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Thread: The Cardinal Rules to VYM Relationships

  1. #121
    special K's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Just thinking about the title of this thread and where it's gone, I wanted to add another post of input, so many years later after the breakup with my vym in 2003.

    Historically here at ageless, the abbreviation "VYM" has meant "Very Young Man" between the ages of 18-21. The distinction was first made primarily because many OW here saw/felt there was a unique set of components that may influence an AGR with a vym: in general.... their very young age, their possible lack of maturity and/or adult life experiences, hormonal/sexual fervency, and the fact that a relationship with an OW may be their FIRST EVER adult relationship in some cases.

    After my own vym/ow relationship imploded, and as I watched countless other vym/ow couplings here at ageless implode as well, I had a lot of time for introspection -and the wisdom of hindsight- to teach me what I needed to learn. From that, I'd like to post a list here of, what I think, are the Cardinal Rules of giving an agr with a vym the best chance of survival. Obviously, nothing is set in stone, and no two people are alike. Some VYM may be ready at 18 or 19 to decide on (and stay with ) a life partner...many are not. But, it seems that the track record of a viable long term relationship, here at ageless at least, is enhanced when most items on the list below are present:

    1. The VYM does not still live at home with his parents (whether he's on his own, with roomates, in college housing, etc....but he has a life and identity separate from being under his parent's rule)

    2. The VYM has a tenacious spirit of independence...he doesn't care about others' judgments of him, and is not swayed by opinions of friends and family in personal issues of lifestyle and healthy choices (this does NOT mean that he doesn't listen to guidance and loving input from important people in his life; it just means that HE makes the final decisions about his future)

    3. The VYM is able to support himself (student loans count in this equation, if he is in school)...just that he doesn't rely on his parents for all/most of his financial support for basic living or college expenses (this can be used against him as a bargaining chip if the parents disagree with any of his choices in life).

    4. The VYM has had a previous adult relationship with someone 18 or older

    5. The VYM is willing (and excited) to be openly public about a relationship
    with you, and will stand up for it against all scrutiny from anyone
    important in his life. (this reflects back to him having a tenacious
    independence)

    6. The VYM has a strong sense of personal integrity in that he presses on in his goals and ambitions that were in place before he met you (finish his degree, move up in his career, foster great friendships with the good people in his life before he met you, etc.). It can be a red flag if a VYM wants to give up everything to be with you...his education, his friends, his life goals, his family, his hometown,etc. THAT is a big burden for the OW, who theoretically, now must be his "everything". That scenario can foster resentment in one or both people a few years down the road.

    VYM, by the nature of their younger age, may more likely be influenced by factors that promote impulsive decisions. That is why the best advice here, and FOR ANY RELATIONSHIP really, is to GO SLOWLY. Take your time, don't rush to move him into your home, or across the ocean...get to know each other for a couple of years and make sure you are BOTH autonomous, strong individuals first before entangling your lives in ways that are hard to untangle.

    No OW I know of here or in real life has ever benefited in the long run by being a vym's sole financial provider (even though you "love him" and just want things to be easier for him),his only social connection (he's turned his back on all friends and family to be with you, and is not making new ones), the director of his life. Very young people of both sexes need to stretch their OWN wings first before they can be good partners for someone else. If, as an OW, you allow that to happen, the outcome can be very good.

    ...my updated 2 cents
    Last edited by special K; 02-07-2008 at 02:18 PM. Reason: typos
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  2. #122
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    I think extending the label based on subjective qualities rather than just age is not good. That's judgemental. So someone who has never had a relationship with an adult over 18 is still a VYM? Well, when I met my YM he was 19 and had never had a relationship except one in high school that ended when they were both 17. But if he had stayed with her past her 18th birthday he'd have achieved some sort of maturity?

    Personal integrity? I personally wouldn't date someone who didn't have that, but lots of older people do not. That can make them less than ideal mates, but it doesn't make them VYM just because you say it does.

    I agree that if someone wants to give up everything to be with you, it is not a good thing, but some people do that at all ages... we have women on here in their 40s, I believe, who are concerned that they themselves have done this. Are they VYW?

    I'm sorry, but that is one of the most judgemental posts I've read on ageless. I can agree with some of the points listed as being "less than ideal", but as a reason to label someone a "VYM"? Give me a break. I'm sorry, and I don't mean to be rude here but I have to say this is an example of the competitiveness here at Ageless, the whole, "My relationship is better than your relationship" undercurrent that we have going on here. This is not supportive, this is judgemental. How is this helpful?

    Edited to add: I think another reason I have a problem I have with this list is that it takes some judgements as given without regard to cultural or social group. If a VYM is anyone who has never lived outside their parents' house, that pretty much covers a huge percentage of unmarried people under 30 where I live...due to real estate prices in our area, and partly due to simple social norms relating to the types of people I know, it's just not done to move out at 20 or 21. It's just not. And some people come from backgrounds where staying at home until they are married is fine, and co-habitating is not. This is just an example of why I dislike using subjective ideas to define VYM. Why is this happening here?

    One last thing -- this list has too much tied to financial independence. I moved out at 18 and have been financially independent since even before that. That does NOT mean I'm more mature than someone whose parents helped them out! I may be more responsible with money, but what the heck does that have to do with maturity? Sorry, as you can see, this stuff is getting under my skin.
    Last edited by PinkCat; 02-07-2008 at 05:01 PM.

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  3. #123
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    Why is this happening here?
    Because it is the experience of many here, not just mine, but of tons of others who have given input in pm's and on threads through the years. The points are valid, and may help some just entering into a vym relationship. Your points may be different and help others as well. A forum is where all are allowed to voice their thoughts, lessons learned and opinions from life experience, or other sources.

    These are my set of "Cardinal Rules" (just taking the name of the thread with that) ....
    of giving an agr with a vym the best chance of survival. Obviously, nothing is set in stone, and no two people are alike. Some VYM may be ready at 18 or 19 to decide on (and stay with ) a life partner...
    But, it seems that the track record of a viable long term relationship, here at ageless at least, is enhanced when most items on the list below are present:
    ..not all. A VYP may still live at home, but they are tenaciously independent, work and pay for their college expenses on their own, and have had an adult relationship experience.....greater chance of success. OR, they may be scared to tell their parents, are afraid of what everyone thinks, are dependent on their parents for everything that involves $$, and just want the older woman to "be his all" = less chance for healthy relationship success, in my opinion and experience. It's not an all or nothing post by any means...simply a list for OW thinking about entering a new relationship with a vym to consider.

    and...
    why the best advice here, and FOR ANY RELATIONSHIP (implied: of any ages) really, is to GO SLOWLY. Take your time, don't rush ....
    finally...
    make sure you are BOTH autonomous, strong individuals first before entangling your lives in ways that are hard to untangle..
    ..not just the vyp. An OW who is still in a marriage, or just left an abusive situation,or is rebounding within days/weeks, who jumps into a relationship before she is strong and autonomous, can bring too much baggage to create a healthy relationship environment as well.

    No judgment, just observations that have proven true for many. Other observations have been posted by the many who have added to this thread. All are valid and based on personal experiences. Yours are valid as well.

    These are the "Rules" as I and others see them after our experiences....yours can be different, that's okay too.
    Last edited by special K; 02-07-2008 at 05:37 PM.
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  4. #124
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    The list doesn't seem to be so much about defining a VYM so much as an idea of what seems to be helpful in making a relationship with a VYM more likely to work.

    I think the list applies to just about ANY relationship of any age. I would be worried if I were with a 40 year old who didn't meet these criteria, LOL!

    But I think that some older women may ASSUME, after maybe being with an older man who DOES meet these criteria, that their younger man will already "be there" so to speak and this is just to point out that there are SOME younger men who just aren't relationship material.

    True, that could be the case for ANY age guy, but I think that the fault is not with the VYM but with the women who are with them not having realistic espectations.

    She was pretty clear that it does not apply to all people and is just a "rule of thumb" to think about.

    Still not sure where the "my realtionship is better than yours" vibes is coming from? That's way from left field?

  5. #125
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    18-21?

    Clint got OLD before I could enjoy the status of VYM. What am I going to use to tease him now. sheesh. I thought I had a good two more years before he hit 25 to continue teasing him about our age difference.

    I just told Clint and he said "How come he doesnt feel any different."

    I agree with the list for the most part. I also agree with the VYM being financially responsible, even if they are not living on their own it would be important that they at least paid rent and helped pay the bills in their parents household, at the very least. If theyre living at home and their mom and dad are still paying their car payments, credit cards and car insurance bills then I would definately think twice.

    But for the most part. I agree with the list....

    Can we have a recount on the age thing though? how about 18-23 so i can have 1 more year to tease clint???Pleeeeaaase?? lol

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strwbrries View Post
    18-21?

    Clint got OLD before I could enjoy the status of VYM. What am I going to use to tease him now. sheesh. I thought I had a good two more years before he hit 25 to continue teasing him about our age difference.

    I just told Clint and he said "How come he doesnt feel any different."

    I agree with the list for the most part. I also agree with the VYM being financially responsible, even if they are not living on their own it would be important that they at least paid rent and helped pay the bills in their parents household, at the very least. If theyre living at home and their mom and dad are still paying their car payments, credit cards and car insurance bills then I would definately think twice.

    But for the most part. I agree with the list....

    Can we have a recount on the age thing though? how about 18-23 so i can have 1 more year to tease clint???Pleeeeaaase?? lol

    You can still tease him....another major brouhaha was the sorta *bump* up to age 25 as still vym. 4 more months and we can graduate into the ym catagory.

    As for the *rules*, which are, imho, the each individuals observations in general and rules for themself in particular....


    Our score for meeting the *rules*

    1 no

    2 so-so

    3 no

    4 no

    5 so-so (he wasn't embarrassed by our relationship..we were just very quiet about it for awhile)

    6 yes


    So for the outside looking in, nothing but red flags and a recipe for disaster.
    Didn't happen. Still together for 7 1/2 years.
    You never know for sure how things will work out.
    I may not have hit the $$ lottery, but I certainly hit the relationship one.

  7. #127
    Miyoshi Guest
    C is 23 years old, so I'm not sure if he's technically a YM or a VYM. He still lives at home and doesn't contribute to household expenses. He's working two part time jobs in order to have the flexibility to devote time to his band for shows and rehearsals, but he does pay for his own "living" expenses. He pays for his car, car insurance, food, personal expenditures, and credit card (which is what he used to purchase show-grade equipment). And he still manages to have a bit left off to do something nice for me occasionally. I have no problem with him being financially dependant on me, should it come to that. He takes care of his business as he needs to, is a ridiculously hard worker, and doesn't take anyone or anything for granted. I know I can trust him not to abuse any generosity I would show him.

  8. #128
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    David still lived at home, had never had a "real" relationship, worked part time in a grocery store, was scared to death, as was I. After all, he did give up his whole life, and move across the country to be with me. Other than the fact that he's naturally a pretty strong person, he didn't meet any of the "rules" above.

    We're also at 7 1/2 years now. He's a good man. I'm glad I didn't have to follow rules like those above, or I'd have lost out on so much love and caring.

    The "cardinal rules" are more for the people in relationships that the younger partner HASN'T totally acheived all the above. Most of us don't. And yes it's judgemental. Quite.

    People are human, real, messy, unsettled. With a vym you have to ride the ride with them. Not mommy and take care of, but be along for the ride.

    Other's personal life rules, and opinions are just that. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyInWaiting View Post
    So for the outside looking in, nothing but red flags and a recipe for disaster.
    Didn't happen. Still together for 7 1/2 years.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bella View Post
    We're also at 7 1/2 years now. He's a good man. I'm glad I didn't have to follow rules like those above, or I'd have lost out on so much love and caring.
    You ladies have more courage that I would!

    I don't think I'd start up with a guy of ANY age who didn't meet most of the list's criteria.

    It may be judgemental and I may have missed out on a great guy....but burned once (twice, three times), twice shy, I guess.

    I'm curious how many women would date a 40 year old man who lived with his parents, let his parents make all of his decisions for him romantically, didn't support himself, never dated a woman longer than a month or two or was even a virgin, wanted to keep their relationship a secret because he was afraid of what people would think - especially his parents, has no friends or social life other than you and has no goals in life other than making it to the weekend?

    It probably wouldn't work out with a 20 year old either!

    The difference is getting to know the person and ultimately them proving to you that the status quo is not what they want forever.

    So, based on what Lady & Bella have shown, it seems #2 and #6 probably trump everything else. Everything else can be worked around. Their guy's spirit, determination and goals trumped the other bad cards "against" them.

    I believe NO OW/YM AGR - no matter what the age of the YM - can survive if the YM (or OW) does not have the fortitude to get past the age difference and what others may think.

    So, this really isn't about rules just for men 18-??, I think it's rules for AGRs and relationships in general!

  10. #130
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    Brouhaha, yeah I got that from previous threads that I read when I first signed up in June. Honestly I never understood it. Personally, a very young person has always been someone that has not reached 25 but I can see that other people would have a different perspective of what a very young adult would be.

    I shall continue to tease Clint.

    I'm curious how many women would date a 40 year old man who lived with his parents, let his parents make all of his decisions for him romantically, didn't support himself, never dated a woman longer than a month or two or was even a virgin, wanted to keep their relationship a secret because he was afraid of what people would think - especially his parents, has no friends or social life other than you and has no goals in life other than making it to the weekend?
    Um, not me. Before we met Clint had moved out with a friend but his friend joined the Army and plans changed. So he ended up living at home but paying half the rent and part of the utilities and any personal bills that he had. He insisted.

    So though, he doesnt meet the above list or my list for that matter when it came to living on his own, he ended falling under "those that leave but come back home" category.

    I understand that there is A LOT of Genreation Y's living at home because they cant make it on there own, though personally, I remember moving out and living in a small studio apartment with no perks when I was 18 but they all seem to not want to sacrifice for independence. it's easier to not give up your cellphone and not have to live within your means if mom and dad are taking care of all of the essentials. Whatever happened to struggling for what you want? lol ok I sound like my grandma. (two young siblings at home ages 20 and 25)

    The thing that made it "ok" to overlook Clint moving back home was that he didnt become "the kid" again when he moved back in. He became the roommate and pulled his own weight financially and I respected that and because of that he came and went as he liked and was independent and his mother saw him as an adult being capable of making his own choices and decisions. He didnt act like a child so he was treated as an adult. I thinkt that some parents out there who have a problem with their sons dating older women is because at HOME, away from their older partner, they are still acting like their pain in the butt snot nose kid. They cant even foster the idea of their kid acting like an adult ready for an adult relationship, especially when mom is still washing his clothes and telling him to clean his room because otherwise he would be walking around in dirty clothes and living in a dump. He might act like he's a grown got it together adult when he's with their partner but not at home. So I guess that is why sometimes, when I read threads with VYM and parental issues I can see where the parents might be coming from. Sometimes parents are seeing a whole different side of Junior that Junior isnt showing to his love, and his love doesnt realize it until they move in and suddenly lovey isnt helping wash the dishes, doesnt take out the trash, doesnt contribute at home like you expect a partner to do and then the problems start.

    So ............even with that variation, of Clint moving back home, I feel that Clint meets 1-6 of that list.

    I also agree with not becoming the younger partners WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. That to me isnt ever healthy, and smacks of control for an insecure older partnerl. Of course you can say we are with each other and we dont need anyone else because we LOVE each other but really how is that love ever tested if no outside factors are allowed? If that young person cant socialize with people their own age and experience new things? It's scary to think of a younger partner growing and changing and experiencing new factors or friends that might influence them away from us but it's a healthy thing to do for a person's own individual growth and if you love them you would allow that growth and change to happen.

    More important than our relationship, is the ability for him and I to continue to grow and change. Only then, do I feel that he and I can bring the very best of who we are to our relationship.

    I also agree that "mothering" a younger partner is so very bad. When I started dating Clint he was 20 and I told him, "if youre looking for a mother figure you are so out of luck. Im not going to mother you, Im not going to excuse bad behavior or lack of maturity because of your age. If you want to be with a fully grown woman, you will have to be a fully grown man anything else and this isnt going to work and I will walk away."

    That was a hard thing to tell him but he understood why I said it and he has shown me over the years that he was up for it. In fact, he's a bossy, opinionated, I know whats right, I do what I want, I love you but you cant tell me what to do, I can accomplish anything that I want type of person.

    and I love that about him.
    Last edited by Strwbrries; 02-08-2008 at 12:42 PM.

  11. #131
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    long, sorry

    I also agree that "mothering" a younger partner is so very bad. When I started dating Clint he was 20 and I told him, "if youre looking for a mother figure you are so out of luck. Im not going to mother you, Im not going to excuse bad behavior or lack of maturity because of your age. If you want to be with a fully grown woman, you will have to be a fully grown man anything else and this isnt going to work and I will walk away."
    Excellent!

    So, based on what Lady & Bella have shown, it seems #2 and #6 probably trump everything else. Everything else can be worked around. Their guy's spirit, determination and goals trumped the other bad cards "against" them.
    Agree.

    I'm curious how many women would date a 40 year old man who lived with his parents, let his parents make all of his decisions for him romantically, didn't support himself, never dated a woman longer than a month or two or was even a virgin, wanted to keep their relationship a secret because he was afraid of what people would think - especially his parents, has no friends or social life other than you and has no goals in life other than making it to the weekend?
    I'm also pretty sure the answer would be, "none" of us would.

    Good points, Strawberries and Kristin, and I agree. Having #2 and #6 nailed would demonstrate that the ym would most likely reject "mothering" in any form, and stand up for himself. I think they are most important too. Other aspects can be in flux or at least the ym is moving-toward them; but #2 and #6 are pretty imperative from the outset.

    Here's the thing....I can't even count how many times women have said here on ageless that YM should be held to the same standard as a 40 year old man in terms of character, behavior and work ethic, etc., in order to be with him. Ym shouldn't be given a "pass" because they are younger. That is basically the point here; a guy (yes, of any age) who has none or only one of the components listed is not ready for an adult relationship, especially an agr that has it's own set of issues at times. Because a vym is more likely than a 40 year old to still be dependent on parents and/or not have established his independence from them, these components are valid to consider. Why wouldn't they be?

    The ladies here in great LDR's with former vym who have posted have not had to deal with that component of "mothering" (providing all/most financial, social, and decision-making structure) spoken of...because, I feel, their guys are an exception ; but more OW than you can imagine, DO. They have pm'd me ad infinitum because they've heard my story. Therefore, there are some here that would benefit from a compass on what to look for when a vym is courting them.

    The sad thing to read over and over again here at ageless are the newbies that post (or pm) and lament that they "love" their 18 year old bf of 3 weeks, who still lives with his parents, has no job, is embarrassed of their relationship, and lets his parents dictate all of his life decisions. THESE are the OW that could benefit from a list like this one....someone who is at the beginning of things and can make better decisions than she could 2 years down the road (when nothing has changed) and she is enmeshed in a pseudo-relationship with someone not ready to be in one.

    And finally, as I read over the entire thread again, I realized that I pretty much just stated in list form what was already said….however, the other posts weren’t classified as judgmental ….Here they are:

    Marcy : 1) You can't make decisions in your partner's best interests
    2) Don't be anyone's dirty little secret... even if your partner is between the ages of 18 to 21
    Brynhild: Also, you need to let the other person grow. You can share with them and they'll be psyched about that, but it is vital to let them grow on their own. And remember that there is a huge difference between, let's say, a 19year old and a 22year old.
    Charlotte: He needs to find a job, to learn to become financially independant and to learn to accept some of his responsibility as an equal partner in a romantic relationship.
    bubbleee: I try not to let Phil defer decisions to me. If he needs help in deciding something, I'll try to "walk him through" the first time, if I can. He needs to operate with autonomy.
    Me: 1. Do not support them financially, give or "loan" them money, sign on car titles, or anything else involving money (either directly or indirectly). They need to make their own way financially without being "helped along" by a well-meaning, older girlfriend. Remember, if you were both 19, you wouldn't be footin the bill for him, would you?. Women need to expect the same financial independence from their vybf's as they would from older or same age boyfriends. If you don't heed this warning, there could be lots of regret later...and sadly, even resentment from him in many cases. He needs to mature in the area of finances as in other areas...if he can only afford to take you to Mc Donald's, he will feel much better there (as a man) than at a sushi bar where you cover the $50 check. If you take trips together, have him pay his fair share...and budget it so that that is possible, etc.

    bubbleee’s response to my post: I am in complete agreement with you. Phil lives with me part-time but he pays all his other expenses...medical, car, car insurance, school expenses, clothing, etc. I will pay for meals now and then but when he has money he pays for them as well. I think it's important for a person's own sense of self-worth to be able to stand on their own financially as much as possible.
    cont'd next post...
    "What the caterpillar sees as the end of the world, the butterfly calls wings."

  12. #132
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    cont'd

    more...

    GoldieCat: I don't see that there's any good in fostering any partner's dependence.
    rabbit: MY thoughts are that no matter what, as an individual you should know what it is that you want in a relationship...know how you want to be treated and know how much you are willing to give.....know yourself. And later...the person you are involved with should have that stuff together as well...if one of you doesn't it is going to be a very bumpy ride.
    Bella: David is honestly a full partner. Yeah, there were things he had to learn. How to balance a checkbook, look for car insurance all that. But the difference is, he wanted to learn, and never once has expected me to do it, like my ex did….and later: As one of my friends put it, he's one of the good ones.
    ...exactly why he has been a pretty sure bet from the start. My assertion is that David has been an exception over the general vyp population from the start)

    Rob: A relationship is a partnership, not a case where one person is in control, dominating or leading it.
    The Rose Knight: Regarding money, that boundary must be carved in stone and stuck to. If he cannot support himself and is young enough that he will likely outlive you, helping him financially when he asks will not help him get prepared for when you are no longer there. When people have financial support, they also tend to lose ambition, and therefore, the drive to do better professionally. This will also damage the relationship, because you will feel like you've taken on raising a child rather than having a young lover.

    Chameleon (grumpysgirl): I totally agree..my Ym age 19 came out got 2 jobs WITHOUT me saying nothing..I dont have to ..he is the one saying okay i was thinking about this at work and we wil need x amount of this for that for US its never about HIM its an US…
    (happily another exceptional vym at the outset  !!)
    Last edited by special K; 02-08-2008 at 07:56 PM. Reason: typos
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    I fully agree with you Strwb. I told David from the beginning that if this was what he wanted he was going to have to man up, that I wasn't about to cut him slack due to his age. I used almost exactly the same words with David.

    That to me is the biggest red flag of all, when someone writes that they have to give him more leeway and make excuses based on his age. When we had our "bump" and he thought he could go play and keep me on the side for when he was ready, I informed him I wasn't sitting around waiting for him, if he wanted to go play, go play, but I'm gone then. That's when he asked if we could go to a counselor. He talked out some of his fears, and we've never had a moment since that he's wavered in his commitment to "us".

    The hardest part for my, on my part, was getting used to someone nurturing ME. I'd always always been the caretaker. I literally had a couple of meltdowns over trying to learn to be comfortable with letting him lotion my back, or fix a plate for me, or carry bags in stores. Not that I'm his whole world, he has his job, and friends there, and his own interests, but letting him actually IN my world, was my hangup.

    Regardless of the age, it takes a strong, caring person to be in a non-traditional relationship.

    I still maintain though, that stating hard and fast "rules" for what makes a successful relationship with a vyp is counter-productive, and could certainly scare someone like I was 7 years ago into not even giving it a chance. Lord knows, reading all that, we didn't have a chance.

  14. #134
    Desert Spring is offline Senior Member
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    Hi all,

    Haven't been here in a while: but was a'browsing and noticed this ancient thread had sprung back to life again .... Nothing ever dies, I guess - it just takes a long nap <grin>.

    For those who don't know me, I was posting on this site for about a kazillion years (since about 2000) and was in a fairly long-term age gap relationship with a guy 16 years my junior. We met at 35 and 19 (I was widowed and he was, obviously, a university sophomore) and we lived together from 2000 to 2007 and parted ways early last year. Rapturously happy for the first 5 years and a long, slow slide through the last 3. The former VYM and me (now he's 28) remain in touch and vary between trying to be good friends to each other and recreationally rubbing salt into our wounds. Neither of us has settled into anything binding with anyone else yet, although I seem to be the active dater of the two of us.

    I guess the first thing to say is that all six of these guidelines were entirely true of him and of us. No doubt about it. Which leaves me either saying that the guidelines have nothing to do with what makes a relationship splinter or that our break-up wasn't age-related (and I have ambivalent thoughts about that) or perhaps the reason we made it as long as it did, lol, was because those things were true. But whichever way you slice the cookie, it does seem a little simplistic to say "it's likely not to work if X" or "it's likely to work if Y". If only..... it were possible to construct formulas so you can assess the likelihood of having your heart broken and not have to take that terrifying random chance.

    But I've never really been convinced there's much of a way to control romantic outcomes, so I'm inherently skeptical of just about every formula I've ever seen. And this one is no different. If I followed it, it's because independence and integrity are really important to me in people I love and I'd look for those traits in anybody - regardless of their age - and likely not be as attracted if they weren't there.

    I will put the lie to the statement that all the couplings on here imploded because the formula wasn't followed. That is too pat. If there's one thing I've learned from all this - and I humbly admit that I haven't learned much except sometimes things hurt a lot - it's that there can be all the love in the world and a lot that looks and feels right, and yet somehow a rhythm that just isn't playing in tune anymore. And it can be hard to remedy that just because you want to. So much for lessons ....

    . The VYM has a strong sense of personal integrity in that he presses on in his goals and ambitions that were in place before he met you (finish his degree, move up in his career, foster great friendships with the good people in his life before he met you, etc.). It can be a red flag if a VYM wants to give up everything to be with you...his education, his friends, his life goals, his family, his hometown,etc. THAT is a big burden for the OW, who theoretically, now must be his "everything". That scenario can foster resentment in one or both people a few years down the road.
    I have to giggle about this one, though. It can also be a red flag if when the VYM grows up a bit, you have to give up some things that were in place before YOU met HIM so as not to interfere with HIS goals and ambitions. That can be a big burden for a YM, who must now theoretically be her everything. And that scenario can also foster resentment in one or both people a few years down the road.

    Every pat formula can be inverted on it's head - and most are. That's the problem with stereotypes. Sometimes all that independence and integrity and focused dreams and ambitions IS exactly what makes it impossible to continue to be together and causes an implosion. Had he been a little less determined about certain things (he's doing research on Antarctica now for a while - we e-mail), the price of being with him might have been a little lighter for me - and we might not have ended up trapped in an unending cycle of guilt we never were able to work our way through.

    So we're all going to learn lessons as unique as the relationships that teach them to us.

  15. #135
    Kristin's Avatar
    Kristin is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bella View Post
    I fully agree with you Strwb. I told David from the beginning that if this was what he wanted he was going to have to man up, that I wasn't about to cut him slack due to his age. I used almost exactly the same words with David.

    That to me is the biggest red flag of all, when someone writes that they have to give him more leeway and make excuses based on his age. When we had our "bump" and he thought he could go play and keep me on the side for when he was ready, I informed him I wasn't sitting around waiting for him, if he wanted to go play, go play, but I'm gone then. That's when he asked if we could go to a counselor. He talked out some of his fears, and we've never had a moment since that he's wavered in his commitment to "us".

    The hardest part for my, on my part, was getting used to someone nurturing ME. I'd always always been the caretaker. I literally had a couple of meltdowns over trying to learn to be comfortable with letting him lotion my back, or fix a plate for me, or carry bags in stores. Not that I'm his whole world, he has his job, and friends there, and his own interests, but letting him actually IN my world, was my hangup.

    Regardless of the age, it takes a strong, caring person to be in a non-traditional relationship.

    I still maintain though, that stating hard and fast "rules" for what makes a successful relationship with a vyp is counter-productive, and could certainly scare someone like I was 7 years ago into not even giving it a chance. Lord knows, reading all that, we didn't have a chance.
    Great post, Bella!

    I think even Karen says that there is no "magic formula" and nothing is absolute or ever true for EVERY relationship. I don't think anyone would argue that with you at all!

    The ultimate truth you said:
    Regardless of the age, it takes a strong, caring person to be in a non-traditional relationship.
    It's true, too, that if you wouldn't date a 40 year old man with those "hang ups" then don't make excuses if the guy is ANY younger!

    I still believe that the young men who work in AGRs ARE exceptional in that way - mine included.

    To this day, I have not met another 23-27 year old (the ages of Jeremy since we've been together) who is in a place that I would feel comfortable dating them. I hear about them here - but I haven't met one IRL. And I haven't really met one who would WANT to date me, either.

    Even Jeremy says that the guys his age think it's weird and can't see what he sees in an old lady. He also says most of them are "losers" who still live at home or with like-minded buddies and worry more about partying and cheating on their girlfirends, getting laid and drunk are priority #1. The last thing they would want is to settle down with a 40 year old with teenagers.

    They fit the stereotype to a T.

    Maybe "exceptional" is the wrong word? Maybe "rare" would be a better word?

    But, in my mind, Jeremy IS exceptional because I have yet to meet a man (of any age) like him who loves me like he does!

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