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23, 46 and having a rough go of it

ellekennedie

New member
So I met my partner two years ago when I was about to turn 21 an he was turning 44. It was an instant, intense connection the likes of which neither of us had ever experienced before. To try to make a long story shorter, the relationship was long-distance for the majority of the first year because I was traveling and then living at home in another country. But last year I moved to his country and moved in with him while I completed a postgraduate degree. So we've been living together for a year and I can count on two hands the number of times we've had sex. When we first met, sex wasn't an issue. We were totally on fire for one another, we made love at least once a day, oftentimes even more than that. He says that in the last year he's just lost his desire and his interest in sex. I most assuredly have not, and I am really struggling to come to terms with that. I'm desperate for the sense of emotional and spiritual connection that we had when we made love, and of course I'm also feeling pretty desperate for physical contact. Our emotional relationship can be quite complicated even without the sex issues -- both of us struggle with depression and anxiety and we both have vastly different coping methods -- but at the end of the day, I adore him, and I know that he adores me. He worries that he is holding me back, that I'm missing out on better experiences and he is constantly reminding me that one day I will move on. And he's not bitter or angry about that, in fact he wants me to move on, but I know that it will happen when I'm ready, and that's not now. I have very few friends who I feel could give me good advice, and my parents are not exactly our most avid supporters, so they're off the table as well.
Any words of wisdom for me, friends?
 

SummerBob

Super Moderator
Why, besides the sex issues, do you think the relationship can't be permanent and that you will necessarily move on? I guess what I'm asking is are you planning on this relationship not lasting, or are you taking it one day at a time with the possibility that it could be a lasting relationship? The answer to those questions could be a key to a lot of your issues including your sexual ones.
 

ellekennedie

New member
See, when we started off, we both agreed that taking it one day at a time was the best option for both of us, because I was traveling and my permanent home was abroad. But it soon became very clear to me that I wanted this to be a lasting relationship, definitely long-term if not forever. But he's spoken about his reluctance to view that as an option. In his mind, he is holding me back, and the longer we stay together, the more he will prevent me from living my life to its fullest potential. I disagree wholeheartedly and try to remind him as often as possible that I'm with him because I adore him and I in no way feel restricted (leaving out the sex issues); in fact, I feel like I've been afforded many more opportunities than I would've been if I were on my own.
 

ellekennedie

New member
I tried to post my response yesterday but I'm not sure it went through!

See, in the beginning we both decided that taking it one day at a time was best, because I was traveling and because my permanent residence was nearly 5000 miles away. But it became clear to me very quickly that my feelings were serious, and that I wanted to be mutually exclusive and long-term. Those feelings haven't changed. My partner has suggested several times that I take a lover to fulfill my sexual needs, and I have seriously considered it, even considered candidates I thought I could imagine myself with, but I've never been able to go through with it. To me, it feels far too much like being unfaithful, and I want to be faithful to him for as long as we are together. I want a marriage and a family and a house in the suburbs, but he's been married twice before and doesn't like the idea of being locked into another marriage. In his mind, my moving on is an inevitability, but I disagree. I think it's a possibility, but not a guarantee. And I've tried to tell him that I'm here because I want to be, I'm with him because I love him, because he means the world to me, but he thinks I'm just young and naive.

In the beginning we were so good for each other, we fueled each other's hope and we both talked about having a long and lasting future, but he's become increasingly defeatist and insular, and I have no idea what to do.
 

marklogan51

New member
Hello

I would only add to keep reminding him that you choose to be with him. An age gap relationship can work if both are committed to the relationship. If you still want this man in your life then you have to work at the relationship. However, it must be a two way street. Like Summer Bob added that you must decide first if you want it to be long term.

Mark
 

SummerBob

Super Moderator
I've always had a hard time understanding the man's point of view, it doesn't make sense to me!

If you're an older man and have a young woman who loves you, is committed to you and wants to be with you, don't scoff at it. You are not holding her back and it is HER decision to be with you. These men think so differently than I do that I don't don't even know how to advise.

If he has trust issues, or fears you'll get tired and move on to someone more your own age, the best you can do is keep reassuring him. When he sees that maybe he'll come around.
 
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