Is Age Gap Too Big? For Longing4Him

Avatar for janegael
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Is Age Gap Too Big? For Longing4Him
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 11:15am
Hi there, you were so worried about not getting responses due to the new board that I'm sort of reposting your question.

I went back and looked at the archives. The information I got was that you are 20 and he is 28. He lives in Europe and you live in Atlanta. You see him about every 5 months. Your parents won't let you date and you are worried about him being too old because he has life experience and you have none. Did I get that all right? You didn't give us a lot of information.

It would appear to me that your first and maybe your biggest problem is your parents. If you are 20 why won't they let you date? Why do they have or want that much control over your life? Are you in college, or do you live at home and have to go by their rules? If they won't let you even date the chances are they are not going to like any man you see no matter what his age is.

With regards to this man you are in love with, is he in love with you, or are you just friends (as far as he's concerned)? If you have never dated him then you don't have a lot to base being in love on. You have to be careful not to confuse a crush with love. Crushes are very real and even have a scientific name "limerence." You can't stop thinking about someone and would do anything to be with them or even hear their voice. Crushes can be based on nothing more than exchanging a few words with somone or even just seeing them from afar, for example a movie star. Love is based on shared experiences, goals and what you have in common. It is built over time while crushes can hit you like a ton of bricks out of nowhere.

You are right to worry a bit over the differences in life experiences, but a good partner will do his best to allow you to grow and develop within your relationship instead of trying to boss you around and control you. The two of you can grow together, but it has to be a mutual decision that you are to be allowed to make mistakes and learn about life.

I am 26 years older than my husband. When I met Dave he was not quite 26, had never dated and had a very restrictive upbringing to the point where he was not sure that dating and having sex was something he ever wanted to do. He was out of college and working a job that barely paid the rent. I knew that if things became serious between us that I would have to step back and let him grow and mature. He knew it to. It was scary, but we decided to go for it.

His mother had a cow, of course, but he made it plain it was his life and he wanted to live it with me. She was not happy, but relented when she could not change his mind. She had to start to accept it or lose her son -- he made it that plain. She is not my best friend, but she hosted our wedding and tries to be pleasant to me when we speak.

We have been together for about 3.5 years and have been married for 8 months. It hasn't always been a smooth path as he struggles to get away from his repressive upbringing and to mature and take responsiblity for his life and his half of our marriage. It my responsiblity as the older partner to give him the room to grow and learn.

An older partner does not have to mean a dominating one as many of the ladies here can tell you. It will be up to you to learn about him before things get serious to make sure what kind of man he is. But your first problem is your parents. You have to be allowed to date and start to learn about life. A relationship board can't help you with this, you have to do it on your own and I have a hunch it won't be easy if they are so over-protective.

I hope you understand that an 8 year difference in ages is only bad if the older partner is controlling. For myself, I have found it to be a wonderful journey as I see things through his eyes and they become new and fresh and marvelous again.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 11:23am
I agree with Jane. The age difference is not that much. I am with someone who is 12 years older than me, and I couldn't be any happier. It works for me. What you have to figure out is if this is something that works for you. It sounds like your parents are being unreasonable about who you date. If you are 20 years old you should be able to make your own decisions.... not your parents. Maybe you should sit down and have a talk with them and explain that in order for you to learn things in life you must experience things too. Good luck, I know that parents can be hard to deal with at times.
Avatar for happyinsc2003
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-26-2003 - 3:48pm
My mother quit worrying about our age difference when she saw how happy I was and how wonderfully he treats me. My father still is like "La-la-la-la-la" (covering ears) when anyone brings up my boyfriend. (I'm 28, he's 53.) And while it's true that when I was 17, I had a very bad experience with an older man, (then married someone my own age - whatta disaster...)I've also been on my own from pretty much that age as well, so their opinion doesn't hold a whole lot of weight with me.

However, you might want to free yourself up a bit from your parent's grasp. If you are a 20 year old woman, you might need to get some life experience and get to know your true self before causing drama of this kind in your life! Is there a reason your parents are so strict? Is it cultural or religious? Have you thought about what you might want to do with your life? You stated that you were getting your GED. Do you know that you can still get into a good college with OUT having graduated high school? (I did. I quit school, took my GED, took two years at a local community technical college to get an associate in arts and then went onto a university level school. It can be done.)

I don't mean to add to your confusion!It just sounds like you've been a little oppressed by your parents! ; )

I hope all goes well for you!