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New Here with a big Question??

J

Jennie

Guest
i I have been looked at this site occasionally since I tend to date men younger than me but this is the first time I felt compelled to join, and post.

Background:

I am 64 years old. Healthy, love to dance, an artist among other ventures, self sufficient. I look younger than my age, perhaps 10-15 years but am still an older woman that is for sure.
I had a very unhappy marriage to a controlling husband for 25 years which ended 15 years ago and have three daughters and grandchildren all in the same city I live in and we are quite close. Following my marriage I tended to gravitate towards younger men, and they towards me. I saw nothing wrong with this.
I had one live in 7 year relationship that ended five years ago. He was 16 years younger than me which really never seemed to effect us in any way. I was very happy however in the end he had addiction problems that resurfaced which I could not tolerate and I ended it.
During the last five years I have dated only casually I guess you would call it just never finding someone I clicked with.

Present:

A few weeks ago I met a young man age 31. Although not well off by any means he has a decent job, and seems like a well grounded person although of course I would not know that much about him at this stage. I was very surprised that a man that young would be interested in me. We had a couple dates and seemed fairly compatible. Of course I felt very aware of the age difference. I mentioned him to two of my daughters and they were quite critical of me, saying I had no boundaries, and no self esteem. I don't really buy into this criticism as I have been alone supporting myself for some time and just don't take up with everyone. I am respected by people who know me and don't let others take advantage of me. OF course they said he must be looking for a mother. Well it certainly did not feel like that. But their criticism did affect me plus my own fears of judgment, how the age difference was so noticeable. Thinking about what that future could be like if we really were a couple. When I turn 70 or 80. My gosh! So I told him we could not continue. He did try for a few days, a card, chocolates, phone calls but I was very firm.

Now after coming back to this site, and reading a lot, I must say I am reconsidering. I feel a little tearful because I am lonely. However, I have not let my loneliness drive me into loveless relationships or with people that use me. And here is someone I felt at least after only a couple of dates that this could be something. A chance at some happiness. He was sweet and considerate, and quiet, kind. Although we didn't have roller bladeing in common ha ha, we do have a lot of mutual interests. I know that a few more dates might show a different side, but I would like to get to know him better. I am thinking of calling him but am very afraid. Not of my daughters because after reading on this site so much and thinking things through, I believe I behave as a person of integrity who deserves respect and if they don't want to give me that I will deal with it. And not even what others would think. More of the unknown. What problems would present themselves. Would I be left for a younger woman when I am 70? 80? Etc. It is a path I have never traveled. It seems like such a big leap into the unknown and I am afraid. Wouldn't you be? Thoughts anyone. And sorry for such a long post.
 

Mebel

OWYM AG 29 yrs
Hi Jennie!

I want to react, but excuse me, english is not my mothers language.
Your situation is simular to me. Accept I was not married and have no children. But if I had daughters, I hoped I could have raised them in a way that they would know that friendship, love and happiness are more important then any convention.
I never thought that finding love and happiness in one person would come my way again! And I accepted it. But a YM arrived!
I am in love with him now for 2 yrs. He changed my selfperspective immense!
I found out that I am capable of love in an healthy relationship.
And that feels so strong that even if the future make us part, I already know that I will be very gratefull for this gift of love.
 
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1love

Active member
Welcome Jennie! :)

I do think you should reconsider. If you had a connection with the ym and you were enjoying your dates, I believe you should call him and continue dating him. Your daughters are probably just concerned about you and don't want you to be taken advantage of. However, that is what dating is about, figuring out if someone is a good fit for you. I think if you date him and it progresses, your daughters will be able to see if he is an upstanding ym or not. Life is short, as you know.

As far as worrying about him leaving you for a younger woman, a man your age could do the same thing... right? Younger age doesn't guarantee someone will live longer than you, either. :no:

Let us know what you decide. :)
 

kittylane

New member
Hmmm. Many of us found ourselves in YM/OW relationships. I would have to say, what attracts me about a person is their heart/soul. So the outside package is just that a package.

Your daughters opinion's are theirs not yours. Hey, my daughter hated me for a while for being with my husband. He is one year older than her and we got married when he was 24, me 44. Fast forward 7 years later and we are very much hitched.

I hear that you are lonely, maybe look at that. Do not settle because of it and do not think a younger man is the way to go. Try and find someone who is right for you and go from there. It really is not about the age at all.
 
D

dev

Guest
Hi Jennie.

I think you should give him a call. I understand your worries. Future is always uncertain. Still we take chances. Go for it.

Good luck.
 

Slow Worm

Member
my daughters .... were quite critical of me, saying I had no boundaries, and no self esteem. I don't really buy into this criticism

Neither do I. By 'boundaries' they presumably mean moral values.
What would be immoral about such a relationship? Anything?

On what grounds do they suppose that being attracted to a younger person is evidence that an individual has "no self-esteem? I do not see any connection between the two. I not not know of any evidence that people in relationships with younger partners, or people reporting experiencing attraction to younger people, show a below-average level of self-esteem. (In fact given the obvious difficulties in quantifying self-esteem I would be very dubious of any study which claimed such a finding).

my own fears of judgment, how the age difference was so noticeable.

Only people doing wrong need fear judgement. You were not contemplating doing anything which is wrong. Do not be concerned about criticism from people who cannot tell the difference between the unusual and the immoral: by definition their opinions are based upon a faulty premise.

Would I be left for a younger woman when I am 70? 80?

It is possible - but plenty of women have been deserted by partners of their own age group, too.

SW
 

earl_wh

New member
It's a big age difference, to be sure, but there are successful relationships with that big a difference. As far as your fear about him leaving you for somebody younger, that could potentially happen whether the guy was younger than you, your age, or even older than you.

One thing that you KNOW about a younger guy is that if he's interested in you now, he doesn't go along with our society's worshipping of youth. I've known guys who were the same age as their wife who decided to trade her in for a "younger model" when she was younger than you. Obviously, this guy is attracted to you, and doesn't see the fact that you're older than him as a negative factor. My adivce would be the same as the others, which is that I'd give him a call and see whether he's interested in getting together again. Maybe things work out, and maybe they don't, but that's true of any relatively new relationship.
 
D

dev

Guest
Only people doing wrong need fear judgement. You were not contemplating doing anything which is wrong. Do not be concerned about criticism from people who cannot tell the difference between the unusual and the immoral: by definition their opinions are based upon a faulty premise.

Well said.
 
J

Jennie

Guest
Thank you all for your advice and support. I am so fortunate to have found this site.

I am lonely but I hope it does not cloud my judgment. In the past I have dated from loneliness and spent my time with good men yet not being that compatible with them, and really wasting their time, emotions, and mine too. That did not make me feel very good about myself and was rather exhausting. These days I try to distract myself, realizing loneliness like any other emotion is temporary. and will pass. I don't have to run from it. I have a great family and many interests and feel I really have a good life despite some lonely times.

Shortly after I posted he called out of the blue. We made a plan to see each other this weekend. I told him I was extremely cautious but if he was willing to take another chance on me we could spend some more time together. I will keep you all posted. I definitely feel a lot more settled about this. I mean really, it is just a date. Just two people. What is the harm. Young or old, we shall see.......
 
C

Cherokee

Guest
I don't know if you will consider this helpful or not.

I was in a 5yr relationship with a man 29 years younger. My sons came around after the first year. The breakup was quite devistating. It had nothing to do with age difference. His values and world view just grew to far apart from mine. We talked for the first time in almost a year the other day. We agreed the love was still there but we just cannot find middle ground to resume a healthy relationship.

To sum up, he was the best thing that ever happend for me. I grew a ton in personal self esteem, generosity to others, and confidence in my professional life. I'm gratful for the love and time we shared...No regrets...just time to move on.
 

earl_wh

New member
That's good news, Jennie. Sometimes, things just have a way of working out. :)

A suggestion: Try not thinking of him as a YOUNGER man, but just as a man that you like to spend time with. He's plenty old enough to know what he wants, and it appears that what he wants is to spend time with YOU. Have fun this weekend, and keep us posted on how it's going.
 
J

Jennie

Guest
Well we had our date. He arrived with roses and chocolates. A movie then out for a glass of wine and snacks. He is very affectionate and seems totally unaware about how we might look to the general public. I am somewhat reluctant for such public displays being especially conscious of our age gap but appreciated his open heart. I found him easy to talk to and adamant about not caring about our age difference. He says he finds he has more in common with older women and finds women his age more concerned with things he cares nothing about.

Later he took my dog for a walk. Offered to shovel my walkway. (lots of snow here) Now those are sure fire ways to an old lady's heart.

I did tell my one daughter reluctantly that I had a date coming up with him. She started being critical and I stopped her immediately. After that she asked me what I was going to wear and helped me pick something out. Also dared me to walk by the restaurant where she and her friends were hanging out. Shows what can happen when I just stand up for myself.!!

I have a feeling we may not be a good match but am definitely more open to exploring possibilities.

Again thank you so much everyone for helping me sort out my feelings, your thoughts and advice.
Jennie.
 

earl_wh

New member
Sounds like both the date and the conversation with your daughter went very well. I think the experience of most people here (although certainly not all) is that once someone stands up for themselves against disapproving family members, the family members come around. Most relationships don't work out long term, but I think it's tragic when people automatically close off even the possibility of a relationship with large portions of humanity on the basis of things like age, race, social status, etc.

So did you walk by the restaurant where your daughter was hanging out with her friends?
 
J

Jennie

Guest
Hi Earl

Yes we did actually walk by where they were to be, although I didn't see her or her friends and she said she didn't see me. Initially I was going to change our plans so as not to go past there but then decided to just carry on.

Today when after she asked, I told her a bit about my date. She was rude immediately, then quickly apologized. I told her that no matter what her judgment, I was sticking with my own opinion. Progress, on both our parts. One daughter down, two to go!!
 
D

dev

Guest
I believe your other daughters will come around. They have to.

Please keep us posted. You are my inspiration.
 
J

Jennie

Guest
Dev
Thank you for your kind words. I do feel much stronger with my daughters now. Of course I dealt with the easiest one first. Will keep you posted.
 
D

dev

Guest
Of course I dealt with the easiest one first.

meh... don't worry. You've an unfair advantage over them. They love you and they want you to be happy no matter what.

I think the hardest part is to inform others about the age gap relationship. You've already done it.

Wish you the best. :yes:
 
J

Jennie

Guest
Just an update. I have seen my ym a few times. He is very affectionate and seems totally oblivious to the age gap and how it looks to others. He says I look way younger so it may look like an age gap but not a huge one. I disagree.

I am not sure where this will go and I have doubts. More if we are a good match than the age gap. (maybe that is the age gap) But time will answer that.

However one thing that I am really sure of now and I have all of you to thank is my resolve not to let my daughters dictate how I should live my life. And not to buy into or listen to their judgments. I would certainly not judge them so harshly and I expect to be treated with respect. I almost can't wait for the next put down so I can respond with my newly discovered backbone!!
 

earl_wh

New member
Jennie, I don't know whether I'm correct in this or not, but it sounds like many of your concerns are how you perceive your mutual ages looking to other people. One piece of advice: You've already decided not to let your daughters run your life, and for that I'd congratulate you (and I'd say the same thing if you were an adult whose parents had cutting things to say about a relationship). But if you're not going to let your daughters run your life, how much sadder it would be if you let your idea of what the perceptions of random strangers might be run your life.

First, I think age differences are rarely as obvious as what the older partner thinks they are. Second, this guy evidently thinks you're beautiful, and in a relationship, your mutual perceptions of each other are the most important thing. Finally, even if there IS an obviously big age difference, you have no idea what other people think about it. Not long ago, my wife and I were in a restaurant at the next table from a couple who were clearly on a date, and where the woman was obviously considerably older than her date. They were being very attentive to each other, exchanging those looks that couples do fairly early in a relationship when they're obviously very attracted to each other, and they walked out holding hands. We didn't think it was weird or strange -- we thought it was nice to see that they were going with what they obviously saw in each other, rather than what they thought society's expectations might be. I used to have very much that same reaction when interracial couples were less common than they are now. Of course, since my wife and I have an age gap that, while much less than yours, was itself pretty unusual 30+ years ago, our reactions may not be completely typical, but even if they're not, who cares?

If there are incompatibilities other than what you think other people's perceptions might be, that's one thing. But if you're concerned about what you think other people's reactions to your relationship might be, that would be a sad reason to hesitate about entering into and continuing a relationship with somebody with whom you're otherwise compatible.

I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day.
 
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