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Lovely man but complicated (age gap, distance)

(76 Posts)
evuscha Thu 09-Feb-17 22:57:45

I had my share of men that were less than ok, didn't want committment, were not into me, I was not into them, etc. I'm almost 30 and I think I know by now what a good guy looks like.

I finally met a good one 8 months ago and everything has been perfect, we're in touch every day, share a lot of interests, he is kind, considerate, looks after me and we get on really well, met each other's friends, basically things are going well.

But, in fact two but's:
- he is 18 years older, it doesn't feel like it now, he is sporty and we're about the same when it comes to going out. But I understand things can change later on and the age gap can become more obvious?
- I live in London and he lives in LA. We met here when he was visiting and have been meeting up every 6 weeks for about a week at time, but going forward one of us will have to move. I guess it will be me and it's a huge thing to move continents

I'm not sure what I'm asking, just trying to get my head around it and perhaps hear some stories, age gap or long distance related? Thank you so much.

TwoNoisyBoys Thu 09-Feb-17 23:13:10

Honestly? I wouldnt bother pursuing this. The complications are massive, and I think you're letting yourself in for a lot of hassle, pain, difficult decisions and anxiety.
Of course, I could be just jaded, having wasted 4 years on a long distance, (well, 40 miles) age gap relationship, that didn't work out and ended really badly. Put it this way, if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't! Sorry if that's not what you want to hear...

evuscha Thu 09-Feb-17 23:20:01

No that's absolutely fine, I want to hear all different stories! Thanks TwoNoisyBoys
I guess what makes me confused - as "on paper" I wouldn't pursue it - is that he really makes more effort and seems to care more than all my past guys living in the same town - and I care about him too. Obviously it is different when we now just have the good times together on holiday and reality we won't know until we try (and it's complicated to try)

pseudonymph Thu 09-Feb-17 23:27:18

Hmm - I don't know OP. How flexible is your job geographically? Do you want to move to LA? Is it something you would have considered just for the fun of it - say if a work opportunity had come up - or would it just be for him?

Also (nosy) why is he single at 48? Would you have stepchildren? Does he/you want children?

I know from experience that once you get passed the oh so romantic, exciting, jet setting, honeymoon period long distance relationships are a slog. Unless you are keen to move to the US anyway, I would have some doubts about this.

Getting a US work permit isn't that easy these days either, btw - just a thought.

TwoNoisyBoys Thu 09-Feb-17 23:30:31

My relationship was based on exactly that....good times and holidays and stuff and it was lovely.....but he didn't want to relocate, I was unable to relocate (two kids well settled in excellent schools) and gradually I resented having to do all the day to day stuff by myself, and not being able to rely on him as I feel you should be able to, you know the humdrum stuff. I gradually stopped enjoying all the holidays; it felt like smoke and mirrors! He was full of promises that didn't materialise, and I started looking (and feeling) more and more foolish.
It was all a moot point anyway, because I found out he was shagging two other women behind my back, I expect whilst giving them the same lines. (NOT that I'm suggesting your fella is doing that!) But I wished I'd listened to my gut instinct that it would all be too complicated, and maybe I could have saved myself from wasting precious time and being devasted. Hey, we live and learn 😊

pseudonymph Thu 09-Feb-17 23:31:26

Sorry - I realise that sounded very negative. I guess I mean it could be great and a real opportunity for an adventure if there's a way for you to move easily and flexibly, and it might all end with bells and balloons and happy ever after. But the trouble is it's hard for you to try living together etc on an experimental basis - you have to make a big commitment much earlier in the relationship than people normally do.

pseudonymph Thu 09-Feb-17 23:33:20

And, just to continue my excessive number of posts, that is particularly problematic as the age gap - and the first family he possibly has? - mean that there is probably a higher chance of you wanting to back out than in some other relationships.

Lolodizzyone Thu 09-Feb-17 23:33:49

You can't help who you fall in love with....I wouldn't worry too much about an age gap. Not so sure about long distance relationships but I think there is a lot to be said for following your heart. Hope it all works out for you, I guess if it's meant to be it will be xx

Surreyblah Thu 09-Feb-17 23:33:56

Really not worth all the hassle, unless you want to emigrate!

Too many complications, and there are good men much closer to home, and in age if you'd prefer that.

NoProbLlama Thu 09-Feb-17 23:34:19

Why would you have to move to LA rather than him move to

Do either of you want kids?

SirVixofVixHall Thu 09-Feb-17 23:35:40

I don't think the age gap is an issue. I have a friend whose husband is over twenty years older than her and they are very happy together and well suited. The distance is tricky, but not insurmountable. Do you love each other?

INeedNewShoes Thu 09-Feb-17 23:40:22

Not deliberately, but for whatever reason I've always been attracted to older men (typically 10–15 years older) then I saw something which made me really weigh up the pros & cons of this...

I was in a local cycling club and after each ride we'd all go to the local pub for a drink. One day there was a stereotypical little old man sat at our table with us who I had a good chat with and he turned out to be the husband of one of the other cyclists (who was in her fifties and still very fit and active). When they left and she was in her cycling gear and he was shuffling towards the door it really really highlighted the age gap and the fact that they were at very different stages of their lives.

On the distance thing, it depends very much where you are in your life. There is no way on this planet that I could uproot and move half way across the world at the moment. My life is too nice as it is and I couldn't bear to leave my parents and friends. I also would not want to live in the USA (but I know that plenty of people would relish the chance to live there, so that might just be me!).

TwoNoisyBoys Thu 09-Feb-17 23:58:53

INeedNewShoes, yes, I started noticing the age difference too (me 42, him 57) and it really was starting to accelerate rather quickly......

evuscha Fri 10-Feb-17 00:00:49

Thank you so much ladies, it's really helping to hear all sort of stories and opinions!
Some answers from me:
- we both want kids, he doesn't have kids or any baggage so to speak (had some long term relationships that didn't work out)
- my career is fairly flexible and can to some extent be done from home IF I have the work permit
- if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't choose to move to the US as never seen the appeal - but to be fair my visits there surprised me in a good way so if I have some sort of promise that things might work out and thst I can still go to see my family and friends back home, I would do it
- he has a house there and a well established career specific to the area, so we would probably have a better chance there than here - also I am not British so with Brexit things may become tricky for me here too and I wouldn't be helpful with visa if married

I guess what I would like to do is to get him to come here for a few months first so we can try living together properly - before moving. It is still early days and at the same time 8 months in I don't want to waste too much time (also being almost 30 and childless)
Yes I do love him. No reg flags or any doubts and he has been supportive more than any guys locally I previously dated - things like sending flowers when I was sick or jumping on a call listening to me bitching about problems at work or buying all my favourite food when I came to visit him - small things but it makes all the difference.

With the age gap I guess I am torn between the usual stereotype of me being an active 50 and him almost 70 but then again rather having great 20 years now than miserable time with another younger guy. (and also who knows I can die before him)

TeaholicsAnonymous Fri 10-Feb-17 00:03:11

I wouldn't bother either. don't complicate your life.

I look back on a decision I made at thirty and it really was one of the most life-shaping decisions I made, and I made it because I thought I was old.

You're only 30. There are literally hundreds of men out there.
Don't settle for one old enough to be your father. You will regret it.

INeedNewShoes Fri 10-Feb-17 00:04:28

I was surprised to read on another recent thread that a woman can't move back out of the US with her child if the parents split and the father is American and the child was born there. Can you imagine that... your relationship breaking down but not being able to come back to the UK with your child because of US law!? (I don't know much about it and I can't remember how long the removal ban stands for but I think it was a good few years).

evuscha Fri 10-Feb-17 00:10:22

Yes that is also a good point INeedNewShoes I need to research that.

maggiecate Fri 10-Feb-17 01:53:47

I guess it depends on what the deal breaker is. If he was younger would you so worried about moving? If he lived here would you be so worried about the age gap? You've got two issues that would give most people pause, so I guess you need to think about what your lines in the sand are.

When someone asked Joan Collins about the gap between her and her much younger husband her response was "if he dies, he dies." You could get run over by a bus tomorrow and even if you don't there's no guarantee that you'll have better health than him. My dad's ten years older than my mum but, even age 90, physically and mentally is younger! LA isn't the end of the world - you have frequent flights back to Europe, it's fairly cosmopolitan and in terms of America it's not the worst bit politically.

BUT having said that - you're seeing the best of each other at the moment. You don't really know how it's going to go until you've given each other a chance to get on one-another's nerves, and its a long way to go to find you can't actually live together. But that's always a risk even if on paper everything looks perfect.

For me it would come down to two things - how tied are you to where you are now friends and family-wise, and how hard would it be to get work to come back to if things didn't work out.

TheNaze73 Fri 10-Feb-17 07:08:43

If you want it, go for it. LA isn't the end of the world

picklemepopcorn Fri 10-Feb-17 07:30:23

A friend married a bloke a year after they met at a party. He was from US, she was English. They had two holidays together and lots of online communication. He moved here, UK, they've been together about fifteen years now.

If he is fit and active and stays that way then he won't age as quickly as someone who is not. IYSWIM.

TeaholicsAnonymous Fri 10-Feb-17 07:35:41

ineednewshoes and OP yes, this happens all the time. It's called violating the hague convention, (by removing the child from its ''habitual domicile'') I had to fight this in court when my x tried to have me ordered to return to the country where our child was born. He was unsuccessful but apparently I was unusually lucky he was so clearly using the courts to control me that this was an unusual outcome.

evuscha Fri 10-Feb-17 08:26:02

maggiecate and the others thank you, that's how I look at it too. LA is a nice place to live and with frequent flights to Europe, and his age on its own wouldn't be a problem for me if he lived here - it's just that there are two issues not one. I think I will see if we can somehow have a "trial" of living together before me moving continents, and also figure out what I could do work-wise with visa (I really don't want to abandon my career)

Hoarybat Fri 10-Feb-17 08:37:49

I would worry not about the dying but the caring. Are you happy spending say 10-15 years of your fifties and sixties physically caring for someone, then being left widowed at say 70? Or working still long after he's retired? And take into consideration that often distance and other obstacles make things look rosier.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Feb-17 08:48:32

No, just no. I am American by birth (now a US/UK national). I'm married to a Scotsman and have been here for 15 years. We have 3 children. The BIG difference is that I wanted to come here long before I met him. We met through a friend when I was on holiday.

First of all, you can't just try out living together due to visa restrictions. The immigration process is expensive and time consuming. It was a lot easier when I first moved here and even that was a fraught time.

And yy, if you go there, marry and have kids, you are making a HUGE leap of faith if you go there. If that marriage breaks down before you have permanent residency you could be looking at being removed, without your children. Child custody laws are a lot stricter there and not as automatically in favour of the mother (similarly, even as a British national now, and with our children all being dual nationals, if my marriage broke down I would not be able to just take my children off to America (not that I'd want to)).

I really cannot underestimate how much you must really want to live in LA. I love it here, love it, love it, love it. But after I had DD1, I was so homesick it was physical. I can still remember how low I felt. It's been a huge adjustment and one I looked forward to, but still immense.

You are the one doing all the work here - the move, visa, your career - for someone you don't really know. You are making yourself very vulnerable to even consider it. You will be, to great extent, as his mercy. You won't even have health insurance when you go there! He's losing nothing. He comes here on holiday.

Every time I read threads like this my blood runs cold.

I understand wanting a baby more than anything in the world. But I'd have one on my own with a sperm donor before I even thought of making a move like this.

YOu need to take a huge step back from this. TBH, if he didn't offer to come here and get married, this would be the end for me.

I don't think you can begin to understand what it's like to live there. I thought I knew and it was still a huge shock and again, I wanted to be here.

MumBod Fri 10-Feb-17 08:53:36

I always feel a bit sad when I read posts that say 'Do you really want to care for a man in his 70s when you are only in your 50s?'

My DP is 58.

My DP is also funny, unbelievably kind, smart as a whip, sexy as hell, fit, patient, helpful, a talented writer and musician...I could go on.

Next to all that, his age fades into total insignificance.

And yes, actually, if the time comes that he becomes ill or infirm and I'm young enough to look after him, I do really want to do it, because I love him. Who else should do it?

What else would I be doing?

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