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Age differences in relationships

(30 Posts)
coldwahter Mon 13-Aug-07 03:45:56

So whats the general consensus on age differences in relationships? I have recently found myself in an interesting predicament [huge understatement emoticon]... I am 30, and am teetering on the edge of what could be a serious relationship with a 51 year old. Half of me is freaking out about the numbers. The other half of me doesn't see the age in him, as he is just fabulous. We laugh alot, share similar interests, and other people have commented on how perfect we are for each other. So, I wonder if I am a sad old bag who is older than her years, or is he just a typical bloke who has yet to actually grow up??!! There's a definite chemistry. Nothing has happened yet, beyond spending time together through circumstances this summer. Yet I feel potential, I think he does too, and mutual friends and family have all raised their eyebrows and my mum even made comments along the lines of "dum dum de dum". I mean, we really are scarily perfect together. He's the opposite to what I have always sought out. And he appeared in my life less than six months ago. I just don't know whether to go with my heart or my head on this one...

Does age really matter??? What if he is The One??? God, I am so confused. I need Mumsnet Wisdom, by the bucketful please

superloopy Mon 13-Aug-07 03:53:06

I remember feeling to same way before getting married to DH. He is 7 yrs younger than me but to be honest I never really notice it.
I just followed my heart and as long as it felt right I went with the flow.
We have now been married for 5 yrs, have a beautiful DD (3yo) and a LO due in Nov. We also just moved from London to Australia where I am from and are still very happy and excited about our new life.
Just go for it, don't stress about age it really desn't matter!!

mamama Mon 13-Aug-07 03:53:45

Nope, doesn't matter at all, as long as it doesn't bother either of you. Congrats on finding someone so lovely.

coldwahter Mon 13-Aug-07 04:11:06

Thanks mamama and superloopy

I am seeing him tomorrow as he is giving me a ride to work. And my tummy is all fluttery, like when I had a crush on Jason Donovan in 1988!!!! It's so weird, and scary. I've had 3 serious relationships and even after being with one guy for 3 years, I never felt all stupid and teenagerish like I do now. I can't sleep. I can't concentrate. And I am so scared at what the possibilities might hold with this guy. I mean, I finally feel like a proper grown up in all other areas of my life, and now this guy comes along and has absolutely floored me. When I first met him, I called my sister and said I have net the man I am going to marry. Nearly 6 months later, and although nothing sexual has happened I really feel its on the horizon, but thats not the really scary part. The really scary part is that I really do feel fairly sure I WILL marry this guy. Did you know when you met your DH's that you would marry them?

mamama Mon 13-Aug-07 04:25:02

Oh, that's lovely, coldwahter.

Enjoy the car journey!

jabberwocky Mon 13-Aug-07 05:40:34

Yes, I was pretty sure within a few dates with dh, who is 16 years older, btw. We wound up actually getting married about a year and a half afterwards.

Othersideofthechannel Mon 13-Aug-07 06:25:43

It's great that you have found someone who feels so right. This is the age difference between my father and his second wife. The age difference hasn't seemed to make any difference apart from when they went through a sticky patch when she was 40 because she got broody. (My father had always made it clear that he did not want to have a second family and she thought she did not want children of her own when she married him.) Of course, this issue could crop up with a couple with only a couple of years age gap.

frapachino Mon 13-Aug-07 06:33:56

It might be ok now and the age difference not seem an issue but what about in 10, 20, 30 years time. Will you still feel the same when he is in his 80's and you only 60's.

mintchips Mon 13-Aug-07 10:49:11

My dp is 8 years older than me and it works really well.

I'd say go for it life is to short to worry about what ifs. If you think you can be happy with this man then give it a chance

Pammi Mon 13-Aug-07 10:57:31

I don't think age matters as long as you both want the same things and are on the same "wavelength". It's best to discuss these things up front to avoid future pitfalls, especially major issues like having children, etc. My husband is 8 years my junior and I made it clear to him I wanted marriage and children soon. He said he wanted the same, but now 4 years on with a toddler and another baby on the way, he's not sure it's what he wants and has regressed to the point where I feel like his mother, whereas he seemed so mature when we first met. On the other side of the coin, a friend of mine married a man 30 years her senior (he had children older than her from his first marriage) and they have had two children together. He is now in his 60s and showing signs of senility so she's now having to care for him too. There are many things to take into consideration, depending on what you both want for the future. Good luck.x

slowreader Mon 13-Aug-07 11:48:31

My sister and her partner have 29 year gap. They are v happy.

expatinscotland Mon 13-Aug-07 11:53:28

Age is just a number.

walbert Mon 13-Aug-07 11:57:16

Dh is 14 years older than me and life's fab! Only prob is once you have a kid they claim they're not getting any younger and want to start popping more out straight away!!!

preggersagain Mon 13-Aug-07 12:00:16

dh is 22 years older than me but still acts like a teenager! he is soon to be a daddy again at the grand age of 50!!

Age differences mean more to onlookers that to the couple i find- but if anyone ever makes anything of it tell 'em to bog off!

thegardener Mon 13-Aug-07 12:02:02

if you are having serious doubts just take things steady and have fun.

I agree with some of the other messagers that it is just a number but in the long run it is a big commitment to make to be caring for a old person when you're 60, unless you're deciding to drop him off at a oap's home on an outing in the countryside when you've had enough

TigerFeet Mon 13-Aug-07 12:04:27

One of the happiest couples I know are dw 31 and dh 51. They have been together 3 years and married for 1. The only problem they have is that they would love a child together (they both have children from previous relationships) but he had a vasectomy years ago.

They got together when the dw's twin daughters were babies (their biological father left when she was pg) and they call the dh Daddy.

They are a lovely family.

Go with your heart. An age gap doesn't necessarily mean it won't work out

coldwahter Mon 13-Aug-07 12:32:45

Thanks for your messages everyone! It's so reassuring to hear of other peoples success stories. As far as kids go, thats a biggie for me and I don't have any yet, and neither does he. I work with children and he has seen me with them and he actually said in passing that any kids I have will be the luckiest kids in town, which I thought was lovely He's very good with his nieces and nephews, funny and loves rough and tumble, and they adore him too. I have thought about the whole when I'm sixty he'll be 81 deal, but really I would rather have 30 years of a potentially fabulous relationship, than pass up this opportunity cos he might be old and decrepid way before me. He's the same age as my stepfather, yet i cannot really equate him with being the same age IYSWIM. I just see him, not a number. Any doubts I have are more to do with what others will think, but as the most important people to me all seem to like him so far, I guess I shouldn' worry about that at all!

coldwahter Mon 13-Aug-07 13:00:28

OK have just found out he's my bosses cousin...could complicate things? I just assumed family friend. Maybe I'm just looking for potential kinks in the rug. I'll shut up now and go back to smiling insanely and scaring the children.

bumperlicious Mon 13-Aug-07 13:19:58

DH is nearly 17 years older than me and we have been together 7 years and just had our first baby. He is 42. It has affected things a bit, in that if we were both the same age we may have waited longer for a baby, but when you are in a relationship you make decisions that are right for you as a couple. I think as pammi said it's more important that you both want the same things from life.

I used to get a bit freaked out and say to my DH "when I am 60 you are going to be nearly 80" or "you are going to die and leave me on my own for years and years" etc. and he would get a bit pissed off and say "well, you could die first" ! What he meant though is anything can happen so there is no point in worrying. Like you my DH is also the opposite of what I though i always wanted. Go with the flow and good luck!

coldwahter Tue 14-Aug-07 04:31:25

Thanks for your message Bumperlicious. I usually go for the squeaky clean, blond haired blue eyed stockbroker type, and this guy is 51, a little rough around the edges, going back to uni to do a law degree "just because", he works in a restaurant, drives a naff car, but has fabulous taste in music, a great sense of humour and I feel so comfortable with him. I am also a hopeless pessimist, and cannot believe that this guy could be as interested in me as i am in him, and yet he appears to be. I am scared as I have never felt this way, and if this does all go the way I hope it will, it will mean a HUGE change in my life! And I haven't even discussed anything yet with anyone in RL as I am just freaking out about evrything. How do you even start to deal with this kind of thing when you feel like a jittery 14 year old!!!!! FFS I haven't even told the guy exactly how I feel, for all I know its all daydreams and wishful thinking. Although i don't think it is as there is so much sexual tension recently that something has GOT to happen soon.... am bloody terrified. and and and

mamama Tue 14-Aug-07 04:47:20

sounds very exciting to me, coldwahter. Good luck. And keep us posted

Nightynight Tue 14-Aug-07 07:11:10

my ex was 19 years older than me, and he is now dating women younger than I am.
I wouldnt say the age gap was automatically a problem, but I would try to understand why he is looking for a younger woman. It is a huge feather in their caps if, over 50, they can pull a 30 year old.
In the case of my ex, he is also a control freak who plays emotional blackmail games and he used the advantage of being older to do this.
good luck and hope yours turns out better.

blodwen Tue 14-Aug-07 07:25:24

My dp is 16 years older than me and we met when I was 19 and he was 35. We had a ds 4 years later, and are still happy after 25 years. Anything can happen to anyone of any age at anytime, so enjoy your life. My mums best friend was 17 years younger than her dh. They had 4 children, the youngest of whom was 9 (now 32)when she died of breast cancer aged 49. Her dh died only a couple of years ago in his 80's. Be happy, and remember the saying... "You can't change the past, but you can ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future"!

skidoodle Tue 14-Aug-07 19:41:28

oh no coldwahter - dating the cousin of a boss is a total no no.

um, sounds a little like you are looking for problems with that one.

as for worrying about what other people think - well you've already said that all the people you care about that have seen you together think you're perfect for each other.

people have already mentioned the age issues that can come up. It's more than a number, but as long as you're realistic about those kinds of issues there is no reason for them to get in the way of anything.

BTW you make him sound really fab.

Enjoy it, it sounds like you're at the really magical stage of a relationship. good luck

nutcracker Tue 14-Aug-07 19:48:05

I was with my xp, who was 20 yrs older than me for just under 10 years.

I think that now we have split alot of people ar saying that it was the age difference that was the problem, but it honestly wasn't, it was just him that was the problem, not his age LOL.

I did decide that if i ever date again, i will not date anyone more than 10 years older, but in reality I know this wouldn't work because at the end of the day if I like someone, I like them, I don't care how old they are.

Go for it.

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