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OW/YM Dynamics

Kristin

New member
A thread started by PinkCat got me thinking (woke up at 3am, LOL) about doing a poll about the differences in a 10 year gap vs. 20 and so on.

However, it soon became clear, that the actual SIZE of the gap wasn't as influential as WHEN the age gap occurs in the OW/YM's life-stages.

For example, my AGR is 13 years. To someone with a 25 year gap, that may seem like nothing - but it depends WHEN the gap occurs.

In my case, he was 23 and I was 36. For many women, that would mean a guy just getting into serious relationships, still partying, no or new career, eventually wanting to marry and wanting kids vs. a woman already with teenage kids, settled in a career, maybe owning her home, past the party stage, getting close to the point of no return with childbearing.

(But, for us, he already had a good job and kids. He still likes to go out, but is past the bars-every-night stage. THAT made a HUGE difference to this 36 yo woman!)

Now, take that same 13 years and push it back. Say the man is 18 and the woman is 31. Now, the guy is more likely to still be in school, probably living at home, no job to speak of, probably has had no real adult relationships, could even be a virgin still :eek: not even legal to drink, so hasn't even had his "party" stage yet. The woman is in prime childbearing and marriage years, probably already has a career. However, if he decides he wants to get married and have kids in 5 years, she is still very well capable of this.

Move that 13 year AG farther down the road - he is 45 and she is 58. He most likely has a career, his own place, experienced in relationships and probably has kids with an ex. Most likey, if it were me, my biggest worry would be my looks going and my health - but all of the worries that I had when I was first getting into my relationship really wouldn't apply at all.

Of course, as the gap gets larger - 20+ or so, you start to see these things overlap. For instance, YM20 and OW40. By the time he's ready for kids, she probably won't be able to do it naturally. He's hitting his stride and she's getting to pre-menopausal years, LOL! You could have kids his age and could be mistaken for his mother. :eek:

Anyhow, I just thought it was interesting - the different dynamics of various scenarios - all with the same gap.

Even my own dynamic is changing. As I get closer to 40 and Jeremy is still in his 20's. I AM starting to show my age quicker than I did in my early 30's and I think the 13 year difference could be very apparent for the next few years, until Jeremy starts to age more.

Just the other day, Jermey, Jersey and I went out for breakfast. The whole time, the waiter was very attentive to me and at the end, he put the bill in front of me. Now, before when Jeremy and I went out as a couple, the bill always went in front of him. I guess I hadn't really noticed, but Jeremy did. He said, a bit irritated, "That waiter must think I'm your kid. Otherwise, he would have given me the bill." And it's true! ACK! (Admittedly, Jeremy was wearing a t-shirt and baseball cap, which always makes him look younger.) But that was the first time that anyone made that mistake and it stung a bit.

But, it'll only get worse as I progress through my 40's and Jeremy is in his 30's. I know I could pass for 20's when I was in my 30's. So, the age difference will only get more pronounced.

So, as that 13 year gap proceeds through the years, the issues will change, until, eventually, there should be no issues at all again (I hope!) BAsically, we had no real isues, now issues may develop for a while and then they should settle down again.

I guess this is something to consider when we, as a community, look at "baby-gaps" and "VYM" and "mega gaps" and such. What really matters is the life stage, and not the gap itself. This could be a good thing for "newbies" to read.

So, what stage were you in and how do you see it playing out in the future?
 
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kittylane

New member
i have had a career for many years and adam will be selecting his when he gets out of the army, its kinda exciting to see where we will end up.

i never really had a husband that took care of me and adam is certainly like that. i dont mean financially although this is his desire, i mean emotionally available and kind and generous, i try to reciprocate this back to him also.

i dont see my age these days because i am loved, i actually have more confidence because of it. maybe in 10 years we will have more issues, it seems early on we really just accepted each other.

instead of changing him or me, we just accept where we are and enjoy it.
 
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rose30lavon20

Guest
A newbie perspectivve

I have been with my sweetie for almost 2 years ( November 4). I met him when he was 18 YIKES and I was 28!!!! For me it was and still is hard because I come from a family where the man takes care of the woman and he's just not at that place yet. He's still trying to figure out what he wants to do. he's now 20 and still is trying to find out what he wants to do whereas me i have a very good job and career and have that down packed.

I wish sometimes he had some clue but I remember when I was 20 i had no idea either so i can't be that mad at him now can I ?

Right now I am trying to just hang loose and have fun and enjoy the love he gives me and the attention :)

On my 30th birthday this year, he sent 2 dozen pink roses to me ......i took pictures of them and dried them and i've never had anything like that happen to me b4 him.

okay so i am rambling and will shut up now
 
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rosiecotton

Guest
Yep, there's "only" 11 years between me and Andrew but he's just hit 19 and I'm 30 and it does make a difference I think. People expect him to be wanting to go out and party, and don't expect him to be happily living with a 30 year old woman. And yes, there are some issues there (which I'm posting about on another thread) about the work, money thing - but I still wouldn't swap him for the world.

Yes he was inexperienced and I found that quite frightening at first but ultimately we both wanted to be together and we overcame any of those worries.
 
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thesedays

Guest
Kristin - I can SO relate to the story at the rest.

The other day we were in the mall. Ryan, my son and me. My son is 15, but has full facial hair, and looks about 19. We were there to buy shoes for Tyler and Ryan and while I'm paying for the shoes .......the young sales girl was flirting with Ryan .....then I noticed she thought they were both my kids.

I just started laughing and said "Come along boys" ......but still it was a sting also.

It's strange, because it seems most people don't notice our age gap ....people in my age group? However, then we're around "younger" people and they seem to notice.

My age gap is 11 years .....not so big "on the scale" ......but is big when looking at "where we're at". Ryan has JUST now get a better job, after I've been paying for most thing for 3 years ........he is still bad at spending money, he has some very "young" points of view regarding how to handle certain situations.

Hmmm.........not sure, it seems the problems we're having at 25 - 36 will "mend" as he gets older ..........but new problems might surface as I also get older.

Ryan states he doesn't want kids, which is perfect for me, because my son is 16 .......however, if he changes his mind in 10 years, well, he can. However, if he changes his mind in 10 years, I'll be almost 50 !!
 
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bubbleee

Guest
Phil and I are really far, far different from most of the couples on this community. We have a 33 year gap. He's in the dreaded "VYM" category. ;)

The dynamics of our relationship are that he's starting out in life and I'm starting out all over again. My career has never been better. I've never been more successful. Even though I've known him a pretty long time, I've never let him be a "hanger on" even if he is still in college and paying his own way with no help from the family. Why would I want to be with a hanger on guy regardless of his age? He pays his bills. He doesn't buy video games, CD's because he can't afford them. He does laundry, housework, dish duty, just like me. We are as equal partners in this relationship as we could possibly be considering ALL of our resources. We both give it the best we've got.

I'm helping him get started in life by putting a roof over his head. One day he will help me when I'm retired and he has his doctorate.

There really isn't a formula to all of us in AGR's. Phil and I live, laugh, love and be happy as bugs in a rug.

*We're probably doomed to failure* lol.
 

PinkCat

Animals are people too!
Great post, Kristin! :)

We were 19 (him) and 29 when we got together. He was a pretty inexperienced guy, in post-sec when we met. I was just out of a marriage... so in a way we were both just starting out. I loved the fact that he didn't have baggage and that he was so sweet and unjaded.

In 4 years, he has really matured a lot, both physically and emotionally. He looks older than he is, which works for me (while at the same time he has a baby face... I love that!). And he's really becoming a terrific man... he was a man when I met him, but just a newly-launched one, haha. He's really a great person. Anyway, he's still trying to get into his chosen career -- he wants to be a cop. He's applied to several forces in the area and is currently considering applying to the RCMP (oh my, would he look CUTE in a Mountie uniform or WHAT??? of course, contrary to most Yanks' views, those are just used for ceremonies, haha, but still... CUTE!!!!!). And he's still working in the family business as a bartender.

Anyway, even in 4 years, our age-gap issues have changed. At first, it was all about, "Oh, what will everyone think?" Then I realized that people have better things to worry about. Now it's more, "What if he isn't ready to settle down in the next 4-5 years? And OH, what if I'M not ready???" But seeing how much he has grown in the last four, I think in the next 4, good things await.

I can't even imagine what I would have thrown away if I had let 10 measly years get in the way!!!!
 
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christie

Guest
Interesting

I like the perspectives you came up with when you brought up when the gaps occurred/started. Mine is 13 years but he is 35 and I am 48. I cannot relate to a lot of the problems posted here because a 35 year old is (in most cases) more stable than a 19-24 yr old.

With some of the VYM postings, I almost can relate from having sons that age rather than my own relationships. I have to admit that sometimes, sometimes with those VYM postings I wonder what the heck the women are thinking-getting involved with someone so young. I get that from the son perspective-living with them, man I wonder why someone would do that do themselves on purpose. :) I am NOT trying to be judgemental at all.

Interesting thread.....thanks for thinking of it.
 

PinkCat

Animals are people too!
christie said:
With some of the VYM postings, I almost can relate from having sons that age rather than my own relationships. I have to admit that sometimes, sometimes with those VYM postings I wonder what the heck the women are thinking-getting involved with someone so young. I get that from the son perspective-living with them, man I wonder why someone would do that do themselves on purpose. :) I am NOT trying to be judgemental at all.

I totally understand -- but remember, when a guy is with his parents/family he is going to act totally differently than when he's with a woman he's interested in! Hell, even when I go home to see my parents I turn into a whiny adolescent, "Aw, why can't you make me some eggs, mommmmm??? Cooome onnnn... whaaa" and I'm 33! Haha.
 
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Rob

Guest
Kristin said:
I guess this is something to consider when we, as a community, look at "baby-gaps" and "VYM" and "mega gaps" and such. What really matters is the life stage, and not the gap itself. This could be a good thing for "newbies" to read.

So, what stage were you in and how do you see it playing out in the future?


I think there IS a point in what you're saying, to an extent. BUT (and you had to know this was coming from me ;) ) I don't think it's a good idea to categorise people by age quite so much.

We've got an 18 year gap... she's 44, I'm 26. Right now, according to stereotypes, I'm supposed to have been embarking on a career for the last few years, still be in party mode, not wanting to settle down, etc. However, I only graduated from university last year, my 'career' is not underway, I'm definitely not in 'party mode' and haven't been for a good few years, and I've been wanting to settle down for as long as I can remember.

She's supposed to be at the high point of her career, but she's only just started a job she really wants to do and progress in. She's really not 'that' far ahead of me in that respect. Plus, I'm MORE LIKELY to be the one to want to stay in and not head off to a pub or bar.

You just can't pigeon hole people, there's always the ones who'll surprise you. Like Bubblee's Phil (and probably me) there are those that are different than others, there's something that separates us from others in our age group. I think it would be far more worthwhile, when someone is asking for advice, to try and get to what the ym (or ow) is 'like' instead of just looking at their age. Basically, focus on individual personalities.

Of course, some issues like childbearing are a little different.
 

Kristin

New member
Rob said:
I don't think it's a good idea to categorise people by age quite so much...

You just can't pigeon hole people, there's always the ones who'll surprise you. Like Bubblee's Phil (and probably me) there are those that are different than others, there's something that separates us from others in our age group. I think it would be far more worthwhile, when someone is asking for advice, to try and get to what the ym (or ow) is 'like' instead of just looking at their age. Basically, focus on individual personalities.

Of course, some issues like childbearing are a little different.
I think you missed my point, Rob.

I'm saying pretty much what you are saying.

You can't catatorize by the size of the gap nor the ages, per se. Not all 13 year gaps are the same, nor are all 25 year old men nor 39 year old women.

This thread gives the opportunity to show people that all age gap scenarios are different. Even if you have two YM and they are both 22 yo and bothhave an AGR of 18 years - it's the stage of life the people are in, experience, etc that makes the difference, NOT THE GAP.

YOUR 18 year gap at your age would be different than an 18 year gap for a YM who is only 18 or a man who is 40 and his OW is 58. See what I mean?
 
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satya

Guest
From what I've read here I think my situation is quite different to many OW/YM relationships. When my fiance & I met he was 22 & I was 39 (now 23 & 40 respectively). He already had a child & a well paid job. I was separated after 13 years with my husband, had a good job & no kids.

He used to spend a lot of time with his mates but I soon got included in that and in no time at all it changed to us spending lots of time together without the mates. It was a pretty quick transition once he realised that he wanted me permanently in his life. We spend heaps of time with each other's families and everyone is outwardly approving of our situation now.

I have been mistaken for his mother 3 times in 15 months which isn't too bad, and it's always been on one of those days where I've left the house without putting any effort into how I look. I realise this will happen more as I age and hope that the more it happens the less I will react badly to it. He handles it far better than me, but I guess if roles were reversed I would handle it well too!!!
 
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Enamour

Guest
Kristin said:
A thread started by PinkCat got me thinking (woke up at 3am, LOL) about doing a poll about the differences in a 10 year gap vs. 20 and so on.

However, it soon became clear, that the actual SIZE of the gap wasn't as influential as WHEN the age gap occurs in the OW/YM's life-stages.

So, what stage were you in and how do you see it playing out in the future?

Reading the answers on here is very interesting.

I know some couples have bigger age-gaps and are making it work but I still believe that an age gap of more than 11/12 years is too much for me to deal with. I still have problems with the idea that I could "be his mother". And my ex-vym had the same issue: as long as he thought I was in my late 20s/early 30s he was ready to try but 18 years was just too much.

I keep asking myself whether my relationship with my vym could have worked had the gap been halved. Had he been, say 25 and me 34, with the possibility to raise a family (we're at radically opposite stages on that), would he have been more grown up and ready? I'll never know. From what I've read on this board though, the main ingredient is how 'grown up' both partners are.

On the other hand, examples given above about age-gap problems I didn't have - such as the need to party (we can drink from 16 years old over here so the only time we went to a party together we both got drunk) as he's not into that too much and I am still very young in that sense - single, no children, I can party (only seem to get tired earlier than I did). We are both on the same level emotionally too (I'm such a naive little girl at heart) so no big gap there either.
 
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Enamour

Guest
Kristin said:
A thread started by PinkCat got me thinking (woke up at 3am, LOL) about doing a poll about the differences in a 10 year gap vs. 20 and so on.

However, it soon became clear, that the actual SIZE of the gap wasn't as influential as WHEN the age gap occurs in the OW/YM's life-stages.

So, what stage were you in and how do you see it playing out in the future?

Reading the answers on here is very interesting.

I know some couples have bigger age-gaps and are making it work but I still believe that an age gap of more than 11/12 years is too much for me to deal with. I still have problems with the idea that I could "be his mother". And my ex-vym had the same issue: as long as he thought I was in my late 20s/early 30s he was ready to try but 18 years was just too much.

I keep asking myself whether my relationship with my vym could have worked had the gap been halved. Had he been, say 25 and me 34, with the possibility to raise a family (we're at radically opposite stages on that), would he have been more grown up and ready? I'll never know. From what I've read on this board though, the main ingredient is how 'grown up' both partners are.

On the other hand, examples given above about age-gap problems I didn't have - such as the need to party (we can drink from 16 years old over here so the only time we went to a party together we both got drunk) as he's not into that too much and I am still very young in that sense - single, no children, I can party (only seem to get tired earlier than I did). We are both on the same level emotionally too (I'm such a naive little girl at heart) so no big gap there either.
 
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Rob

Guest
Kristin said:
I think you missed my point, Rob.

I'm saying pretty much what you are saying.

You can't catatorize by the size of the gap nor the ages, per se. Not all 13 year gaps are the same, nor are all 25 year old men nor 39 year old women.

Perhaps, but I got a little confused when I read this:

This thread gives the opportunity to show people that all age gap scenarios are different. Even if you have two YM and they are both 22 yo and bothhave an AGR of 18 years - it's the stage of life the people are in, experience, etc that makes the difference, NOT THE GAP.

and then this:

YOUR 18 year gap at your age would be different than an 18 year gap for a YM who is only 18 or a man who is 40 and his OW is 58. See what I mean?


They seem kind of 'at odds' with each other. I would say that my 18 year age gap 'could' be different than an 18 year olds. Perhaps is more likely to be different than the same. But there's also the possibility that it would be much the same, which is what the first quote said really. Going back to careers... a mate of mine by 18 was in the same (more advanced actually) situation as I am now. He'd been working full time for a couple of years and was on his way to establishing his own business a few years later. I'm just starting out really.

I do generally agree with you though, I'm probably being picky. :rolleyes: ;)
 

special K

dedicated member :-)
However, it soon became clear, that the actual SIZE of the gap wasn't as influential as WHEN the age gap occurs in the OW/YM's life-stages.


EXACTLY. Kristin...and what I ( and Polly and Julianne, and many others) have been trying to say for years here on the board (with a few unintentioned battles that ensued as a result:( ).

Having even a 20 year age gap when the older person is 45 and the yp is 25 is a HUGE difference than if they are 38 and 18. Same gap...but the older couple have both passed a few of the most important life-stage hurdles (education, career, maturation of the frontal lobe/reasoning area of the brain, adult relationship experience, etc.) The VERY young people in the other scenario have a lot of growing up to do, and are in a totally different life-era, no matter how mature they are for their age. (I always said K was SO mature for his age...and he was in many ways...but at 18 when we first got together, he was, by all accounts, still a "kid" inexperienced in life/relationships, etc. Looking back, I think, as the op, I should have put the brakes on and let him live/grow/experience more than just me and the settled adult life I had already figured out).

K, my exvym (now almost 25) and I have recently reconnected as friends. We have had a chance to reflect back on when we first got together (he was 18, I was 42:eek: ). He admits that his confusion and angst about "us" was almost all about being so young...he couldn't reckon the familial pressure, how to juggle "real life" in an adult relationship then, etc. He faked it REALLY WELL, and I knew he loved me genuinely (which he verifies), but the life stage thing was just too vastly different. As he neared 22, he panicked thinking " I love this woman, but I have never lived my own life as an adult...I'm not sure any more that I want this to be my first and last adult relationship." We both have laughed at the idea of a remake of history and think that if he'd been 25 when we fell in love (his age now), things could have been totally different as he has now settled into himself and who he is on his own (with a couple of gf's along the way in the last 3 years).

Anyway, I agree 100% with your assertions...and of course AGR's vary on a case-by-case basis (as in some of the successful ow/vym here on ageless)....but IN GENERAL, a large age gap with a vyp can have major issues now and down the road as the yp grows into their autonomy, etc. That is why I continue to caution newbies about jumping in to relationships with vyp (especially teenagers)...discourage them from cohabitating too soon, etc. And I will continue that as I feel it is sound advice on most accounts.

Thanks for this thread...great food for thought!
 
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Miranda

Guest
I think it's not the specific age gap that counts, but the individual's response to what society considers to be 'age-appropriate behaviour'. Age-appropriate behaviour is just as arbitrary and repressive as ideas of race or gender appropriate behaviour, and is largely forced upon us by a society that wants us docile, easy to manage, and servile to the status quo. But there's no hard and fast principle that says young men must bum round Peru, or that older women must wear only dark green and navy blue, or that elderly people have to watch quiz shows and eat biscuits at 4.30 pm every weekday. It's only done because of a cultural consensus.

For instance, there seems to be some sort of consensus that young people (whatever age) should be out partying. Whenever BF goes out drinking with his mates he hates it, comes back feeling ill, and spends his time during it mailing me telling me he's hating it. But he still does it, because it's what he's expected to do, because it's age-appropriate. That's what young men do, right? But blokes in serious relationships with older women are naturally going to be a bit different from blokes who date girls their own age; they're going to be the ones who appreciate certain aspects of maturity more than the values typically expected of their age group.

The question is, whether a YM can be comfortable with ignoring the pressures to conform to age-appropriate behaviour, or whether an OW is happy to blend in with his age group. You can reach a compromise between the two sometimes.

A particular problem for women in their 30s with men in their 20s is the cultural consensus that fatherhood is a burden to younger men, which is irritating for women who are able to and would like to get on with having kids. This is related, I think, to the idea developed societies have that children are a nuisance, rather than a pleasure - the same attitude that sees them kicked out of restaurants for making a noise and banned from housing developments for playing too loudly (though that's a story for another day). It's also a throwback to a patriarchal idea that only older men are entitled to status in society, fatherhood being one symbol of status. Younger men are left with no confidence in their own abilities to father, and with the expectation that it will be a dull and irksome task. Yet there are perfectly relevant arguments that younger men can become good fathers and that their greater amounts of energy can make lighter work of parenting than if they wait til later.

If age-appropriateness is dependent on culture, this means that it will also depend on the society and social group the individuals are living in.
 

Kristin

New member
I do think men comfortable with women older thean themselves ARE rare and I think that the stars and moon and planets all must be aligned the right way for it to work. (Of course, 50% of same age or close age relationship fail, too, but I think the numbers are probably highter for OW/YM - IF they even get started in the first place, because the guy is freaked out she's older.)

Jeremy would have been a VYM for a woman over, say, 45, because she could be easily his mother's age. Actually, I think the "average" 23 year old wouln't be ready or willing to take on 2 teenage boys as "step-sons" An "average" 23 yo man probably wouldn't even be ready to even have his own kids.

Now, I don't think Jeremy is exceptionally mature for his age. He's pretty much what I remember 23 yo guys being when I was that age. But, his life experience has put him in a different life-stage as most guys his age. At 23, he already had been on his own for 6 years and had 2 kids and a "step kid" with his ex. (My ex was 26 when we got married and 28 when we had our first kid.)

His dad married his step-mom, who was 10 years older, so an AGR was not a foriegn concept to him at all. He had also dated two women close to 10 years older than he.

So, moon/stars/planets that were my "GO" signal was that I didn't have to worry that he hadn't sowed his wild oats and that I would get left later down the line because he'd want his own kids. I wouldn't have had that confidence if he had been the same age, yet just out of college with no experience with living on his own and not having kids.

Meaning, there would be plenty of guys his age, with the same gap, that I WOULDN'T have even considered dating.

So, the issue, for me, wan't the age gap and his age per se, it was his life situation and experience that made the difference, for me, to move forward. I've seen plenty of women/guys here with the same exact ages and it didn't work, for exactly the reasons why I wouldn't have continued with Jeremy, if the situation had been the same.

So, it's not that the guys are exceptional, but the SITUATION that must be exceptional. I think both people have to be comfortable with the life stages that the other is in for it to work.

So, what I'm saying is, you can't look at an age or a gap size and say "that will fail" or "that will work" because each one is so completely different, due to the comfort levels of those involved and the life stages they are at. Not to mention individual personalities that come into play.
 
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bubbleee

Guest
Kristin said:
So, moon/stars/planets that were my "GO" signal was that I didn't have to worry that he hadn't sowed his wild oats and that I would get left later down the line because he'd want his own kids. I wouldn't have had that confidence if he had been the same age, yet just out of college with no experience with living on his own and not having kids.

The key word here in your post is "confidence". We all have different levels of confidence in decisions we make in life, whether they are personal, business or romantic decisions. Some us need specific data and benchmarks to move forward with a relationship, others feel more confident in their ability to make choices, based on their own personal life experience, without such data, benchmarks or life stages. At 54, if I don't have confidence in my decision making ability on every level, I most likely will never have such confidence.

Additionally, some of us are comfortable in leading, and some of us are comfortable in following. There are women on here that are not in similar "life stage" AGR's (as defined broadly on this board) that feel comfortable shattering the paradigm of what seems to be the widely accepted notion of what a successful AGR would entail. I don't worry about what society at large will think of me. I am more concerned with my personal happiness and success at this point in my life. Somebody has to break the paradigms that ready to go by the wayside, why not me/us? Don't you need to be the change you wish in this world???

What makes me attractive to my VYM is not my LACK of wrinkles, cellulite, gray hair, what have you. What makes me attractive to my VYM is the grace, strength, confidence and dare I say beauty that women of a certain age can possess if they let themselves do so.
 

Kristin

New member
Nice post Bubs.

And makes the point that moon/stars/planet thing has to be there for BOTH parties for it to work.

The OW has to be in the right mindset/place in her life for it to work, as well.

As some of the YM here have shown, just having the YM be ready, willing and able does not a successful AGR make. The woman has to "be there" too.

Exactly why people can't say "AGRs with VYM can't work" because it's not just about the guy or the gap.

Obviously, people who were is extremely large gaps or gaps with so-called VYM that DIDN'T work didn't have the right mix of OW/YM, right?

I think the moon/stars/planets just aligned right for ladies like you or Marcy (as quick examples.) So, even for you, the "life stage" thing applies, as far as I am defining it. You and your guy are just in the right place at the right time of your lives.

If Jeremy & I didn't get together, even with my criteria met as I've mentioned, then I just wouldn't have been in the right place in my life, you know?
 
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