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Thread: Giving Back

  1. #1
    ErikaG is offline Neophyte
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    Giving Back

    Hello! I am 27 and my boyfriend is 19. Although he is very mature for his age due to life experience, I find that he does not help me grow as I do him (I have had significantly more experience in personal growth, education etc.). I feel as if I pour in to him so much but I don't get that in return. I've decided that if he can take the intiative to read with me on a nightly basis and motivate ME to do so it'll be enough to feel like he's helping me grow in some way. Has anyone else had this chalenge? How have you overcome it?

    Thank You!!

  2. #2
    degausser is offline Senior Member
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    Hi and welcome.

    In what ways do you wish he helped you grow? I'm not really sure what you mean by that. How long have you been together? I think of growth (whatever that might mean in the specific situation) as something that happens gradually over time, and one usually isn't even immediately aware that it's happening. I'm just wondering what your expectations are.
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  3. #3
    Slow Worm's Avatar
    Slow Worm is offline Senior Member
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    I wasn't really clear what you were seeking either.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikaG View Post
    I've decided that if he can take the intiative to read with me on a nightly basis and motivate ME to do so it'll be enough to feel like he's helping me grow in some way.
    Do you mean that you hope it will occur to him to suggest this without prompting (i.e. taking initiative) or that you are going to ask him to read with you each night (in which case where is he taking initiative)?

  4. #4
    SheLikesKitties's Avatar
    SheLikesKitties is offline OW/YM 21YR GAP
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    My son is 25 and he does not like to read books or texts. He reads information on the internet about whatever interests him at the time. That keeps him updated and able to hold his side on most conversations.

    There are people who motivate their partners to study and better themselves and some partners respond, getting a college or graduate degree. Some do not show any interest and it's up to you to accept their level or achievement or not. I am sure that you do not want to keep insisting that he read, study or grow or whatever if he is not interested at the time. If you keep insisting it will become useless nagging.

    My husband does not have a college degree, but he is quite intelligent, insightful, analytical, and well read, in what interests him, politics and foreign relations. I liked his mind when he was 23 and I still like his mind now that he is 35. I feel that we are at the same level in most aspects.

    I do not know what to tell you except that if you try to change him and it does not produce results, you may have to decide to take him at full value or not.

    Also, you may not be getting back what you want or expect, but other totally different but great things. If you feel that you are getting back a big fat zero, you may want to reconsider the relationship before you grow resentful.
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    You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.

  5. #5
    theREALTrish's Avatar
    theREALTrish is offline Senior Member
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    Why is it up to another person to cause us to grow? Isn't that something we're supposed to do on our own? Yes, it's nice if we're with someone who brings the best out in us but it can, also, be a burden to place on someone. Pursue your own interests and your own growth, and encourage him to pursue his own. Maybe you'll end up pursuing something together and maybe you won't. But, that can happen whether the relationship is age gap or not.

    Maybe you are expecting him to be someone he's not, or someone he's not ready to be.
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  6. #6
    MissMuffins's Avatar
    MissMuffins is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErikaG View Post
    Hello! I am 27 and my boyfriend is 19. Although he is very mature for his age due to life experience, I find that he does not help me grow as I do him (I have had significantly more experience in personal growth, education etc.). I feel as if I pour in to him so much but I don't get that in return. I've decided that if he can take the intiative to read with me on a nightly basis and motivate ME to do so it'll be enough to feel like he's helping me grow in some way. Has anyone else had this chalenge? How have you overcome it?

    Thank You!!
    I don't understand the problem and/or question.

    How long have you been together? He's 19. The two of you cannot have been together long enough for your relationship to be so messed up that it needs work. If it *is* that messed up this early on, that's your exit sign...not your "fix it" sign. Exit. In big, red, 10-foot-tall letters.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikaG View Post
    I find that he does not help me grow as I do him...I feel as if I pour in to him so much but I don't get that in return.
    When you say "grow" what do you mean?

    In my experience, "grow" is code for "change."

    Those individuals who've taken it upon themselves to "help me grow" have ultimately not met with a good response. Although I tried to comply, out of desire to please them, at the same time I silently resented their unsolicited evaluation of my performance as a human being. I did not appreciate that they had taken my measure and found me lacking in some insubstantial, indefinable way that they could never quite put their fingers on.

    While I've grown from such experiences, I imagine it is most certainly not in the way those people would like to think.

    I learned that it is impossible to change myself enough to fix whatever was wrong with them.

    I learned that these were very controlling people with very controlling behaviors. I grew to understand that when controlling behaviors are a component of a relationship, the relationship most often--but not always--develops into an abusive one.

    I grew to realize that one way or another, these weren't the kind of people I wanted in my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikaG View Post
    I've decided that if he can take the intiative to read with me on a nightly basis and motivate ME to do so it'll be enough to feel like he's helping me grow in some way.
    I'm not sure what your expectation is, or the back story.

    Without that information, the way the situation comes across to me is that you expect him to figure out on his own that in order for you to be happy in this relationship, he needs to go find the right Successful Relationship At-home Study Course, assign you a reading selection, make sure you complete it, and then lead you in nightly discussions on the assigned content.

    Not a reasonable expectation.

    Your growth is your responsibility. Yours. No one else's.

    MM
    Last edited by MissMuffins; 08-12-2015 at 04:33 AM.
    "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
    LunaLove's Avatar
    LunaLove is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with the other responses. As the much older woman in my relationship, I admit I feel some responsibility to "enrich" his life, as he had lead a rather sheltered life. I can't point to defined or structured incidences where he's done the same for me. However, any time spent with anyone else can be a learning experience depending on what you put into it and take from it. Even my dogs help me learn and grow just by interacting with them.
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  8. #8
    theREALTrish's Avatar
    theREALTrish is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissMuffins View Post
    I don't understand the problem and/or question.

    How long have you been together? He's 19. The two of you cannot have been together long enough for your relationship to be so messed up that it needs work. If it *is* that messed up this early on, that's your exit sign...not your "fix it" sign. Exit. In big, red, 10-foot-tall letters.



    When you say "grow" what do you mean?

    In my experience, "grow" is code for "change."

    Those individuals who've taken it upon themselves to "help me grow" have ultimately not met with a good response. Although I tried to comply, out of desire to please them, at the same time I silently resented their unsolicited evaluation of my performance as a human being. I did not appreciate that they had taken my measure and found me lacking in some insubstantial, indefinable way that they could never quite put their fingers on.

    While I've grown from such experiences, I imagine it is most certainly not in the way those people would like to think.

    I learned that it is impossible to change myself enough to fix whatever was wrong with them.

    I learned that these were very controlling people with very controlling behaviors. I grew to understand that when controlling behaviors are a component of a relationship, the relationship most often--but not always--develops into an abusive one.

    I grew to realize that one way or another, these weren't the kind of people I wanted in my life.



    I'm not sure what your expectation is, or the back story.

    Without that information, the way the situation comes across to me is that you expect him to figure out on his own that in order for you to be happy in this relationship, he needs to go find the right Successful Relationship At-home Study Course, assign you a reading selection, make sure you complete it, and then lead you in nightly discussions on the assigned content.

    Not a reasonable expectation.

    Your growth is your responsibility. Yours. No one else's.

    MM
    Brava, MM!!!!

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