Is it Wrong to Use a Younger Man for Companionship?

Is it Wrong to Use a Younger Man for Companionship?

I am a 46-year-old, young-at-heart, beautiful, sexy woman. I was married for 22 years and divorced 5 years ago. I love being married but realized I wasn’t with a man that made me happy. I have 2 beautiful kids, a son who is 24 and a daughter who is 21. I thought I would be happily married by now! I keep wondering what I am doing wrong. I’ve read your books, e-mails…

A year ago I met a man who is 13 yrs younger, with no job, new from NY, no money but was very persistent in becoming friends. At the time I was starting my new business and needed a roommate, so he was perfect! So I thought!

It quickly became romantic and he fell deeply in love with me and worshiped the ground I walked on. I, on the other hand, had feelings for him but nothing like that. Selfishly, I don’t want to be alone. I asked him to move out a month ago so I can get my feelings straight. I miss his companionship so severely that I catch myself crying. I know he’s not my future husband but I feel safe with him in all areas. Evan can you PLEASE help me? Thank You. –Shelly

Everybody listen up.

If you flip the genders and re-title this “Is It Wrong to Use a Younger Woman for Companionship”, this could be an email from a lonely man in his mid-40’s, post-divorce.

Objective reality is messy and grey and fraught with danger.

I am confident that if a man wrote the above email, most women would find it abhorrent that he would think of having his younger girlfriend invest her time in him, even though he knew that they were doomed in the long-run. And yet I would think that most readers are somewhat sympathetic to Shelly and can imagine how they’d feel in her situation.

This is why it’s dangerous to tar men as “players” or “users” or “liars” when they’re dating you without long-term intentions. Sometimes, even the nicest people, like Shelly, do something selfish that will have a negative impact on a romantic partner.

While it sounds nice that everyone should state his/her intentions at the beginning to avoid wasting anybody’s time, that’s far easier said than done, folks.

Which is to say that I’m not a moralist. I’m a pragmatist.

And whether I’m telling women that men look for sex and find love, so don’t sleep with him unless you can handle the consequences, or telling men that they’d better pay for the first date or they won’t get a second date, I try very hard to deal in objective reality.

Objective reality is messy and grey and fraught with danger.

What’s right for you is not necessarily what’s right for him.

What’s right for him is not necessarily what’s right for you.

All relationships are about navigating that space between those two realms with a measure of integrity.

So, Shelly, I don’t know how long you were together. A week? A month? Three months? One year? But you claim that he was “deeply in love” with you when you broke up. Fair enough.

If that’s the case, you did the right thing by kicking him out.

What’s right for you is not necessarily what’s right for him.

What’s right for him is not necessarily what’s right for you.

You sacrificed some measure of short-term personal pleasure in order to avoid creating a world of hurt for your younger boyfriend.

This was the most ethical thing you could do – and is very consistent with the kind of thing that I routinely did when I was single. (That’s why I never had a girlfriend for longer than 8 months; the second I knew that I wasn’t going to marry her was the second I got out.)

However, I don’t want you to beat yourself up over the fact that you are lonely and still have feelings for this young man.

Pretty much EVERYONE who EVER breaks up with a romantic partner – presuming the relationship wasn’t disastrous – suffers considerable regrets in ensuing weeks and months. Factor in that you were living together, and, well, it’s almost as if you suffered another mini-divorce.

So what are you to do, given that you’re both sad and lonely and miss each other?

I would say that you should stick to your guns and cut him out of your life entirely. No contact, no hope, no texts, no nothing. Only then can you both ably move on from your unrealistic entanglements.

Yet if you were to reinitiate contact with him, you would have to do so with the knowledge that it’s a long-term mistake for both of you – that the pleasure you’ll gain from sex and companionship is going to ultimately pale compared to the pain you’ll experience when one of you eventually pulls away from the other.

In other words, you can call him up and “use” him again to fulfill your temporary emptiness. Men and women do this every day by staying in flawed romantic partnerships, presuming it beats being alone.

Just don’t kid yourself about the consequences.

You’re going to temporarily soothe your own discomfort, but you’re going to destroy this guy who thinks he has another chance with you.

I don’t judge you either way, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an ethical path out of your situation.

5
4

Join 5 Million Readers

And the thousands of women I've helped find true love. Sign up for weekly updates for help understanding men.

I hate spam as much as you do, therefore I will never sell, rent, or give away your email address.

Join our conversation (82 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 31
    Angie

    Actually, something I do want to quickly add.  I had recently come across Sternberg’s triangular theory of love:
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangular_theory_of_love
     
    Shelly, it does sound like you and your roommate(?) are experiencing “Romantic Love”, and the only thing keeping you from “Consummate Love” (that thing people who get married have) is commitment from you.  If you are super attracted to this guy, you feel he is your best friend, you are sad and lonely without him, why don’t you want him to be your “future husband”?
     
    Are finances an issue?  If he this exact guy, but 43 and a regular salary, would you be 100% in?  The host of “Tough Love” (that Vh1 dating show) said to be careful about salary expectations b/c the economy has been rough on everyone.  If this is a lazy guy who refuses to do any work (like, seriously, won’t work retail or starbucks just to make ends meet, then I hear you, but that’s laziness and a lack of ambition, not just being unemployed by circumstance).
     

  2. 32
    sarahrahrah!

    @ Karl R – #25
     
    I’m with you on this one in terms of the idea of “using.”  I agree that every thing is a negotiated exchange and the key is that both parties are upfront and are not trying to mislead the other.  
     
    As far as actual advice goes, I think EMK hit the nail on the head again.  She knows this is not longterm, but doesn’t want to bite the bullet.  I’ll bet a man 13 years younger is just as difficult for you to give up as it is for a man having to give up a woman 13 years younger!   Be strong, yet gentle with yourself, OP.  :)

  3. 33
    Goldie

    @ JB #19: “Now thanks to the OP our great “younger” guy has NO JOB, NO MONEY, and……..NO PLACE TO LIVE.”
     
    That’s an interesting assumption. Why do you think that OP supported this guy for a year, and all that year the guy didn’t bother to get off his butt and find a job? He didn’t have a job originally because he was new in town.
     
    @ Jenna #15: “I’m in my late 20′s without the baggage of divorce like you…”
     
    It’s all perception. What’s baggage to you, is life experience to me. Either way, what I know for my situation is that, if I ruled out divorced people as damaged goods, that would shrink my dating pool by 99.9%. I’m sure your situation is different, being a high-quality girl that you are. Me and my baggage, on the other hand, are open to a wide range of different options (when I’m looking, which right now I’m not).
     
    Generally, I think I agree with Karl, #25. I get the feeling that it was a FWB-like arrangement from the start – they moved in together, not because he was in love with her and wanted a family and kids, but because he was low on cash and needed a roommate. When she saw that he’d developed feelings, and she hadn’t, she ended things. I do not see anything unethical with anything any of them did. Agree that she should go no-contact and start dating again to get her mind off this guy.
     
    @ Starthrower – I’m with you. I’d be leery of dating a much younger guy, simply because eventually, he’ll want a family and kids of his own, and where would that leave me? I’ve seen these relationships work, though. I knew a happily married couple where the wife was 17 years older. But she kept having babies way in her 40s, which is not something I want to do.

  4. 34
    Kathleen

    Karl R 25 and Sarah 32  Thanks for a voice of reason!
    I also don’t judge this woman harshly as some have because she has been married for decades. She may have the dating experience similar to a 20 year old.  Its daunting to have spent half your life with one man then face the unknown of the dating world when everything has changed so much. She’s finding her way.
    Thats why Evans resources and advice are so valuable to a woman who finds herself single at midlife. 
    If you are in your late 20s and are angry because guys are using and mistreating you its your own responsibility. You teach people how to treat you and thats what I have learnt from Evans book and site. He’s makes it easy if you are open enough to stop blaming others and learn from it.

  5. 35
    Emily

    @Angie – THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING!
     
    ” If you are super attracted to this guy, you feel he is your best friend, you are sad and lonely without him, why don’t you want him to be your “future husband”?
     Are finances an issue?  If he this exact guy, but 43 and a regular salary, would you be 100% in?”
    I dated a man for 16 years. He would have been all in if I had met certain criteria.
    I don’t quite understand the value of these criteria if they will satisfy your logical mind but not your heart. 
    Aren’t we always told to ditch the list? 
     

  6. 36
    Cat5

    Karl R. @#25 said: “I would say my hairstylist and I are using each other. I get better hair. My hairstylist gets money. I’m not about to give my hairstylist money without getting something in return. My hairstylist isn’t about to cut my hair for free.”
     
    I’m pretty sure that is what is known as a contractual relationship, which, generally speaking, involves an offer, acceptance of the offer, valid consideration, and a meeting of the minds.  IMO, that’s quite a bit different than the nature of a romantic relationship.
    However, if we apply that analysis to the situation Evan describes, then even if Shelly told him how she felt and he accepted it and stayed, there is no meeting of the minds.  Because, let’s face it, he would agree because he’s hoping she’ll eventuall come to love him and want the same relationship as he does.
     
    At least that’s what I’ve garnered from Evan’s advice over the years to many women.  He wouldn’t suggest that a woman stay in this situation type of situation hoping her boyfriend will eventually come to love her, so would his advice to a man be different?  Are men and women really that different? Hmmmm…now that is food for thought…Could men handle being in love with a woman who doesn’t want a future or to move the relationship forward?  Would men be okay with that?  Being use for some else’s emotional, economic, physical benefit without the relationship moving forward (assuming arguendo that he wants it to move forward)?  Or do men if think like that…oh she’s my girlfriend, she may say that now, but she’ll change her mind once she realized how wonderful I am?  Do men even care?  Or are men just happy with being together now? 
    (Disclaimer:  This is not a economic/social/sexual-gender/political statement of any kind or meant to imply I have an opinion either way.  Just asking a few questions and hoping for some insightful and meaningful responses.)

  7. 37
    Some other guy

    I see talk about “using”, as if getting you’re using somebody by gaining some benefit out of the relationship; this muddles the word to be non-useful. Karl is not using his hairdresser any more than I’m using Verizon in my relationship with my cellphone.
     
    Using somebody is taking advantage of them, and that doesn’t have to mean overt mistreatment or even deception.
     
    If the guy you’re dating is totally seriously into you, hoping for a future that you’re sure is not to be, it’s using him to have a friends-with-benefits type comfortable relationship even if you’re totally clear about your intentions.
     
    Deep down, you know the guy is secretly hoping to win you over — no matter what he claims — and it plays on his weakness to string him along. That’s using him.
     
    I’ve been on both ends of that equation, and as hard as it is to say, the kindest thing to do is to crush all hope of a future so that they have a fighting chance at moving on.

  8. 38
    Girl in the Midwest

    My guess is that the guy feels like having some of Shelly is better than not having her at all.  A likely situation (in my opinion and experience, of course) is that he was staying with her for her financial resources and she stayed with him for the emotional support.  He brings youth and companionship to the table and she brings money to the table. 
     
     
    It’s pretty similar to the case of older rich man and younger woman.  Personally, I don’t think the true nature of men and women are that different.  Once people start to have money and other resources, we all want to exchange youth (or an easy-going personality) with it.  In very general terms, I believe that once women attain wealth and resources, they start acting like “men”.  Ie I read that as women become more economically independent, they cheat more (or get caught cheating more).  (I’m not judging, I’m just stating my point of view)
     
     
    Well I know at least I feel that way.  I.e. when I was looking for a boyfriend, I would pick cute over rich (everything else held equal, and assuming that he were industrious and had a good work ethic, even if it wasn’t a lucrative career).  Because, hey, I can make my own money!  That seems like the thought process a guy in his late 20s might have…
     
     
    @ Jenna and Aisling:
     
    I understand how you guys feel.  I used to think like that but not anymore.  Like JB pointed out, you just know that he is a lot younger than Shelly.  When we hear questions sent into relationship websites, we only see part of the picture.  Maybe there is something else about this younger guy that makes him very unappealing to women his own age.  So even if you were to meet him, you wouldn’t date him.
     

  9. 39
    Karl R

    Cat5 asked: (#36)
    “Could men handle being in love with a woman who doesn’t want a future or to move the relationship forward?  Would men be okay with that?”
     
    It depends on the man. It depends on what he wants. We haven’t been informed of what he wants. (Shelly might not even know what he wants.)
     
    That’s one reason that I’ve offered no advice based on what he wants. I can’t intelligently offer advice based on a guess about what he wants.
     
    Goldie said: (#33)
    “I’d be leery of dating a much younger guy, simply because eventually, he’ll want a family and kids of his own, and where would that leave me?”
     
    When I was in my thirties, I would have told you that I didn’t ever want kids. I would have told you the same thing in my twenties. And I’ll tell you the exact same thing now (in my forties).
     
    You believe me when I say that I don’t want kids. Trust that you can equally believe younger men who firmly feel the same way. They’ve had plenty of time to consider the idea.
     
    If Shelly’s boyfriend wanted kids, that’s an excellent reason for her to break up with him. It would eventually prevent the relationship from working out.
     
    Cat5 said: (#36)
    “even if Shelly told him how she felt and he accepted it and stayed, there is no meeting of the minds.  Because, let’s face it, he would agree because he’s hoping she’ll eventuall come to love him and want the same relationship as he does.”
     
    When I was in my thirties, I began a relationship with an older woman who was certain that I was not her future husband. (She was fairly certain that she wasn’t ever getting married again, but more certain about me than someone else.)
     
    I wanted to get married eventually, but I didn’t have any particular timeline (unlike Shelly) or deadline (unlike people who want kids). My only deadline was the one that occurs when I die, so I had some freedom about how I chose to spend the intervening time.
     
    We started the relationship because we enjoyed the sex, and we enjoyed the companionship (just like Shelly). I knew up front that dating this woman was getting me no closer to my goal of getting married. It would most likely slow down that process. I had no expectation that my girlfriend would ever change her mind. If someone had suggested that I held that false hope, I would have laughed in their face.
     
    I’m one of the most rational, pragmatic individuals on this forum. But I found a reason to stay in a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere.
     
    I was having fun.
     
    It was the best relationship that I’d had in years. It had almost all the best points of my previous best relationship, without any of the downsides that came along with that particular relationship. I was enjoying that relationship immensely.
     
    Therefore, I made the choice that I wasn’t so focused on my goal of getting married that I was going to stop enjoying the journey. I decided to take the scenic detour, fully realizing that I might delay reaching my goal by weeks, or months or even years.
     
    Cat5 asked: (#36)
    “Or are men just happy with being together now?”
     
    I believe mend -and- women are capable of choosing that they’re happy with just being together now. Some of those men and women will become infatuated, get hurt when the relationship ends, and learn something valuable about themselves. Some of my best decisions in my 30s came from the mistakes I made in my 20s.
     
    I see no reason Shelly (or that girlfriend of mine, or a 46 year old man) should tell us that we don’t have the right to make that decision for ourselves. We’re adults.
     
    some other guy said: (#37)
    “Deep down, you know the guy is secretly hoping to win you over — no matter what he claims”
     
    I always find it highly offensive when people claim to know what I secretly want. They aren’t capable of reading my mind. If my older girlfriend had lied to me and prevented me from making an informed decision, then she would have been in the wrong. If I had lied to that girlfriend and prevented her from making an informed decision (which is what you seem to be assuming happened with Shelly), then I would have been in the wrong.
     
    It doesn’t matter who is younger/older. It doesn’t matter who is male/female. It absolutely matters if someone intentionally deceived their partner.
     
    some other guy said: (#37)
    “I’ve been on both ends of that equation, and as hard as it is to say, the kindest thing to do is to crush all hope of a future so that they have a fighting chance at moving on.”
     
    I have also been on both ends of this equation. I’ve always believed that it was my responsibility to leave any situation that didn’t benefit me. It was also my responsibility to provide my partner enough information so she could decide whether the situation benefited her.
     
    Questions for all of the women:

    How do you feel if an older man decides he knows what you secretly think?
    How do you feel when an older man decides he knows what you really want (contrary to what you say you want)?
    How do you feel when an older man decides he knows what’s best for you?
    How do you feel when an older man decides to force you to move on (from a relationship, job or other situation) for your own good, when you would rather stay put?

     
    To me, it seems rather presumptuous of the older man. It seems equally presumptuous regardless of whether the person doing the presuming is older, younger, male or female.
     
    Cat5 asked: (#36)
    “[Evan] wouldn’t suggest that a woman stay in this situation type of situation hoping her boyfriend will eventually come to love her, so would his advice to a man be different?”
     
    Evan and I give advice based upon who asked the question. Evan pointed out that what’s right for Shelly is not necessarily what’s right for her boyfriend. The 33-year-old isn’t Shelly’s future husband, so she needs to do what’s right for her.
     
    If the boyfriend wrote in, I’d point out that she doesn’t see him as husband material, so he needs to do what’s right for him. If he has fallen in love with a woman who only sees him as a source of companionship & sex, he needs to break things off entirely and find a woman who can give him what he wants. If he wants to get married and start a family, I’d give the same advice. If he’s just looking for some fun until he becomes established in his career, I’d encourage him to disclose this intent to his partner.
     
    And if he were to point out that my older girlfriend changed her mind and married me, I’d laugh in his face for foolishly pinning his expectations on my unlikely marriage. I based my actions on her words* until she explicitly stated that she’d changed her mind.
     
    * For those of you who are confused about whether you should believe your partner’s words or actions: you believe the one that’s giving you the least optimistic message … until the actions and words match.

  10. 40
    Ruby

    Girl in the Midwest #38
    ” A likely situation (in my opinion and experience, of course) is that he was staying with her for her financial resources and she stayed with him for the emotional support.”
    I’m not sure that I agree with this. As Shelly says, “At the time I was starting my new business and needed a roommate…” My guess is that if she was that well-off, she wouldn’t have needed a roommate to help with expenses. There’s no indication here that he was freeloading off of her. Shelly also describes herself as a “young-at-heart, beautiful, sexy woman.” The younger guy might not have imagined that he’d fall for an older woman, but after spending time with her, he did. If Shelly was a man, and the genders were reversed, would anybody bat an eye about the age difference?

  11. 41
    Locutus

    So, the OP is a sugar momma who cut the cord??? LOL!

  12. 42
    Goldie

    @ Karl R:
     
    “You believe me when I say that I don’t want kids. Trust that you can equally believe younger men who firmly feel the same way. They’ve had plenty of time to consider the idea.”
     
    Good point. I have to agree. I admit that my experience is limited. One man that comes to mind is a much younger guy who said he liked me and cared for me, but then, in a casual conversation, he’d say things like “when I have kids of my own”… Which, in my opinion, left no room for me in his future. So I never even bothered to develop an interest. He’s a great guy, but not for me. I guess if a man told me upfront that he did not want kids, that’d be different and I’d give this man a chance.
     

  13. 43
    Ruby

    Shelly wrote, “It quickly became romantic and he fell deeply in love with me and worshiped the ground I walked on. I, on the other hand, had feelings for him but nothing like that.”
    If one person has has fallen that deeply in love with someone who doesn’t share those feelings, then that is the bottom line. Unless Shelly decides that she’s letting external factors influence her decision (his age, lack of resources, whatever), then they both need to move on.
     

  14. 44
    Some other guy

    @Karl
     
    Not every man who hangs onto a woman who sees no future is secretly hoping for a future. Many are in fact just spending enjoyable time together, a lovely friends-with-benefits arrangement (in which case, nobody is using anybody else), even if there might be tugs that wish of more. I’m sorry if I gave the impression that FWB is inherently taking advantage.
     
    But once you’ve spent a lot of time with a person, you can often tell what’s going on inside, to read their vibe that they’re still totally in love with you, and that even if they say they’re OK with just passing the time, you *know* that you’re taking advantage of them by stringing them along.
     
    You can’t be expected to read everybody’s mind all the time, but to say that you should always be able to take the other person’s word at face value, even if they’re hopelessly ensorcelled, seems like willful ignorance to me.

  15. 45
    Kathleen

    Karl 39 
    Compelling argument
    Right on! I love the questions for all women If an older man told me what was best for me Id laugh in his face. In fact I think I remember doing that when I was as young as 14!
    Girl in the midwest 38  
    Your point that as women and men become more equal, women will have similar options to men is a good one. Helen Fisher PHD Anthropolgist says that relationship pairing of younger men older women will continue increase because of this. 

  16. 46
    Lia

    @ Karl R #12, #25, & #39
     
    Clear, insightful, rational, and well said!  
     
    I loved the questions!!!  If someone thought they knew what was best for me based on what they thought I wanted, needed, felt, and what I should do I would not tolerate that.  If I ASK for advice that is different.
     
    @ Locutus #41
     
    LOL!!!   Right to the point in less then a dozen words!

  17. 47
    Lurking

    Although Evan’s advice is good, and speaks to what her letter specified, I can’t see many middle aged man ever writing for advice asking if he did the right thing by breaking up with a girl 13 yrs. younger because she loved him more than he loved her?  Most men would love this situation and not get out of it, especially just to be alone again, with the uncertainty of replacing the relationship. There is no stigma for a man dating a younger woman who makes less money, it is usually respected. That’s why the ‘flip the genders” rationale in this story doesn’t really apply? It’s great that she is so confident that she will find ‘the one’ again in her forties- when the majority of people are married EVERY WHERE you go. I’m not sure she has a realistic grasp (like Evan does from his client base) on dating at her age.  This young man already loves her, knows her, is comfortable living with her, committed, wants a future with her, and is her companion and lover. All of these are difficult to replace. From where most women of a certain age stand in similar dating scenarios, it was risky throwing him back into the pond.  

  18. 48
    Kathleen

    Lurking 47
    Thoughtful post and I agree with you that. I can’t imagine a middle aged man writing for advice in this situation.
    As Ive said part of the issue is that woman has been married half her life and doesn’t really know what her options are at this time. Luckily she’s said she’s attractive and sexy but in the online world of men her age a high percent are looking for younger and many of the never been married men her age may have an avoidant attachment style.

  19. 49
    starthrower68

    I’m evidently a societal misfit.  While sex is indeed fun, I am not like get involved with someone merely for casual sex.  I just think for me, I can find many other things to do that are more fulfilling.

  20. 50
    Ruby

    Lurking #47
     
    OTOH, I’ve known middle-aged men who’ve gotten involved with younger women, and the younger women didn’t hesitate to dump them,usually because they wanted children and the man did not.
     
    Actually, there are many older singles these days, but it’s true that the men in that age range often want younger women, or as Kathleen (#48) said, they have developed an avoidant attachment style of relating that makes them poor prospects.

  21. 51
    Goldie

    @ Lurking #47, Ruby #50 – And I also know older men who do NOT want to get involved with much younger women, because they don’t believe they will get the level of companionship that they’re looking for, with someone from a much younger generation. Also, just because older men want to date much younger women, doesn’t mean the much younger women are going to reciprocate. I personally wasn’t thrilled to have men 22-23 year older than I, coming after me, especially when it happened in real life vs. online — that one really creeped me out. Come on. The OP is 46, not dead. It’s probably easier for a 25-year-old on the dating market than it is for a 46-year-old, but it doesn’t mean that a 46yo woman will never be able to find a man, or, if she managed to find one, she needs to hold on to him for dear life, whether she likes him or not. It’s not that bad out there. I was 44 last time I dated and I had to beat guys off with a stick. Towards the end of it, I spent a few uncomfortable weeks trying to decide between two men that both liked me and were both a great match. And I don’t even live in a major city or wherever the quality eligible men are — I live in the Rust Belt, where the pickings are supposed to be slim.
     
    However, I have to admit, there were two things in the OP’s letter that set off red flags with me – “I thought I would be happily married by now” and “selfishly, I don’t want to be alone”. IMO this is the perfect recipe for ending up with the wrong person. My personal strategy when coming out of my marriage was that, as awesome as it would be to meet someone who’s right for me, that wasn’t why I ended the marriage. I ended it because I felt I was better off being single than staying in that marriage. That, as I was told, is the only valid reason to end a marriage at all, because the man who’s right for you may never materialize. You’ve got to learn to be happy being on your own. That is almost a prerequisite for being happy with someone else. If you feel pressured to find someone and get married, you’ll rush through dating and make bad choices. If you feel that your time is running out, you’re too old, and you’ve got to snatch a guy, any guy, before those pesky 25-year-olds get their claws into him, you will again rush through dating and make bad choices. You’ve got to learn to take it one day at a time, and whatever happens, happens.

  22. 52
    Karmic Equation

    @Kathleen & Ruby
     
    What is an avoidant attachment style and how is that exhibited in behavior? TIA for any clarification.

  23. 53
    Kathleen

     
    Karmic
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_in_adults
    Good description on Wiki link.
    Those with anxiety about intimacy/ closeness , reluctance to commit or share with partner, belief partner is clingy, invest little emotion in romantic relationships, unwilling to share thoughts and feeling with others.
     
     
     

  24. 54
    Karl R

    Lurking, (#47) and Kathleen, (#48)
    I was going to give a number of examples (from my own life) explaining why you’re wrong, but Goldie (#51) made the exact same points I would have.
     
    some other guy said: (#44)
    “You can’t be expected to read everybody’s mind all the time, but to say that you should always be able to take the other person’s word at face value, even if they’re hopelessly ensorcelled, seems like willful ignorance to me.”
     
    I don’t live in Hogwarts, Middle Earth, Narnia, Azeroth or Oz. People don’t become “hopelessly ensorcelled.” On the other hand, people use lame excuses like that in order to dodge the blame for their own poor choices.
     
    I don’t know whether you have (or intend to have) your own kids, but I doubt you’d accept a crappy explanation like, “I was hopelessly ensorcelled,” if your own teenager was trying to excuse his/her own poor decisions … much less from an adult in his 30s.
     
    This isn’t an adult preying on a teenager (who might not know better). We’re talking about two adults.

  25. 55
    marymary

    Agree with goldie. I met someone when I was 47.  I love to hear of older women meeting someone. I don,t assume that the man they meet is undesirable.  that would say more about me than the woman in question, or her beau. We should feel encouraged when women meet someone, not defeated.
    If you want to throw around comments about older men or younger men or divorced men or whatever kind of men being unfit for relationships, then we can,t cry foul when they say similar stuff about us.  That all men want younger is not true. Some men say they can,t bear the drama of dating young women.  I don,t agree with them actually, but there ARE different viewpoints out there. There are many more men out there that you haven,t met than you have. if you haven,t met one right for you, don,t write them all off or start vetching about women who have met one (even if those women are not as high quallity as you). That attitude will keep you from getting what you want from life a lot more than men,s supposed faults. 
    Still, I did think somewhat like that myself when I was younger. I don,t anymore. i,ve become more open, more compassionate,  more optimistic with age.  I,m not some dried up desperado.

  26. 56
    Lia

    @ Goldie #51
     
    Thank you!  My feelings exactly!

  27. 57
    Kathleen

    Karl 
    You disagree that a middle aged man would have a conundrum about the same situation reversed?
    I agree with Goldies post 51  The second paragraph is especially wise advice. The OP hasn’t had an opportunity to be own her own for more than 20 years and it was a good observation that she had said she was afraid of being alone.
    At least from my own experience in the 4 last years post divorce Ive become happier than any other time in my life, while not being in a relationship and being on my own. I think having some alone transition time is important.  
     
     
     
     

  28. 58
    Lurking

    Goldie; where were you meeting all these men that you had to beat off with w stick at age 44? Out there in real life or match.com? And, were they suitable companions or mostly 1st dates and then never see each other again? I don’t think your experience is typical.

  29. 59
    Karl R

    Kathleen asked: (#57)
    “You disagree that a middle aged man would have a conundrum about the same situation reversed?”
     
    I broke up with a woman who was 11 years younger than me because I didn’t see her as a potential wife. (That’s where my experience is similar to Shelly’s.)
     
    On the other hand, I didn’t start questioning my decision later on. (That’s where my experience is different from Shelly’s.)
     
    If a (rational) man thinks his current girlfriend isn’t a good long-term partner, he’s going to be willing to dump her for that reason. If he believes that his relationship with her (even if it’s just casual sex) is getting in the way of having a better long-term relationship, he’s going to follow through and dump her very soon.
     
    Irrelevant details:
    1. The man’s age.
    2. The girlfriend’s age.
    3. Social stigma.
    4. The girlfriend’s feelings toward the man.
     
    Relevant details:
    1. “I don’t love him/her.”
    2. “I don’t want to marry him/her.”
    3. “This relationship is preventing me from finding someone else.”
     
    I can’t tell you whether a middle-aged man will feel Shelly’s level of angst of the decision. (That will vary from one man to another.) I can tell you that they will break up, regardless of whether they’re a thoughtful guy or an insensitive prick.

  30. 60
    Kathleen

    Karl 59  Thanks for helping me understand that.  That makes sense.
    Mary mary I agree a 46 year old woman has an optimistic outlook for finding a partner especially if she’s attractive.  I mentioned the high % of guys looking for younger on match because that may be her fear and regret of letting the roommate go when she doesn’t know what her options are. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>