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Thread: Still working through the whole OW/YM thing

  1. #1
    Kitten024 is offline Neophyte
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    Still working through the whole OW/YM thing

    Hello!

    I'm new to this whole OW/YM situation. My story is simple. I'm 51, he's 33 and we met at work. We started flirting and having fun together hanging out. I enjoyed flirting with him and really didn't even think about the age difference until he announced it was his birthday and I asked how old he was.

    I don't know how old I thought he was, we got along so well I'm not even sure I even thought about it. Maybe it's because I don't think of myself as 51 (on some levels), and merely considered us as adults and that was it.

    I also don't think I really felt he was interested in me that way. He apparently fell and fell hard.

    In all the relationships I've ever experienced, I have never had one like this one.

    Omg, he totally wants to take care of me..he spends money on me - refuses to let me pay for anything, gave me a wonderful Valentine's Day, has helped me around the house, is a loving and caring sexual partner, thinks about me constantly and is always on my side.

    Seriously, I have never had this kind of dedication from ANYONE!!

    When we are alone together I am fine. I only see him for what he brings to my life and that's it. However, when we go out, I'm starting to feel it.

    I look at young, pretty girls and think - he really should be with someone his own age. I'm constantly aware of how people may perceive us when we walk around hand in hand or get all kissy in public. It doesn't stop me from behaving that way with him, but, it bothers me to see people look our way. We are the typical Billy Joel/Christy Brinkley couple (I should look that good though! ). He's the shop guy and I'm the office girl.

    I have admitted my feelings about the age difference to him once or twice, but he doesn't care. I don't want it to be an issue for us when it's obviously MY issue - and, although he's happy to talk about it, I really don't want it to become a focus for him when it wasn't one to begin with.

    I read articles here about enjoying your life and not caring what others think. And, I believe that. I really want to do that. I'm really happy with him. No one has made me smile every day as much as he does. No man has ever cared for me and thought about me like him.

    It's the outside looks and stares I can't stand. I want to be in love and be happy. Maybe when I get comfortable with us some more I will get past it. For right now, I'm glad it's winter and we spend most of our time inside and not under scrutinizing eyes. I know it's a self-esteem issue on my end. I have this number 51 stuck in my head as meaning I'm OLD. Yet, I don't behave that way at all!!

    So, thanks for this forum. I'm hoping it helps me wrap my head around the whole thing so I can enjoy one of the most awesome relationships I've ever had!

  2. #2
    fiorinda's Avatar
    fiorinda is offline Senior Member
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    Hi kitten! Hope that being around this forum can help to assuage some of your fears. I'm glad to see that you acknowledge the issue is yours, not your man's.

    I'm 50 and I've and been with Lee, who is now 26, for nearly 4 years. We got married at the Halloween just gone. I've always been a pretty confident person, and to be honest, not really suffered much worrying about him looking at younger women. I don't think he does, but even if he did, it wouldn't bother me (unless it was obvious and excessive, but that's just rude). Early in our relationship I did worry that he would eventually leave me for someone his own age who he could have children with (because basically my previous boyfriend, who was also very young, always said he would eventually want to be with someone his own age to have kids with - he's still single!!!). But Lee love ME, not my age, and I know now he won't leave me.

    We used to get looks, when we were first together, but I don't really think we do anymore. We're lucky enough that we don't look much like we have a large age gap. I really hope you won't let other people's glances or opinions stop you enjoying this relationship. It sounds awesome!! Just turn a blind eye, or learn to laugh at the looks!
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers

  3. #3
    Slow Worm's Avatar
    Slow Worm is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten024 View Post
    I look at young, pretty girls and think - he really should be with someone his own age.
    Why do you think that? Why should he be with someone the same age?

    (Anyway, as he is 33 if he was with a young girl he would not be with someone his own age).

    I'm constantly aware of how people may perceive us when we walk around hand in hand or get all kissy in public.
    This is a bit vague. What do you think other people think about you two? Do you think they have some objection to your relationship? If so do you think that objection, whatever it is, is sensible? Is there any real reason to think anyone takes much notice of you two?

    I read articles here about enjoying your life and not caring what others think. And, I believe that. I really want to do that.
    Do.

    It's the outside looks and stares I can't stand.
    How often does that happen? I've been married to a woman 13 years older than me for 12 years now, and have never noticed anyone looking or staring at us because of that.

    I'm glad it's winter and we spend most of our time inside and not under scrutinizing eyes. I know it's a self-esteem issue on my end.
    I don't follow your reasoning here. Even assuming that any significant number of people really are noticing that you two have an age gap, how does that affect your self-esteem? Even if they are both noticing you and for some strange reason disapproving of your relationship, there is no reason why that should affect your opinion of yourself unless you agree with them.

    SW

  4. #4
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten024 View Post
    However, when we go out, I'm starting to feel it.
    Hello Kitten, I am 56 and my husband is 35. We have been together for 10 years. It is normal at first to be self-conscious. It will pass.

    I look at young, pretty girls and think - he really should be with someone his own age.
    If he wanted to be with girls his own age, he would do just that... unless you keep him locked in your basement. He is a free adult, and if he is with you is because he wants to be with you.

    I'm constantly aware of how people may perceive us when we walk around hand in hand or get all kissy in public.
    I live in a very conservative country where people do not french kiss in public, so I would understand if people would stare if we do. We seldom kiss in public for that reason, but we do hold hands. How are things where you live?

    I have admitted my feelings about the age difference to him once or twice, but he doesn't care. I don't want it to be an issue for us when it's obviously MY issue - and, although he's happy to talk about it, I really don't want it to become a focus for him when it wasn't one to begin with.
    Yes! Please! Do not make it an issue! If you read threads in this forum you will see threads from guys that come to the forum asking what to do, because their woman has an issue with the age gap, not them. Actually, I was one of those women, and my man, exasperated, pointed me to this Forum, linked me to a couple of threads (The Old Body Thing was one of them), and that was it!

    I read articles here about enjoying your life and not caring what others think.
    If you love your guy enough, you will be with him enough time, where you wont give a fig about what people think. It took me years! About 4 years, give or take. Be patient, be happy, enjoy your love!
    EMT and Kitten024 like this.
    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

  5. #5
    Kitten024 is offline Neophyte
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Worm View Post
    Why do you think that? Why should he be with someone the same age?

    (Anyway, as he is 33 if he was with a young girl he would not be with someone his own age).



    This is a bit vague. What do you think other people think about you two? Do you think they have some objection to your relationship? If so do you think that objection, whatever it is, is sensible? Is there any real reason to think anyone takes much notice of you two?

    Do.



    How often does that happen? I've been married to a woman 13 years older than me for 12 years now, and have never noticed anyone looking or staring at us because of that.



    I don't follow your reasoning here. Even assuming that any significant number of people really are noticing that you two have an age gap, how does that affect your self-esteem? Even if they are both noticing you and for some strange reason disapproving of your relationship, there is no reason why that should affect your opinion of yourself unless you agree with them.

    SW
    I think I'm perceiving things differently. People look around all the time and may simply be focusing on something behind me, or someone else...but, it appears they are looking at us.
    Because I feel this age difference is so obvious, I am assuming these looks are made at us. It's just new to me. I really am trying to figure out how I feel about it and how to best deal with it.
    It's really a perception of how old I feel I look - although most people don't believe I'm 51...they figure I'm in my mid-40's.

  6. #6
    MissMuffins's Avatar
    MissMuffins is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome, kitten!

    Don't let lack of self confidence get to you. Most people are so caught up in what THEY are doing, they don't have time to pay attention to what YOU are doing. If this man didn't want to be with you, he wouldn't be with you.

    I've dated 10+ years younger and 10+ years older. My relationships drew more "attention" when I was with my first peer aged husband who was serving in the US Navy due to his uniform and my second husband, also peer aged, who was from Australia due to his accent.

    In my age-gap relationships, I have found that for the most part other people "react" according to my expectation. I never expected there to be an issue, so there hasn't been. The rare exceptions have been those few women or men who weren't happy about my relationship solely because they'd wanted to date either my SO or myself.

    MM
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    "Our past is a story existing only in our minds. Look, analyze, understand, and forgive. Then, as quickly as possible, chuck it." ~ Marianne Williamson

  7. #7
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    Hello Kitten! What you say is so common to many OW who fall in love with a YM. That is because society has drilled it into our heads that it isn't "normal" for this type of relationship to exist. We naturally are conscious because YM are "supposed" to be attracted to YW and the men who love us defy that "norm". All you should do is just focus on building your relationship with him and not worry about what others think. I made a motto for myself that if you aren't paying my bills, putting a roof over my head, feeding me, and clothing me, you get no say-so about who I get to love. So enjoy what you have with your YM because it is precious! I would also recommend looking up Susan Winter, a relationship counselor who has dated YM for 25 years She would be a good resource for you.
    "Two generations, One love!"


  8. #8
    Harp girl's Avatar
    Harp girl is offline Member
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    Welcome Kitten,

    I'm with a man 26 years older than me. In the beginning, when we were out together we had two very different experiences.

    I felt proud to be doing something with someone so caring and wonderful who I loved. I didn't notice people staring. He saw people looking at us and judging him for being with a woman so much younger than him. Sometimes I paid attention to people - I would see maybe one who really looked at us, although he would see many more.

    In the end he agreed that he saw what he expected to see, as did I. He hasn't brought it up in a while, but he's much more confident in our relationship now that we've been together for a couple years.

    Good luck!

    Re

    p.s. early morning and in a hurry. I hope there aren't too many typos.
    SheLikesKitties likes this.

  9. #9
    Slow Worm's Avatar
    Slow Worm is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten024 View Post
    I think I'm perceiving things differently. People look around all the time and may simply be focusing on something behind me, or someone else...but, it appears they are looking at us.
    Because I feel this age difference is so obvious, I am assuming these looks are made at us. It's just new to me. I really am trying to figure out how I feel about it and how to best deal with it.
    It's really a perception of how old I feel I look - although most people don't believe I'm 51...they figure I'm in my mid-40's.
    Kitten, some of these points are vague, and in one case contradictory. I suggest that this is a problem of a kind where operationalising it - being very clear about it to yourself - will lead to an answer, or show that there is no real problem in the first place.

    You wrote that you feel the age difference is very obvious and that most people underestimate your age. In fact if people tend to underestimate your age then that makes the age gap less evident. However apart from that point, how old you feel you look does not seem relevant here: it makes no difference to your relationship.

    You do not state why you are concerned that people might be noticing you. Is that because you believe that such notice implies disapproval, and that concerns you, or is it because you dislike being noticed for any reason at all?

    As SLK asked, where are you? Are you somewhere where people do tend to stare at anything unusual, or where disapproval of age gap relationships is common?

    SW

  10. #10
    Biggles is offline Neophyte
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    Good post Kitten!

    Here's what you have to focus on:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitten024 View Post
    I'm really happy with him. No one has made me smile every day as much as he does. No man has ever cared for me and thought about me like him.
    Don't kill this relationship with worrying about what others might think.
    Mebel likes this.

  11. #11
    debralee's Avatar
    debralee is offline Senior Member
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    Kitten,

    In the beginning I felt all the things you mentioned. Probably many people here felt the same. But at some point I just decided to knuckle down, work through the fear and follow my heart right to him. And I am so glad I did. We are married now and very very happy.

    Follow your heart.
    Angel, Kitten024 and Mebel like this.
    ​​"Life is an adventure, not a prison sentence."

  12. #12
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    Kitten, I hear you. You are preaching to the choir about having hesitation about the age difference! I am 50 and my guy is 33. We are in our fifth year together which involved him coming to Canada to live for awhile and me immigrating to Scotland...and we plan on marrying this year.

    I can tell you that I have held off marrying him for the simple reason that what I perceived as logic kept holding me back but life doesn't wait for anyone to allow yourself some joy. You just have quiet your inner demons, and that practical voice in your head saying...what will you do when he has his mid-life crisis at 40 and you are 57?! See...she crept out there...but I always tell that voice...Live life, it is not your nature to fear the unknown, don't try and predict that which you, Mortal, cannot make or change from happening! She' quietens down with chocolate heavenly hash ice cream, I find.

    Seriously, if you can find an inner balance which allows you to enjoy and love what you have, then walk with your head held high with a friendly smile.You are getting something in life that many dream of, a future with someone who cares deeply about you. xx
    debralee, Kitten024 and Mebel like this.

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