad" as she still sees her Dad & he is involved but I guess yeah I told myself I wouldn't bother risking my feelings & using up energy dating someone who I didn't see as potentially a long term partner / stepdad figure. And past bad choices also making me very cautious as Gruffalomother said confused I kind of want to clarify with him if he's just looking for a fling or whet he wants but maybe that's too soon to bring that up & I should just enjoy it. Seems like he's a decent guy so... Have to relax a bit maybe & trust my judgement has probably improved a lot since terrible bad choice of DD's Dad hmm

NancyPiecrust Fri 23-Dec-16 07:40:40

I've been single since break up from DD's Dad for 1.5 years now btw.. Me and DD's Dad were together for 3 years.. So been on my own a while with a little bit of dating. Longest I've been "seeing" someone is 6 weeks - we're still friends actually but he just wasn't over his last relationship of 7 years so I called things off. Then spent few months not even thinking or bothering about dating or men. 20 ygrin then kind of pursued me rather than me looking for anything particularly.

TheNaze73 Fri 23-Dec-16 08:13:10

I think the only thing you need to avoid here, is looking too far forward. Enjoy it for what it is & see what happens.

RFHrules Fri 23-Dec-16 23:17:00

An 8 year gap is not important in itself, but the fact that he's only 20 could be problematic when he realises what a commitment a young stepchild is. Be cautious. Have some fun. Don't expect too much and you may be pleasantly surprised.

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