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The Cardinal Rules to VYM Relationships

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bubbleee

Guest
For some reason I have received several PM's this week from OW who are interested in VYM. These women have an approximate gap of 30 years between them and the object of their affection, like Phil and me. They asked me to "give them hope" that relationships like this can work. Since I don't have the corner on the market in being in a relationship with a VYM or having a big gap, I told them I'd put a thread out here and ask those of you who are in similar relationships to mine to post your thoughts on what is necessary for success in relationships like these. So I'm calling them "Cardinal Rules to VYM Relationships". I honestly don't think the size of the gap is as germaine to the success of the relationship as the desire of the partners to make the relationship succeed. So please join in here and give me a hand with your thoughts and real life examples. And if we can keep it fun, all the better!

After being on the boards here at AL for about 2.5 years now, my first Cardinal Rule would have to be:

1) The YM has to pursue you strongly, consistently and exclusively, forsaking other women, if he's truly serious about his intentions.

In all honesty, no woman my age (54) in her right mind will chase after some guy in his early 20's. I was in my right mind when I met Phil, so many years ago. But he was far away, just a kid, and I'm no predator. When he graduated high school, he decided that he wanted to move to my area and go to college. I was cool with that because we had become friends (long story that many folks know) and I was happy to emotionally support him. He lived at college for the first year after the move here, and after two years in the area, he lives with me on weekends mostly.

He pursued me relentlessly. That is a key point here. I was separated from my husband, living in my own home and he wanted to help me through my divorce and just be with me. I pushed him away for quite awhile. I even sometimes try to push him away now (I think that's an OW thing ;) But we are still going strong despite ups and downs in our lives.

He's loving, brilliant, financially self sufficient, cute as a button and determined to be my man. I decided to give him a try after alot of soul searching; and we've been together for about 2 years now, I think.

Next?
 
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Polly

Doorperson for my pets!
I couldn't agree with you more. These relationships aren't for everyone, and I think it's harder on the ow than anybody, which is why we should be somewhat guarded going in and let him do the pursuing. I think men have to do the pursuing anyway as it's in their nature and they're satisfying an inner need when they do it. It also endears us to them. If a man (of any age) really isn't that into you, he won't pursue very much before his interest fizzles out. That's a good thing, because it then leaves us open for the one who IS really interested.
 
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Brynhild

Guest
I believe a fundamental rule is trying to understand his mind. A good idea might be to try to step back in your own memory and think back to where you were at his age. Of course, that will be scary if you are 40-50 or smth, but it will help you understand some of his thinking. It is important to be sensitive to a very young man because everything is pretty much happening for the first time for them. Young men can be mature but they are still learning. When I was 26, I began dating a 19 year old. When I think back to that time I realise I expected too much of him - I expected him to behave like a 23-25 year old - to take care of me, support me mentally on every step, to be ready to make heavy decisions - which was wrong. In fact, you need to be rather soft with them.

Also, respect their freedom and be a friend. It was easy for me to take part in all his youthsome activities, because I dug it myself, but you'll need to put up with him wanting to travel, expand his horisons, do sports, party, do wild stuff. Which is good fun and rejuvinating. But then you have to determine for yourself if you still want to be involved in all that.

Also, you need to let the other person grow. You can share with them and they'll be psyched about that, but it is vital to let them grow on their own. And remember that there is a huge difference between, let's say, a 19year old and a 22year old. Still, there is a large risk factor involved.
 
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Bella_D

Guest
Good posts Polly and Bubblee!

I'd like to add that I think it really helps to have realistic expectations, but to balance those out with realistic boundaries.

For example, I sometimes see OW give up a lot of emotional comfort because they think they're VYM `HAS' to go out partying and generally act like a young single guy. I admit, I got stuck in that mindset for a while until I found ageless to help sort me out:)

Or on the flipside, many more OW seem to become frustrated by their unrealistic expectations....like expecting their young partners to have their whole life, career, everything sorted out by 19 or 20 years of age. Perhaps because they are looking for someone to look after them in the traditional sense? My attitude is that at that age, a person is entitled to explore his or her career options and put more emphasis on fun & exploration over taking on excessive burdeons & big committments. Just my opinion.
 
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marcy

Guest
I also agree with your rule and here's another...

2) You can't make decisions in your partner's best interests



Your partner is younger than you, but he's still an adult. He has every right to make decisions for himself and have those respected. You can't assume you know best just because you have lived longer. You don't want to be robbed of your ability to choose and neither does your partner.
 

Bella

New member
you can't make excuses for lousy behaviour by saying he's just young. Bad treatment is bad treatment no matter what age someone is

You have the right to be treated just as well as you'd expect to be treated by someone your own age.

You have the right to be treated, like he'd expect to treat someone HIS own age.

I see soooo often women come here and, "well, I let things slide, he's young." whether it's cheating, drinking, borrowing money, whatever. If someone his own age wouldn't put up with it, neither should you.

I'd hope by this age, women would have enough sense to expect respect and tenderness, not somehow belittle themselves into thinking they deserve ill treatment.
 
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Brynhild

Guest
Well, cheating and "borrowing money" is absolutely out of question in any sane relationship no matter what age. This is not even age-related.. :) some 20year olds will be more faithful and will cater to you more than 30year olds.. and vice versa... really not up to the age.

Another thing is that guys aged 18-22 will sometimes have a maximalistic opinion of 'knowing it all'.. then after a couple years they really ease up and become more tolerant.. it doesn't really take that much time. :)
 

Bella

New member
Agreed, Brynhild, but it's absolutely amazing how many women come here and make all kinds of excuses for a ym because, he's "just young"
Like, somehow, just because they're older, they should be so grateful to have a younger guy want them, that they should put up with almost any treatment.

Those are the ones that fail really fast.
 
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Brynhild

Guest
Bella said:
Agreed, Brynhild, but it's absolutely amazing how many women come here and make all kinds of excuses for a ym because, he's "just young"
Like, somehow, just because they're older, they should be so grateful to have a younger guy want them, that they should put up with almost any treatment.

Those are the ones that fail really fast.

Right, Bella! Because a young man can take up responsibility and care for their woman just like an older man can.
 
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marcy

Guest
Can I add another?

Don't be anyone's dirty little secret... even if your partner is between the ages of 18 to 21

If he's scared to come "out" about you during this time period, it is not going to get better with age.
 

Charlotte

Every day is a new one.
Have realistic expectations.

I met my guy when he was 19 but I knew him online for two years prior to that and despite that his level of maturity has grown (he's currently 20) he still needs to achieve a lot of personal goals before we can close the long distance gap.

He needs to find a job, to learn to become financially independant and to learn to accept some of his responsibility as an equal partner in a romantic relationship.

I'm busy raising kids and trying to move and find a job myself, so between the two of us, we BOTH need to have realistic expectations of what to expect from each other as partners and just due to our lifestyles and ages in general.

As an aside: a guy's coming on Tuesday to appraise my house. It's the first physical step in my plan that's on paper :D Slowly, but surely, everything's coming together as planned.
 
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bubbleee

Guest
marcy said:
Can I add another?

Don't be anyone's dirty little secret... even if your partner is between the ages of 18 to 21

If he's scared to come "out" about you during this time period, it is not going to get better with age.


Marcy, you can add as many as you wish! I hope the ladies that have been p'mming me are reading these.

YM you may add in here, too. You are all reminding me of why I made this thread. Our collective knowledge is far greater than just one of us :)
 

LadyInWaiting

In The Woodwork
"Grow up!" or "You are old enough to know better!" goes BOTH ways: age alone is not an indicator of maturity: we mature physically, emotionally and intellectually. Anyone, young or old, can vary greatly in these areas. (and usually do)



Don't confuse experience, or lack of experience, with maturity. Experiance alone does not equal maturity.
 
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bubbleee

Guest
Lady in Waiting, that is an excellent point! (good to see you btw, been a long time)

Maturity certainly isn't gauged by the clock. I have a cousin who is in his 50's and I think he's FINALLY growing up because his 23 year old daughter has leukemia. He never raised her. But now that she is seriously ill, he has made it his mission to be her support.

Circumstances in life can make you grow up in a hurry. Phil came from a very poor family (both money and emotionally poor). He's learned alot in the time he has left home, and admittedly has alot more to learn. But he's mature about his place in life, his reponsibilities and his commitment to me.

BTW, LIW, how are you and your BF doing these days?
 

Kristin

New member
You can't deny that, for most people, experience contributes to one's maturity and behavior. I mean, what is "maturity" anyhow?

It was experiencing different things and learning from those experiences which helped me grow and mature. Someone who has never been through certain things will be less likely to react to them in a mature way.

It must take some effort to go through life experiencing things and not learning anything from those experiences!

Having to run a household and not having anyone to bail me out when I screwed up. Having to raise children and seeing how my behavior affected them. Being through multiple relationships and seeing how my behavior (and his) affected the relationship. Learning that the world doesn't revolve around me. LOL!

All of those experiences lead to my learning from them and therefore learning how to handle things in a "mature" manner, rather than freaking out or running away from the problem, as we tend to do in our youth.

I still think that younger guys, while maybe able to be a "good person" and not be self-centered or whatnot are still handicapped by their lack of life experience.

Jeremy is a great guy and he treats me with respect and love, yet he often defers decisions to me, because of my experience. That can be really frustrating sometimes when I'M the one who needs help! LOL! And sometimes, that makes me feel like I have to be the bad guy in saying, "No" to some things.

I know that, once he experiences some of these things, he'll be more ready to make those decisions on his own and handle them in a more mature manner.
 
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bubbleee

Guest
Kristin said:
You can't deny that, for most people, experience contributes to one's maturity and behavior. I mean, what is "maturity" anyhow?

It was experiencing different things and learning from those experiences which helped me grow and mature. Someone who has never been through certain things will be less likely to react to them in a mature way.

It must take some effort to go through life experiencing things and not learning anything from those experiences!

Having to run a household and not having anyone to bail me out when I screwed up. Having to raise children and seeing how my behavior affected them. Being through multiple relationships and seeing how my behavior (and his) affected the relationship. Learning that the world doesn't revolve around me. LOL!

All of those experiences lead to my learning from them and therefore learning how to handle things in a "mature" manner, rather than freaking out or running away from the problem, as we tend to do in our youth.

I still think that younger guys, while maybe able to be a "good person" and not be self-centered or whatnot are still handicapped by their lack of life experience.

Jeremy is a great guy and he treats me with respect and love, yet he often defers decisions to me, because of my experience. That can be really frustrating sometimes when I'M the one who needs help! LOL! And sometimes, that makes me feel like I have to be the bad guy in saying, "No" to some things.

I know that, once he experiences some of these things, he'll be more ready to make those decisions on his own and handle them in a more mature manner.

Those are great points, Kristin! You are both dealing with raising children, etc. Phil and I don't have such critical decisions to make.

I try not to let Phil defer decisions to me. If he needs help in deciding something, I'll try to "walk him through" the first time, if I can. He needs to operate with autonomy.

We both try hard to keep a balance in our relationship, since the older partner could certainly get an upper hand due to stronger finances, experience, etc.
 
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young at heart

Guest
All your comments are so good.

I think that when you are beginning relationships there is trial/error period where you are measuring each other up...are we friends, not friends, are we attracted to each other, etc.

Based on those feelings that we have/get, we judge our relationship at different stages. We do it with friendships as well. At some point we come to a decision that brings us to our next step. We get closer, back off, whatever.

Getting closer could mean a myriad of things....I think at this point, if we're realistic, we KNOW when there is a mutual attraction, usually via his actions, it becomes clearer. I believe that a man must make those first initial contact/flirtateous moves. And I'm not saying that you shouldn't be the one to start flirting first... whatever turns you on.. But he should be making the moves; he's asked you to lunch several times, or out to dinner or movies or you're meeting at the gym or whatever.. He wants to spend time with you away from others, is a good clue that lets you know he's interested.

The next move could be yours, all yours, like a chess game.


On the other hand...... if something else worked for you, more power to you!! :)
 

special K

dedicated member :-)
I still think that younger guys, while maybe able to be a "good person" and not be self-centered or whatnot are still handicapped by their lack of life experience.

Yup, Kristen....I agree totally and would add "lack of relationship experience" into the mix of components that tend to be things that need to be "grown through" toward maturity in vym.

Having been in an OW/vym relationship in the past, my wisdom in hindsight is:

1. Do not support them financially, give or "loan" them money, sign on car titles, or anything else involving money (either directly or indirectly). They need to make their own way financially without being "helped along" by a well-meaning, older girlfriend. Remember, if you were both 19, you wouldn't be footin the bill for him, would you?. Women need to expect the same financial independence from their vybf's as they would from older or same age boyfriends. If you don't heed this warning, there could be lots of regret later...and sadly, even resentment from him in many cases. He needs to mature in the area of finances as in other areas...if he can only afford to take you to Mc Donald's, he will feel much better there (as a man) than at a sushi bar where you cover the $50 check. If you take trips together, have him pay his fair share...and budget it so that that is possible, etc.
 
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bubbleee

Guest
special K said:
Yup, Kristen....I agree totally and would add "lack of relationship experience" into the mix of components that tend to be things that need to be "grown through" toward maturity in vym.

Having been in an OW/vym relationship in the past, my wisdom in hindsight is:

1. Do not support them financially, give or "loan" them money, sign on car titles, or anything else involving money (either directly or indirectly). They need to make their own way financially without being "helped along" by a well-meaning, older girlfriend. Remember, if you were both 19, you wouldn't be footin the bill for him, would you?. Women need to expect the same financial independence from their vybf's as they would from older or same age boyfriends. If you don't heed this warning, there could be lots of regret later...and sadly, even resentment from him in many cases. He needs to mature in the area of finances as in other areas...if he can only afford to take you to Mc Donald's, he will feel much better there (as a man) than at a sushi bar where you cover the $50 check. If you take trips together, have him pay his fair share...and budget it so that that is possible, etc.

I am in complete agreement with you. Phil lives with me part-time but he pays all his other expenses...medical, car, car insurance, school expenses, clothing, etc. I will pay for meals now and then but when he has money he pays for them as well. I think it's important for a person's own sense of self-worth to be able to stand on their own financially as much as possible.
 
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