34 year old woman dating a 20 year old man
In college I studied Computer Science and forgot how to talk to women. As the only straight woman within reach, I soon became the de facto dating consultant for my male friends, despite my waning expertise. But what I soon realized was that sometimes the best way to date is to go off script. We had more important things to worry about, like the alarming decay rate of our attractiveness. If we graduated without a future husband in tow, the men in our class would forgo us for younger, dumber women.
She advised we start the search as early into college as possible. Um, I thought, petting my two-years-younger boyfriend. I almost forgot about the Princeton Mom until last month, when international headlines went nuts over the new French president elect and his wife. Brigitte Trogneux met Emmanuel Macron when he was 15 and she was his year-old drama teacher, already married with three kids. It appears this age gap is largely driven by dudes. The older men get, the younger the women they message relative to their own age. Women, on the other hand, message and respond most often to men about their own age.
Once they reach 35, women actually respond more often to younger guys. But because men are usually the conversation starters, the older-man-younger-woman paradigm prevails. Alright, so maybe OkCupid en masse follows dating age conventions, but what about those women who want to flip the norm on its head? How difficult is it for them to date a younger man? What I found was kind of surprising.
When men message women, women tend to respond most often to men around their own ages. It sounds like he's giving himself a list of excuses so if he does hurt you, he can persuade himself he warned you. Listen to his warnings. So I'm actually the 20 yr old asking here, but I just wanted to get your perspectives on what may be going through the older guy's head because he is very conflicted Actually, this guy doesn't sound that conflicted anymore.
Yes, he had been sending you mixed signals in the past. But right now, he seems to be clearly expressing that he does not want to date you. I think you need to move on from this one. If he can't enthusiastically get his head around dating you for whatever the reason, you deserve better. Between 20 and 34 you will change a lot hell, you'll change a lot between 20 and But by 34, he is pretty much where he's going to be.
The worry with age gaps like that is it's very easy for the much older person to unduly influence the growth and development of the younger person, whether conscious or subconsciously, because the younger person is so very malleable at that point. It would be hard for anyone his age who's been sexually active to not pressure you, simply because they're so accustomed to having sex. He's been having sex, legally drinking if you're in the US , living independently, all of that for years.
He has definite ideas of how he likes to do things and what he wants. Because he's sure of these things and you're not it is kind of inevitable that in some way you're going to be heavily influenced by him. If he was extremely inexperienced in relationships himself this would be a little easier since you'd be thinking about these things together. That's not the case. This does not mean you should be ready to have sex and shack up. I think you should move on and it has nothing to do with the age gap.
He wants a long-term relationship, you aren't ready for that yet. He broke up with you for not being ready for sex yet. And he already isn't sure about the relationship because of your age. And he's uncomfortable with taking your virginity. From your post it sounds like he just doesn't feel right about dating someone 20 years old and his concerns seem legitimate to me.
There's nothing wrong with dating someone older IMO but this gentleman isn't the older person that you want to be dating. Age issue aside, it sounds like he is trying still trying to pressure you into sleeping with him by playing hard to get so you ultimately are the one who physically initiates. Also, it sounds like he has been preparing you for when he loses interest once he does succeed. I think he's being selfish and doesn't have your best interest in mind. He wants to do right by you; he doesn't want to make false promises to get into your pants.
This has become increasingly true as he's got closer to you. He isn't entirely clear on what you're waiting for. Maybe you're waiting for a serious expression of commitment from him. But he's getting near the limit of what he can promise in good faith. Maybe you're waiting for something he can't offer, but you haven't worked that out yet. Maybe you want a disney prince charming or a calvin klein model to light an instinctive fire in your loins. He figures if that was going to happen it would have happened by now.
Maybe it's something else or you aren't sure what you want. If it's 2a or 2b he figures if he persuades you to lose your virginity to him he'll be short-changing you - that you'll be thinking well, I was hoping for more, but I might as well settle for this guy. He doesn't want to do that because of 1. If it's 2c he figures someone older might have thought more about what they want and might be able to clearly articulate it - or they'd have already lost their virginity and he wouldn't have to over-think this plate of beans. Or don't, I mean, it's not the end of the world to have a little heartache, but still, this is such bad news.
It's gotten to the point where this kind of behavior automatically makes me lose a huge amount of respect for the person who is doing it because I've had such shitty experiences with guys like this in the past. I think you could do a lot better and are getting caught up in the "will we or won't we" excitement that he's generating, and it sounds like a bit of a waste of time. You're aligning your actions on a lot of coulds. Yes, you could be miserable in five years time. But how will you ever know? Apparently now you're both not confident enough to have your relationship.
I myself would go try it. As someone said, it's not a contract. If it doesn't work out, you or he will end it. If if does work out, you will enjoy it. More specifically, if you are having to dedicate this much effort to trying to guess and gauge what's going on in his brain, you shouldn't be in the relationship, because in a healthy relationship if you want to know where the other person is at, you ask them, and they tell you, and you understand.
The more time you need to spend finding ways to justify their response and turn it into the response you want, the less likely it is that this is a good relationship for you. He's made it pretty clear that what he wants and what you want aren't compatible. That's all that you need to know. He has a girlfriend, hon. I would bet you a hundred dollars that he has a girlfriend and that's what's driving his newfound reluctance. I knew this sounded familiar! Yeah, dude has a girlfriend, maybe even a serious one. Listen to the young rope-rider, dude has a much better chance of having a girlfriend than you necessarily have the context to see.
Even then though, as a partner who is so young and inexperienced, you will be pretty much defined by your not yet developed boundary setting skills and lack of judgment or context for things that aren't so great about him. This doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you dating people, but dating people who have developed established ways to interact with and recognize other people's boundaries as well as the context for understanding them puts you and your interests at a colossal disadvantage. It would also make you incredibly complicated at best for an ethically minded middle aged person to date.
He clearly knows this, knows that in any conceivable relationship with you he would by default have all of the power and that this would be really terrible for you, and not only does he wants to date you anyway but wants to string you along for a while first? Fuck that noise, you can do so much better. That the ideas how relationships form and develop that he is communicating to you as normal are so profoundly idiosyncratic is also a profoundly bad sign.
You can do so much better.
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A good relationship is both easier and simpler than what you are describing. I'm not bothered by the age thing I've seen bigger age differences work fine, and terrible relationships where both people are the same age ; this is plain and simple too much drama. Maybe he has another woman like TYRR suggests, maybe he's just a drama guy, who know. The point is that this isn't good and I'll bet serious money that if you stay with him there will be tears. Never date anyone who's not wildly enthusiastic about you and welcoming of you into his life.
You don't plan when relationships will expire. As for your life I totally dated all these guys twice my age when I was young. Haha, from my perspective here in the future, at their age, guess what!? But that's okay, I had fun most of the time. Never mind what we think, he thinks that this potential relationship would be bad for you and damaging to you, but he wants to string you along towards it anyway.
What does this say about him? What stands out to me is that there is nothing in your post about what you like about him.
34 year old dating 20 year old -very confused - Older relationship | Ask MetaFilter
If you were 20 and you were like, "We are both really into building bikes out of steel and collecting stuffed parrots, and I ride my bike to his house every afternoon, and we're best friends and can't get enough of each other and there is tons of attraction, is the age gap a big deal? A lot of that hinges on what you want to be doing with your time. What are you into? You should be getting up to adventures. If there is not a single thing in your post about what you LIKE about him that you want to be doing together other than staring at each other and wondering if you should have sex or a relationship then I think you can do better.
Do you think GAG should combine these topics?
You've been dating this guy for almost a year. Has there ever been a time when it seemed kind of peaceful and stable and like you were just enjoying it? Have you ever felt deliciously in love? Because what you describe sounds like an exhausting rollercoaster. This kind of thing can make a relationship seem a lot more interesting than it is. And I know you can't put everything into an AskMe post, but I'm not getting much sense of what excites you about this guy. You have a lot in common? You have all the choice in the world; why would you pick someone who acts like this?
I want to slap this guy for the way he keeps breaking up with you and playing hard to get. I say this as someone who married a man with more than that much of an age difference, and I met him when I was younger than you. I look back on that marriage with much fondness. There were also a ton of problems, many to do with my young age and poor judgment, as Postroad mentioned.
I wouldn't bother with this fellow anymore. I have a personal history with age gaps-- when I was 18 I dated a year-old, which worked out just fine for both of us as a not-very-serious-but-nice thing. That was the biggest age gap, but there have been several others of years, and those haven't worked out any worse than my involvements with people closer to my age.
Even if he doesn't have another girlfriend, he seems like a bit of a mess. If you can get out, you probably should. If you can't bring yourself to, well, bad times make good stories for later. This guy is wasting your time. Call him up and let him down like the confused puppy he is. When I was a youngster, I dated a few guys who were much older and, yeah, they all turned out to be sort of losers.
But, I handled them all pretty well, in retrospect. The guy who was joking about "jail bait" on our third date? Sorry -- if you can't handle the age difference then what the hell am I supposed to do? Another guy just really seemed to like showing me off to his friends but had precious little to talk about when we were together. My most serious age-gap boyfriend was only five years older but I was 19 and that was a big gap at that age. I realized that I wasn't ready to be his long-term relationship which is what he was very ready to have and so I broke it off.
Later that summer, I accepted a date with a guy who I pegged to be about 25, maybe. Anyway, you have agency here. This guy is just not going to work out and who knows what his problem is. But he's 34 and if he can't get it together at that age then I don't think you want to mess around with him. Not this fake sort of break-up you've been having, but for real. Not because this dude is older than you. Because this dude is a jerk. It is perfectly okay to say to someone, honestly and kindly, "I like you, but I really want a sexual relationship, which you are not currently interested in, so I'm afraid this isn't going to work out for me.
And just because he stopped doing that for the time being doesn't mean it was okay for him to do it, repeatedly, in the first place, or that he won't do it again. I think the issue here is that this man is attracted to you, but really wants to have sex, NOW, and is not patient enough to wait for you to feel comfortable about it, or reasonable enough to have a respectful and rational, no-pressure conversation with you about it.
I think he feels just guilty enough about having those feelings, and having already pressured you over it, that he is now engaged in a weird kabuki dance about what he actually wants instead of telling you, or openly admitting to himself, what he actually wants which is a partner who will have sex with him, now. It's weird to demand a specific planned length for a relationship before it even starts. I think he started doing this in order to convince you and himself, too, probably that he's really for real committed enough to be worthy of you giving up your virginity and having sex with him.
It's weird to suddenly impose rules on a relationship like "we can have lunch dates but you can't come over to my house anymore. I agree with everybody here. And the weirdest thing by far is the 'term limits' on the relationships. No, that's not usually how people approach relationships; typically, they are more open-ended in the the expectation is just that they'll continue until they don't, get progressively more intimate unlike this one and I don't mean sexually intimate , and timetables only enter in if one party is wanting to move forward faster than the other, and then they have to decide how long they are going to give the current relationship to develop.
You have many other options. The most important argument here, I think, is that no matter what's going on, this guy is not acting at all like a guy who's interested in you for you. I know it's exciting to be the pursued one and to feel like you are caught up in star-crossed, tortured romance, but actually, compared to being loved and respected by a peer, it's all kind of crap. This guy knows better. He's trying to get out. You should give him his walking papers to make it easier on both of you.
You should be having a great time dating people who are somewhere closer in life to where you are - wanting to get to know each other, enjoy spending time together, and making big life decisions at a pace that's appropriate and comfortable to you. Yeah, that is weird. It reminded me of the movie Guinevere. There's this guy who dates a series of younger women for a couple of years apiece, and it's treated like he's a sort of postgraduate program they are going through. I think this is a good movie for people to watch if they find themselves dating mentor figures.
It does put a positive spin on this type of relationship, presenting it as a formative experience, but it's rather eye-opening. Try going no-contact for some set period of time perhaps three months and don't break it--set an expectation with him that, as a matter of respect toward you, he needs to honor the no-contact period. Give yourself and him! The whole "We're meeting at coffee shops but not anywhere that could lead to sex" plan is terrible, and I suspect he knows it. It will just keep the two of you in a space where the relationship is an enticing possibility, not a reality you're exploring and then choosing to continue or sever.
Neither his sexuality nor yours is a wild force that needs to be contained in public spaces lest it unleash itself--sex is something you choose to do together, and you could very easily choose to leave the coffee shop, go to his house, and have sex.
Or, you could have a romantic dinner at his house and choose not to have sex. Take him at his word that he no longer wants to be in the relationship he's been trying to persuade you to commit to. Ignore his flip-flopping about "no contact doesn't seem right, either. Block this guy's access to you online, phone, etc and RUN. He's not a nice fellow, and I'm having a very difficult time understanding how a percentage of mefites in this thread interpreted his actions as though he is nice and trustworthy.
Would like a 30 year old woman date a 19 or 20 year old guy
I dated with that age gap at your age. Yes the age gap can be OK, but in your case, this guy is manipulating you. I think he maybe has a girlfriend, and either way he's playing games because you are still a virgin. He should have initiated this when he discovered you weren't up for having sex with him.
At 34, he's planning on having a 4 to 5 year long relationship with you that includes sex. Is he telling you he is not the marrying kind, but a player instead? All of the break-ups, and then re-initiating contact? He's trying to wear you down so you'll sleep with him -OR- he's an immature drama queen. Either way, it's beneath you, at any age. Block all access from this guy and move on with your life. You deserve much much better. I'm unclear if he thinks relationships have predictable expiration dates or if that's just the way things seem to work out for him.
But if it's the first, I've actually known someone who thought that way. I think it was based on one of Ursula Le Guin's novels. Couples entered relationship contracts that lasted for a set amount of time, instead of getting married as we earthlings do. It's less about the age gap then about this particular guy. I get a bad feeling about him. On the other hand, we learn by making mistakes. He seems to be the kind of mistake one could survive.
Call him out on this stuff. Haven't you a choice and a responsibility in the matter too? Why would you inevitably end up hating him? Not only bad, say I. That said, frequent mini-breakups are a bit of a reddish mini-flag nevertheless.
I don't think this guy necessarily has to be the huge manipulator and a Bad Person, as some commenters suggest, but might just be really torn in the way he describes. Because none of us is perfect, we don't always display full maturity at all times; so, despite realizing that he shouldn't be dating you for all the reasons he says, he's quite right in those and it looks like he has a realistic view of the situation , he's still attracted to you, and those continued meetings just fuel the fire.
So it's hard to let go of this possibility of a relationship, even if he knows that it's a really bad idea. I'm a 34 year old myself, and I tend to date women years younger than myself - in my experience, I'm had the best relationships from that age bracket. Occasionally I may break the unofficial "rule" and go out with somebody 10 years younger when we really "click" but at the back of my mind, there's always this concern that maybe I'm taking advantage of her.
I tend not to vocalize these feelings because dating is complicated enough without creating drama by saying every silly thought that crosses one's mind, but it's there. So on the one hand, I want to reassure you that most of this guy's concerns and feelings are perfectly normal. On the other hand, the fact that he hasn't successfully resolved his inner conflict and continues to express it to you even though you have absolutely no ability to fix it it's not like you can snap your fingers and magically become older suggests that he's a drama llama.
I recommend telling him it's time to man up and decide what he wants, then stop agonizing about it. This just sounds like a complete mess. Before he preached about "strong feelings" and "love down the line" is crazy manipulative all by itself. At 34 years old, this guy has been alive long enough to know that frequent meet-ups at coffee shops and other "safe" locations "just fuel the fire," as Ender's Friend put it. Whether the guy is playing with his own emotions, or playing with the OP's, this is not the trusting and honest relationship which leads to lifetime commitment the OP is looking for.
This is a guy who thinks relationships top out at 4 to 5 years, max. The OP doesn't need to stick around to try and change someone who holds a stunted view on intimate relationships. And by the way OP, I think you are totally correct - after dating somone for two years, both parties have enough data to decide if the relationship will lead to marriage or not. OP, if you are going to date someone 14 years older than you, date a Man. Don't date a Peter Pan-type with commitment issues. Being a player or an immature commitment-phobe with stunted views on intimate relationships does not make this guy a "Bad Person.
Is he a poor choice for mentor or friendship material? OP, the mini break-ups and chaste coffee shop lust isn't romantic because it is not leading anywhere solid. Upon Preview, wolfdreams01 really nails what I'm trying to say: I wonder if this is in part what's behind the meeting in public places requirement? That would make him an "MF" in my book if he was keeping secrets and playing with people's hearts.
However, I can back off on that point and still say that in all my years of experience, I've learned this: Relationships that feature obstacles and lots of mini break-ups never turn into what either person involved wants or needs. Thanks for all the quick replies. Sorry I may have painted him in the wrong light: In fact, the one time I suggested that to him he said we weren't ready to go there yet. He's been meticulously careful about building up to it, the issue is more that I don't like oral and he thinks I should experience that before actual sex.
He's never made blunt advances, just made it clear that he wants to fuck me eventually. I genuinely don't think he has a girlfriend, albeit a serious one. He hates cheating and honestly working hours a week I don't think one would have time for that. Going into the line of work he is in, I know personally maintaining one relationship is difficult enough, having two with that while working 80 hours a week is unreal.
We also talk regularly on the phone late at night which I imagine is not very likely to happen if a girlfriend is a reality. He's also definitely not a "losing loser" as some people have described. One of the reasons I like him is because he is very inspiring in his work ethic and charity work.
He didn't grow up in the best of circumstances but has really built a great life for himself. Just some more comments - dont know if it will change people's perceptions. He may be very good at dealing with his work life but make incredibly poor choices regarding his emotional attachments to people. From what you have shared here, he sounds like he likes you but cannot get past the age gap. This can create an unintentional power struggle, especially if you are not as experienced. I would step back from all of this, especially because of the history of mini breakups.
That is just manipulating and drama-Rama. You should be having this discussion together; he shouldn't be telling you what you want out of a relationship. As many, many others have said, it's really not an issue of the age difference; it's an issue of the nature of the relationship. It doesn't really sound like a healthy relationship to me; he sounds as if he's taken on something of a paternalistic role, which is almost guaranteed to lead to a messed-up dynamic.
Have you ever had a Facebook friend who is slightly nuts and full of drama, and you keep looking at her posts and feeling irritated, and like you want to engage, and tell her to stop being so dramatic and fighty about everything, and it's this tiny thorn in your paw whenever you notice? And then eventually you just hide her posts, and oh my God, it's like night and day, the annoyance totally evaporates, and you can't believe you put up with it for so long?
In my experience, that's what this type of relationship is like. The drama is both annoying and sort of addictive, but as soon as you walk away, you're like - OH. I didn't actually like that very much. I don't know if the age difference is necessarily a problem, but does this relationship really feel fun and supportive to you? Or do you spend a lot of time with an anxious knot in your gut, wondering if he's going to call, or what he'll say when you see him, if he'll smile when you walk in or frown dramatically and then tell you you definitely have to break up this time, etc?
Like many people, I had a few mildly dramatic relationships when I was your age. Why did I put up with that? Why did I engage with those people? I wasn't even having a very good time! They weren't fun, I wasn't learning anything very useful about how adults behave in relationships, and they were so full of mild drama and I felt anxious all the time. The only thing they had going for them was that the very drama they generated was mildly exciting and made me think "I guess this is what the beginning of a relationship is like!
Maybe this is how you know this is going to be an important one! That's how you know that the relationship will be ridiculous and full of drama. I mean, look, you're young and you're figuring things out. Will it ruin your life if you remain involved with this guy? Probably not use birth control , but on the other hand You are a young, happening lady, and there are definitely other fellows out there who would love to date you without weird flip-flopping drama about everything. I personally think those guys are the ones you want. Just because dating without a knot of tension in your stomach is more fun!
BlahLaLa is 13 years older than I am, and we met when I was We've been together for more than 20 years, so yeah, I don't think the age difference alone is a deal breaker. But the difference between our relationship and yours is that ours was drama-free and fairly healthy right from the get-go.
Drop it and move along. He's not the right guy for you, and the age difference is just a tiny part if why. You have multiple people with much more experience telling you he's sleeping with someone else based on your last paragraph. Let me bold the parts that stand out: How could someone who talks about that completely flip flop to " I can't see you anymore because if I do I know I won't let you go"? I wish that when I was 20 someone with more experience had shown me the things to look for. I'm showing you now.
Run away from this guy. At best he's a muddled mess and a horrible mismatch for you. It's more likely, though, that he's a liar. I would highly recommend rephrasing this question in your mind as "a 20 year old dating a 34 year old. Too much drama, yet all of it backstage. Find a guy who isn't so squirrelly about his intentions and his life. It seems pretty fucking far. It is also really not a good sign how much you've focused on what he wants instead of what you want.
From the distance of the internet, that you are at least under the impression that he works 80 hours a week is not actually a good sign, at least from where we sit. Working 80 hours a week is not something you can really do and date one person, I've done it before and it is really really non-trivial; that is 12 hours a day every day, which minus 8 hours for sleeping and leaves 4 hours total for everything else from shitting to laundry to commuting to eating.
It sounds an awful lot like the kind of thing someone who spends a normal amount of time with their girlfriend would say to explain their naturally sporadic amount of time to the girl being groomed on the side. This guy is taking advantage of the many subtle and non-intuitive things you don't yet know to look for but are freaking the fuck out of the many older women in this thread who have literally been there and are trying to point them out. He is both fully defining the relationship, hell you even phrased your question as if from his perspective, and using that power to craft a really unhealthy one.
You don't need to deal with this bullshit.
Undressed: What’s the Deal With the Age Gap in Relationships?
Breaking up and getting back together multiple times is something that teenagers or other 20 year olds do, not mature grown men in their 30s. I don't think the issue here is this man's age, but rather his maturity or rather, lack thereof. He seems to want to control the level of contact you guys have, the amount and type of physical contact, and the length of your relationship. OP, is that what you want from a boyfriend? Late night conversations makes this worse, not better. He's keeping you from being intimate with anyone else, any one who is not him.
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Yet, he doesn't believe in relationships that last more than 5 years? And he doesn't want to be your boyfriend, anyway? Please don't let someone like this have that kind of power over your present or future. Your first statements about him pressuring you for sex were very clear. Also, your statements were very familiar to me, so therefore, much more believable than your backtracking.
Please don't make excuses for this guy. It is NOT your fault that he came on so strong and inappropriately, so don't take on his burden by now downplaying what happened. You're better than that. Please understand that men will be propositioning you in ways that reflect poorly on them not you for many many years to come. No one here is slut-shaming you, so don't you do start doing that to yourself!!
Telling you what kind of sex you should engage in? That he has weighed in with his opinion on what type of sexual intimacies you should try, and in what order, despite the fact that he's rejected you as too young, yet he texts and phone calls you like you are his girlfriend Every second you spend talking to or thinking about this guy puts you further away from appreciating how valuable your time and energy is, and further away from being in the relationship you really want.
I have a weird feeling that this guy is an investment banker, or at least that type. In that culture, a pretty 20 year old virgin is a trophy. I suspect he can't bear to give the trophy up to anyone else, but is aware of how using you would harm you; thus, his conflict. You can do better. Your follow-up response has made it abundantly clear to me that 1 you like and admire the man, and 2 you're going to become increasingly uncomfortable with the responses on this thread. So, my practical answer for you is No - he's not robbing the cradle. Age gaps are not the critical issue alone.
Rather, continue seeing him as long as you are fulfilled and enjoying the relationship with him. When that changes, move on. OP, of the things wrong with this relationship, the age difference is not one of them. I do like him but I also do really appreciate all the advice that everyone has given here. I believe there is cause to question the relationship I wouldn't have posted if I didn't.
In the follow up comment, I was just trying to make sure I was portraying it the right way which might not have been the case when I posted late last night posted by avenue at Ugh this guy is way too immature and gross for a 34 year old guy. He wants to have sex with you and then put in caveats and pretend he has a deep emotional life.
He's gross and immature and wants to have sex with you and will say whatever it takes. What I'm getting is that he doesn't love or care about you. He isn't even respectful but is trying to seem like it. I tend to agree that 20 is quite a different stage of life then a few years later, such as 24, and that in that sense 24 is much "closer" to 34 than 20 is. It's a different stage of life in terms of maturity and in terms of life experience, and the reason is because there's usually a long process of transitioning, rather than an overnight one, from being a dependent child of parents to being an independent adult who is a mature grown up person, and for many people that transition is still a work in progress when they are 20 but is much more completed when they are I think what this guy is experiencing is a struggle between being attracted to you personality, etc.