My 40-Year Old Boyfriend Only Wants to Be Around 20-Year Olds. Will He Outgrow This Behavior?

young people celebrating outside and drinking wine

My boyfriend has a new entourage of 20-somethings he wants to be with constantly. We are both over 40. We all met through a local common interest group. (We are all vegan in a not-progressive southern town, so this is a relatively rare thing).

Of all the people we’ve met through the group and our volunteer work in the year we’ve been together, he is only interested in being friends with this group of people young enough to be our children. One of them is now his roommate.

I like them all fine, but other than being vegan I don’t have much in common with them and I definitely notice the vast age gap. It’s to the point that we cannot have a meal out, or do anything it seems without at least a few of the group being invited along. It feels like the only time I get my boyfriend to myself is when we have sex or sleep.

For a while I hoped it was kind of a big brotherly thing, but then he told me that when he hung out with a man his age he felt like the man was much older than him, but when he’s with a 20-year old he perceives no difference between the two of them. That worried me. And frankly the “I’m just a big kid!” thing is not exactly sexy.

I haven’t broached this topic with my boyfriend because I didn’t really know what to say…I don’t want to sound like a drag, or like I’m giving him an ultimatum or trying to control his behavior. I was afraid that would damage the relationship. So I just waited to see if the novelty would wear off, but it hasn’t and I’m reaching the end of my rope.

Other than this issue he is a great guy with a good job, very kind, we share the same values and have good physical chemistry. We had been talking about buying a house together but at this point I just don’t know how invested I should be in this relationship. My fear is that since he evidently wants so much to feel/be 20 years younger it’s only a matter of time before he’ll want to date someone younger too.

I would be most grateful for your advice!


This is basically the plot of “While We’re Young” with Ben Stiller. And, not to give anything away, I don’t think this ends any better for you than it did for his character in the movie.

Now, to be fair, there is a whole lot of information I’m missing: namely, how long you’ve been together. It’s much easier to cut bait on a man after four months than four years, you know?

Regardless, it seems you have found yourself dating a Peter Pan. Either he doesn’t want to grow up, he doesn’t identify with grown-ups, or he’s making up for the camaraderie he lacked as a kid.

A good boyfriend may be disappointed that you don’t like his friends, but would be invested in coming up with a commonsense compromise.

I’m not sure if the actual answer really matters — no more than it matters for any number of incompatibilities. You need to tell him your feelings — not that he’s lame for hanging out with kids born in the 90’s, or that you’re insecure that he’s going to leave you for a younger woman — but that you don’t derive the same pleasure from this group as he does. And while you don’t want to change him, and are not the type of woman to try to forbid him from anything, you would appreciate if takes your needs into consideration when planning your mutual social life.

In other words, you’re not finger-pointing; you’re problem-solving.

A good boyfriend may be disappointed that you don’t like his friends, but would be invested in coming up with a commonsense compromise that allowed you to take a break from the commune from time to time.

Give that conversation a shot, see if it moves the needle, and, if not, know that there are no shortage of fortysomething men who would scoff at the idea of a twentysomething roommate. Find one of them instead.

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  1. 1

    Marc – you’re missing a bunch of your typical recommedations!

    1. Demand to be “dated”… you don’t stay with someone who only wants to be along with you for sleep and sex.

    2. a 40-year old with a roommate?   that speaks volumes.   Most mature 40-somethings would prefer a less expensive smaller place than a larger place with a roommate.   We’re not in college anymore.

    3. yeah…he’s lame for hanging out with 20 year olds as a general rule.   If there’s a specific interest that you share, sure.   But “hanging out” because it makes you feel young… lame!   “take a break from the commune from time to time”   … sigh… fact is, a 20-year difference should mean different perspectives, different histories and different levels of maturity.

    At least you’re telling her to address the issue… but, sounds like you’re partially accepting of his behavior as long as he modifies it a bit to (partially) address her concerns versus your typical “demand a quality man” stance.




    1. 1.1


      I guess I am trying to figure out what did you want Evan to tell her? He advised her to talk to the boyfriend, if after the conversation, the boyfriend still decides that her feelings are not as important as his new friends, then she should dump him!


      Mark, what did you want Evan to to tell her? Kick the guy in the nuts, raid his refrigerator, pour out all his milk onto the his carpets as he watched, and then walk out the door slowly, telling him to enjoy that last view from behind?

      1. 1.1.1

        Slowly?    I didn’t say anything about walking out the door *slowly*…

        1. Adrian


          I was thinking about that John Travolta and Nicolas Cage movie, Face Off, with that line

          “I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave” (^_^).

    2. 1.2

      What advice would you give instead?   I really am curious.   It sounds to me like you think she should just dump him. without talking to him about it first?

      To be honest, I had the same initial reaction that he should grow up already. It did raise my eyebrows a bit that he insists on hanging with 20-year olds, when he could be their father.   I’m in my 30s (36) and really can’t relate to most 20-somethings, to be honest.   On average, the youngest people I can relate to is maybe early 30s, at the most.   I don’t have anything against 20-somethings per se, but most of them are in a very different place in life than I am.

      However, it may be harsh to just dump him without giving him a chance to make things right.   No one is perfect so in just about any relationship, someone is bound to do something that the other one doesn’t like. It’s all about differentiating between a less desirable quality that could be compromised/negotiated on for a happy middle ground, and an absolute dealbreaker.   I’m not sure this rises to the latter category, especially when it sounds like he has otherwise good qualities that she really does like.   I say talk to him and then, ditch him if he isn’t willing to to a reasonable middle ground that meets both their needs.

    3. 1.3

      If you don’t seek  to find common ground with people, you won’t find it.

    4. 1.4

      let me put it this way, if you met this guy on a first date and all of this was revealed (only spending time with you for sex and sleep, hanging around with 20 year olds so he doesn’t feel old, having a roommate, etc…) would there be a second date?    Marc is great about telling women to look for higher-class men that invest in them.   My point in my post was that this guy isn’t (yes, huge assumptions from just the letter but still…) and that she has to have the conversation to see if he will change a bit and meet him halfway.

      Yes, have a conversation but seriously, does anyone see this going anywhere?    He’s in his 40s as is the writer… go and find a grown-ass man (for lack of a better way of saying it)… there’s no viable future with this one…




      1. 1.4.1

        Who is Marc? The owner of this website’s name is Evan…

        1. Mark

          People in the know call him “Marc”… 🙂

        2. Clare

          I highly doubt that since Evan himself has corrected other people on the blog who have mistakenly called him “Marc”…

      2. 1.4.2


  2. 2

    40 something year old vegan boyfriend who lives with a 20 something year old roommate…Hmmm..Do you still feel attracted to him?

  3. 3

    I knew many men like this and currently there is a women in my class at the university like this. She is 31, but tries to hang out with all the 18 year old girls, which is okay, but when she tries to act like them or even tries to get the 18 year old boys to flirt with her, it looks odd to me.


    But she is an easy to read profile case. She is cute, probably was considered very pretty when she was young, now she has 2 children, is single, cute face, but clearly overweight, dropped out of college years ago, just now trying to finish, with no real accomplishments in her life. The weight of trying not to stand out must be heavy, the pressure of wanting to fit in and not feel old when she is forced to be surrounded by 18 year old freshmen all day, yet not feel like a loser when she is with us graduate students, it think is causing her to try too hard to be accepted.


    The point is, I think the original poster Jocelyn’s boyfriend just wants to feel popular, or he is bored with his current life and wants to experience the excitement that the younger crowd has.


    I personally think her real “problem” is as she said, SHE has nothing in common with these people, and she doesn’t care if her boyfriend likes them, she only cares about her feelings. Her boyfriend is wrong for only caring about his feelings and she is wrong for only caring about hers… though to be fair to the boyfriend, she has not told him how she felt, so I can not say with complete assurance that he is being selfish.


    I personally think her real “fear” is will he leave her for a younger girl. It depends on his character, like I have said many times, being on a college campus when I was 18 vs now that I am 30 is a huge difference. Is he comparing the bodies, faces, and skin of 40 year old women to 20 year old women?


    Mentally, I wouldn’t ever hesitate to choose an older women over a younger girl, but physically… Tight bodies, flat stomach’s, soft skin, no wrinkles, no gray hairs, no stretch marks, and femininity. Of course to me, sex and looks would only be apart of the whole not the whole, I would take the mental over the physical, but that is just me.


    That is why I say it depends on what type of character her boyfriend has, just because most of us older men AND women admire the natural physical beauty of the young, does not mean that we would want to date them. Evan was right, talking to him is the best solution.

    1. 3.1
      Karmic Equation

      I agree, Adrian.

      Sometimes people like to spin their “problems” into something that sounds good (“We have nothing in common”) which actually should include her bf. I can’t believe that a guy who prefers hanging around 20 year olds didn’t act like one before now. Sounds like she was ok with his immaturity until she got fearful  that the 20 yo roomie  will be bringing 20 yo girls to their apt when she’s not around, a legitimate concern. But she should have led with that. However, THEN she’d sound insecure and she didn’t want to  face that herself.

      Maybe I’m wrong, but if a woman can’t own her real feelings, how does she think she’s able to have a mature conversation with a man about HIS real feelings?

      Not gonna work.  For real intimacy to grow, both partners need to be real.

      This is her opportunity to be vulnerable. Tell him her real fear and then see how he handles it. A good guy who’s certain of his feelings for her will tell her gently that she has nothing to worry about. A good guy who’s uncertain will be open to discussing the her fears and the “optics” of his situation. A bad guy will get defensive.

      1. 3.1.1

        I don’t know. I would be bothered by the situation whether I thought he might want a younger woman or not. Considering the situation though, I’m not sure why he isn’t dating a 20 year old. It seems that would be a better match for him.

        1. Karmic Equation

          She should talk HONESTLY about what’s REALLY bothering her. That’s my point.

          Her saying that she doesn’t like his friends because they have nothing in common, while possibly somewhat true, is NOT her real issue. She’s afraid he’ll be exposed to his new roomies female friends. And she’s justifiably concerned.

          So she should come clean  about her justifiable concern, not that he’s acting immature.

          If he’s acting immature and she can’t accept that, then dump him. But I suspect, part of his appeal to her is the fact he’s “young at heart” — but OP wants that reserved for just her.

          Not a mature expectation on her part, imo.

          Take advantage of the real-life moments in relationships that force us to be vulnerable (as opposed to manufacturing such circumstances). Tell the REAL truth. And then see how he reacts. That should give her the best indication of his feelings for her and his actual maturity level.

        2. KK


          How can you say she didn’t tell the REAL truth? That is pure projection and speculation on your part. Why not take what she said at face value?

        3. Karmic Equation

          Not projection. From OP’s letter:

          “My fear is that since he evidently wants so much to feel/be 20 years younger it’s only a matter of time before he’ll want to date someone younger too.”

        4. KK

          Right, BUT… You also said, “Sounds like she was ok with his immaturity until she got fearful  that the 20 yo roomie  will be bringing 20 yo girls to their apt when she’s not around, a legitimate concern. But she should have led with that. However, THEN she’d sound insecure and she didn’t want to  face that herself.
          Maybe I’m wrong, but if a woman can’t own her real feelings, how does she think she’s able to have a mature conversation with a man about HIS real feelings?”
          Your OPINION is that she should have led with that because in your OPINION it is her main concern. My point is that maybe she didn’t lead with it is because maybe it isn’t her main / only concern. Yes, it’s a possibility, but it’s also just as likely she said what she meant and meant what she said. That’s all.

        5. Adrian


          No projection or speculation, the original poster said,


          I haven’t broached this topic with my boyfriend… I was afraid that would damage the relationship”

        6. KK

          Adrian, I’m aware of what she said. I’m also not adding anything to it and drawing conclusions like you and Karmic did. Neither did I personally attack you. I simply called you out on a couple of your comments which I found offensive re. the older woman in your classes. I don’t know how old you are but how would you like it if someone your own age that already had their masters or doctorate referred to you as a “loser” because you were JUST NOW working on your masters?

          Maybe she was happily married raising a family. For whatever reason, she’s now divorced and getting her degree. That doesn’t make someone a loser in my book. Maybe she thinks you’re a loser because you’ve never been married.

          You comment quite a bit and you’re usually reasonable and respectful. Like I said, I just didn’t think that comment was helpful or necessary.

        7. Karmic Equation


          Being abandoned is most women’s concern. And being abandoned for a younger woman is many “older” women’s concern.

          Most women accept that their men are immature to some degree. Because ALL men are immature to some degree on something. It’s part of the male DNA.

          We don’t “fear” a man’s immaturity. We dislike it or we accept it.

          But we fear that our man might leave us for another woman.

          It’s a universal fear.

          If her bf has a young roomie, it’s going to be a given that young women are going to be around her guy. She’s rightfully concerned about that. She just needs to be HONEST to herself first and foremost, then go and have an honest discussion about it with her guy.

          And frankly, if she really wants his help to resolve this, telling him he’s being immature is going to ensure he tunes her out.

          Telling him she cares for him and is afraid young women being around when she’s not makes her afraid he’ll be tempted? Depending on his feelings and his character, he may answer in a way that reassures her or he may answer in a way that confirms her fears.

          Either answer gives her more information about this guy and will help her make a stay or go decision.

        8. Clare

          Karmic Equation,


          To be fair to the OP, I think the biggest part of her concern is the time he is not spending with her one on one. According to her, virtually the only time they spend alone together is when they sleep or have sex. I think for most women, this concern would far outweigh the vague fear that he is going to leave her for someone else. It’s a much larger problem, and I felt that came out strongly in her letter.

        9. Karmic Equation

          KK and Caroline,

          Look it’s not only to men that you have to apply the B.S. Meter.

          Women B.S. also, but in a different way than men.

          Men B.S. to other people usually about their actions and achievements.

          Women B.S. to THEMSELVES, usually about WHY they want what they want. WHY they do what they do.

          In this case, I believe all the OPs nice words about age gaps and maturity levels are smokescreens.

          I believe her real issue is that she’s afraid she’ll lose her man. And she needs reassurance from him.

          “Being vulnerable” is not telling a man our pasts and lessons learned, which is what most people (men and women) interpret “being vulnerable” to mean. That’s the wrong interpretation, imo.

          “Being vulnerable” is expressing your  fear to the person who generates that fear. Telling your new bf how your old bf cheated on you is NOT being vulnerable. That’s just TMI sharing.

          However, if/when your bf’s behavior changes in such a way that now you’re afraid (of his cheating, of his leaving you, of his having fallen out of love with you, etc) — and you tell him that fear, honestly — instead of accusing him of not paying enough attention to you, that he needs to reconsider his friendships, etc — that’s being truly  vulnerable.

          I believe OP has a legitimate concern that her bf might be tempted to dump her or cheat on her. She needs to be vulnerable to him about that to get it resolved.

          His lack of maturity, his not spending time with her — she just has to make a decision to accept those behaviors or not. His “reassuring” her that he’ll act more mature or spend more time with her will not resolve the fear she has of losing him. I’m suggesting OP solve the real  problem  and not get distracted by her own smokescreens.

        10. KK

          Ok Karmic,

          Part of   what you just said, “I believe her real issue is that she’s afraid she’ll lose her man. And she needs reassurance from him.”

          Lol. We all understand what YOU “believe”.   I believe there’s a 50/50 chance you’re wrong. If you can’t see that as a possibility, I’m not sure we can have a reasonable discussion.

        11. Caroline

          @Karmic-I was merely voicing my interpretation. I was putting myself in her shoes. I would have been really thinking this guy I had been talking to about buying a house together was going off the deep end. I was thinking about how Ridiculous he acted, probably viewed him as being kinda pathetic trying to fit in or oh my in your opinion trying to date someone half his age. And to boot, he has a girlfriend who these younger vegans know and socialize with. You can walk around in fear of your so cheating on you with a person of any age. I really think my biggest concern would be what the :*’m am I doing with this guy! Do I waste anymore time on him? Sure-there’s a nagging thought of this guy dumping you for someone half your age but is that really a loss? Or maybe you lucked out finding this out now.

          I’m sorry we don’t agree with you but that’s life. It’s just opinion. Aren’t we allowed to have our own opinion or are your thoughts the absolute?


        12. Karmic Equation

          I expressed my opinion and it was you two, KK and Caroline, who disagreed with my opinion.

          I only reiterated my position in response to your posts challenging my opinion.

          If all opinions are created equal, why did you feel the need to challenge mine?

          Just state your opinion without challenge to mine and we wouldn’t need to have this “we’re entitled to our opinions” discussion. It would be de facto.

          You both didn’t seem to believe I was entitled to mine. To that I object.

        13. KK

          Hi Karmic,

          It goes without saying that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I challenge you to read back through your own comments and see the tone you use. You spoke as if you had the whole situation figured out; that you knew for a fact what this woman was REALLY thinking / feeling. I never challenged your OPINION. I challenged the fact that you had it all figured out and if you read my comments I believe each time I reiterated that it was a possibility you might be onto something but also that you could be off if you really take the letter at face value. Not once did you say, you know what, it is possible I’m wrong on this.

        14. Karmic Equation


          Not only is everyone entitled to their own opinions, everyone is entitled to their tone, and to their assumptions.

          You make your assumptions and you write in your tone and you have your own opinions. That’s what makes you you.

          I make my assumptions, write in my tone, and have my own opinions. That’s what makes me me.

          If you don’t like my tone, you’re entitled to feel that way. I’m entitled to not have to change my tone to please you or any other stranger on the internet.

          I don’t understand your insistence that I validate your opinions of me or my tone or admit I could be wrong when I don’t feel that I am.

          You’re interpreting the LW’s letter and her motives in a positive light and I’m interpreting the LW’s letter and motives in a negative light.

          So what?

        15. Caroline

          Wow karmic! I expressed-“I don’t know Karmic”-where is that an attack? Both KK and I expressed that cheating could be part of the equation btw. I believe it was you who declared she was “right”!


        16. KK

          Time for a self-awareness check?

        17. Karmic Equation

          Challenge was a strong word, but I couldn’t think of a better word. Maybe “disagree” would have been better. So no,  I didn’t interpret your disagreements with my assumptions as attacks and I didn’t respond to them as attacks. I continued to assertively state or re-state my position.

          You and KK disagree with parts or all of what I wrote. I’m cool with that.

          FTR, I never said *I* was right. Nor did I say (or even imply) you guys were wrong.  What exactly are we debating?

        18. KK


          “FTR, I never said  *I*  was right. Nor did I say (or even imply) you guys were wrong.  What exactly are we debating?”

          I think my first comment started with, “I don’t know, but…” I think Caroline’s did as well. There were several others that merely questioned your assertions. Christine, Carol, Stacy. Just my two cents, but there’s a difference between an opinion with someone saying, “Well maybe this.., or it’s possible that…” and someone asserting, “THIS is what is REALLY going on”. That is the big difference here and what turned into you asserting your authority on the matter when you don’t have any more insight into this person’s letter (situation) than anyone else.

        19. Karmic Equation


          First, you claimed I had projection issues. Then I pointed out the OP actually wrote the fear you thought I projected. Adrian pointed out the same.

          Then you changed the debate to you had issues with my OPINIONS. Then I pointed out that I was equally entitled to my opinions as you were to yours.

          After that refutation, you changed the debate to disliking my TONE. So I pointed out that as individuals, we’re also entitled to our tones as well as our opinions and assumptions.

          NOW, you have an issue with my “assertions”.

          Do you see a pattern here, KK?

          Yes, someone does need a self-awareness check. But it’s not I.

          You might want to ask yourself why you are so obsessed with pointing out I’m wrong about something…anything.

          It’s a little weird.

        20. KK

          Yes, Karmic, I do see a pattern here. You are right and anyone who doesn’t agree with you 100% is wrong because you know everything about everything. “All women, blah, blah, blah…” “What women fear most is blah, blah, blah…” That is projection. Taking one sentence out of a letter and focusing solely on that as the real issue is speculation. Your “tone” at times comes across as condescending. Opinions stated as facts are assertions. But you are always right even if constructive criticism comes your way and if anyone points it out they are weird. Ok. I get you. Carry on.

        21. Caroline

          Karmic- for what it’s worth I truly enjoy and respect your opinion. I understood your hypothesis but didntvtotally agree with it. My disagreement with your posts came from the your asking KK something to the effect that “so your speculation is BETTER”. Then you went on and on about how your vast references to women who showed fear of being cheated on as stated on this blog. Then your “oh no I must b e wrong it’s all in my m I nd”. That’s not stati ng and reinstating your opinion. I admit KK poked the hornets nest too many times but you seemed to just dig in further stating your opinion like they were absolutes.

          I apologize for sticking my nose in. It was not my intention to criticize you but indeed just to express a differing opinion.



        22. KK


          You didn’t nose in. You have every right to say whatever you want. It was not my intention to poke the hornets nest. I think my first comment was a few sentences and started with, “I don’t know,” etc.., which was my way of saying hey, I’m not an authority on the matter but I think it could be such n such… After which I was told authoritatively how I was wrong. I was simply trying to make a point that was never well received. I have a habit of trying my darnedest to get someone to see their blind spot when I think there is one. (Self aware? Check!   Lol)                  I think the only other time I’ve gone back and forth so doggedly with anyone on here was with Obsidian, the MRA guy and it proved fruitless as well. Oh well. Shrug

        23. Caroline

          KK-that truly was an odd and awkward interaction. I usually respect and even get something out of her comments. I have also noticed someone else bringing up her “tone” in another blog post but I just chalked it up to being sensitive. I also realize I can come off as condescending- so am working on my “tone”   also:)   I am basically holding my tongue so I don’t make assumptions about her reactions to you after 3.2.4 and the subsequent remarks to “hmm” after that. But I kinda wonder what “profile” she’d summarize of herself after reading just those comments as she so quickly decided “what was really going on” in the OP’s comments.

        24. KK

          Agreed, Caroline.

          I have a group of friends that are all opinionated, passionate people. Myself included. Occasionally, we will spiritedly debate a controversial topic and I always enjoy it because we respect each other’s opinions even if we disagree. But I also know people who are intolerant of anyone who doesn’t see things their way. The sad thing is that if you’re so rigid and dead set on being right all the time, eventually others will just ignore and dismiss you completely. I think Karmic has interesting insights and comments from time to time as well and I respect anyone’s right to have a different take on things. I appreciate that same respect in return. Oh well. Not my problem to solve. Take care, Caroline.

        25. Adrian


          KK said she is letting this die, so I am surprised that you are egging this debate on.


          KK was the first one to get personal by saying “YOU” not Karmic Equation,


          then you jumped in and called her out also. You were the first to say “Aren’t we allowed to have our own opinion or are your thoughts the absolute?” She never once said your opinions didn’t matter or that hers was superior. Caroline you started that.


          Each time Karmic Equation would comment, she would speak about women in general or the original poster, and each time YOU and KK called her out personally with comments about her specifically, she didn’t start off calling either of you out.


          Then Caroline, you hyped it more by stating Karmic Equation accused you of “attacked her”, but she never used the word attack.


          KK said that Karmic Equation has the right to her own opinion, but then she says in the same sentence, that she is wrong for believing her own opinion is right (KK wanted her to say what she feels as long as she didn’t truly believe in what she was saying???). Next she accuses her of thinking she knows it all, BUT Karmic never once said anything close to that.


          KK mentioned needing a self awareness check (the first real insult thrown, was by KK not Karmic), and then Caroline you came back again adding fuel to the flame.


          After Karmic Equation stated that she did NOT consider you and KK’s post attacks and she stated that she did NOT consider your views wrong


          After all that, Caroline you still said Karmic Equation stated her view point was better, you said that, not Karmic Equation.


          I have re-read each comment, and it was KK who started it and it was you Caroline who keep it going. The icing on the cake is when you gave your backhanded insult by saying “others bringing up her tone in other post.”

          …    …    …

          I had originally stayed quit on this, but it’s not fair you two picking a fight with her first, then accusing her of starting it. Karmic is a big girl so she can and did handle it, but,


          She attacked the subject, and your statements, YOU two attacked her character.


          All the times Karmic Equation has stood against cheaters, liars, manipulators, etc, not giving them any excuses, NOT one of you have ever jumped on her and accused her of being wrong in those opinions.


          Neither of you have ever told her that her opinion is just that her opinion, and she is arrogant for not considering the man cheated or emotionally manipulated the woman for good reason. When she was adamant about her opinions that those guys should be dumped, not once did either of you jump up saying, HEY! You don’t have it all figured out, how dare you speak so arrogantly! You need some self awareness!

        26. Caroline

          AdRian-I was commiserating with KK. Yes, you’re right it should die and I should have quit. But please don’t chastise me for expressing how her comments (tone) make me and others feel about her comments.

        27. Caroline

          And yes- I took her response to KK
          “So I guess your speculation or non speculation is better than my interpretation of what she wrote”
          As saying she was “right”   after KK repeatedly said there were more thoughts on the matter.
          So maybe you, Adrian should try and read again what was said.

    2. 3.2
      men r dumb

      “No real accomplishments”

      maybe cause she was busy raising two kids?

      1. 3.2.1

        Men r dumb,

        I actually saw that coming. (^_^)


        I actually debated if I should add something like “except for her two kids.”

      2. 3.2.2

        Don’t forget the assumption that “she probably feels like a loser” hanging around ALL US grad students. SMH

        1. KK


          That was grossly unfair. Your bias towards Karmic is apparent and that’s fine but don’t turn everyone else into the bad guy when she intentionally instigates. I can see it. You can’t.

          Her own words by the way, “I  was contrary on purpose by making sure I didn’t affirm either of your opinions as I knew that was getting under your skin.”

          That’s the attitude of the oh so innocent person you’re defending. Seriously, now…. I’m done.

      3. 3.2.3

        I don’t think that 31 year old has any reason to feel like a “loser” compared to the graduate students.   I actually think it’s commendable that she went back for her degree.   She could have just as easily not ever come back at all, and not even tried.   I knew other people like that in school and, if anything, a lot of them turned out to be the best students.    However, I do find it a bit sad if she’s really trying to act 18 again.

        Whether her boyfriend leaves her for a younger woman really hinges on his priorities.   If he’d toss aside a loving girlfriend just to chase something newer and shinier, then I’d say good riddance, he’s a shallow fool she’s better off without anyway!


        1. Adrian


          Thank you for focusing on more in my post than just my “guesses” to why she is acting the way she is.

          KK and Ms. men r dumb seem to not notice that I brought up how a 31 year old tries to act like a 18 year old without kids, and tries to get the 18 year old boys to date her (notice I said boys not boy).


          Gossiping about boys instead of focusing on the subject while the teacher is talking, telling about going to wild parties every weekend, or hanging out all night is fine, even trying to get some 18 year old kid fresh out of high school is fine, but when you have two small at home.


          And sorry, but having a child is NOT an accomplishment, successfully raising that child is.


          People do feel insecure around others when they “seem” more accomplished, KK makes it seem like I am the first or most arrogant person ever to say that. I guess she didn’t know people felt that way, when I was in Calculus II and everyone was answering all the questions quickly, while I was lost, sure made me feel inferior.


          Though I am more curious why both of them attacked such trifle statements instead of the core of my point?


          KK, or men r dumb, show men where I said “all” women who have children or “all” people who are 31 in school for the first time are inferior???

        2. KK


          You said, “KK, or men r dumb, show men where I said “all” women who have children or “all” people who are 31 in school for the first time are inferior???”

          Show me where I said that. I was only referring to what you said about one woman. Where did I say you said that about all women or anyone else?

        3. Adrian


          You are right, you did not imply that I stated all.


          You are also right, that I may have sounded like I was giving the impression that the woman was somehow a loser, which was NOT my intent, and if it came off that way, I was, of course wrong.

        4. men r dumb

          you said: “now she has 2 children, is single, cute face, but clearly overweight, dropped out of college years ago, just now trying to finish, with no real accomplishments in her life.”  

          Meaning she was too busy raising kids to “accomplish” whatever you think she should have accomplished by 31.

          but more to the point Adrian, how old are you? And isn’t she taking the same class as you???

        5. men r dumb

          oh yeah and this

          “sorry, but having a child is NOT an accomplishment”

          once you carry a child for 9 months, get stretch marks, morning sickness,   shooting pains in your back, swelling in every part of your body, emotional turmoil, gone through 30 hours of contractions, the worst pain you’ve ever felt, bleeding and soiling yourself, and finally pushed a human the size of a watermelon out a hole the size of a walnut, you can say that.


        6. Caroline

          @Christine-thank you for summing up so well what I was thinking about the young mother finishing up her degree. My own mother had a “secretarial” degree when she married my dad. After having the five of us -she went to college. In fact, I’m the youngest and I started kindergarten the day she started college. She was a teacher. In fact, 3 of my older sisters were in college when she was getting her masters. Women are fabulous multi taskers!

          @Adrian-thank you for apologizing to KK. Please realize not everyone who drops out of college is a loser. Just like not all people on grad school are successes. I myself have just 3 years college, 1 year trade school , and numerous certifications. I’ve owned my own business and am proud I was able to offer good employees a living wage. While I’m proud of my niece pursuing her graduate degree in biomedical engineering at Stanford, I am just as proud of my oldest son’s pursuit in a highly skilled trade after dropping out (he was in mechanical engineering).   While I’m grateful for the highly skilled radiologist who helped diagnose a health problem; I’m also grateful for the guy who fixed my a/c fan in my 120 degree attic last year!   Neither is a loser.

        7. Caroline

          I forgot my most important point! I managed to raise my two sons during all of it. They are truly what I am most proud of in my life. Even though I got a whole bunch more to go through with my 18 yo. Being a parent never ends:)

        8. Christine

          Caroline, kudos to you and your mom for the multi-tasking!   I don’t know how the mothers out there do it.   College and my job(s) were tough enough on me just by themselves–I can’t imagine doing it with kids.

          I get exhausted just babysitting my nephew for a few hours.   I love that adorable kid but he’s a handful and can’t imagine doing that 24/7!   I think that’s why he likes me so much…knowing I’m a soft touch for him, unlike my sister. I always set new lows for myself, being easily manipulated by a 3 year old.   🙂


      4. 3.2.4

        Wow Karmic,

        Like to condescend much? As an “older” woman, maybe that is YOUR biggest fear. I am a woman and it isn’t mine. Please do not tell me about MOST women. Just speak for yourself.

        Look, as I said earlier, maybe you are right. But there’s an equal chance you are wrong. A male commenter, Mark, I think… said how lame this guy is for running around with nothing but 20 yr olds. This isn’t your typical 40 something man that is immature in ‘some’ ways. This is grossly immature. It’s like complaining that all cars have one or two performance issues but her car gets 3 miles per gallon. This is a big concern and most likely a deal breaker. Yes, she did mention (as an aside) one fear was that he might become interested in one of the younger women as well. But the fact that she didn’t lead with it and never stated it was her biggest concern, I will just take it at face value. You are saying how she just needs to be honest and admit what her main concern really is. That is pure speculation on your part. You do not know that to be a fact. Anything is possible, not just your interpretation.

        1. Karmic Equation

          So I guess your speculation or non-speculation is better than my interpretation of what she wrote?

          I must be mistaken with the all posts from women afraid of or having been cheated on in this blog. And all the posts from women who don’t want their exes being in contact with exes. And all the posts of women who don’t want men going to strip clubs or having bachelor parties.


          You’re absolutely right. Women being afraid of being abandoned or left for another woman is all in my mind.

        2. Karmic Equation


          And all the posts from women who don’t want their bfs  (not exes)  being in contact with exes.  

        3. Caroline

          I don’t know Karmic-I took it as her worried about wasting anymore time on this immature man. While I agree BOTH genders worry about being cheated on; I just didn’t feel that was the op’s main concern either.

        4. hmmmm

          @Karmic Equation: “I must be mistaken with the all posts from women afraid of or having been cheated on in this blog. And all the posts from women who don’t want their exes being in contact with exes. And all the posts of women who don’t want men going to strip clubs or having bachelor parties.”

          That applies to women as rule? Did it escape you that a dating and relationship  advice blog might self select to women who might be a little more worried about these things  than the average woman?

        5. Karmic Equation


          That goes without saying.

          The average woman isn’t reading this blog.

          The average man isn’t reading this blog.

          So my post applies to the people reading this blog. And yes, they’ve self-selected and are more concerned about being cheated on than others.

          Do you really need me to add all the qualifiers into my statement?

          Let’s just assume that all the requisite qualifiers are in all the posts.

          * Women = MOST women in general or in this blog specifically, depending on context of post;

          * Men = MOST men  in general or in this blog specifically, depending on context of post;

          * Universal = universal in the known universe  or in this blog specifically, depending on context of post.


        6. Christine

          Wow this letter has been like one of those Rorschach tests (or looking at clouds in the sky) where people all look at the same stuff, yet see different things!

          After reading it again, I see a lot of different concerns here: (1) his wanting to “feel young”; (2) the lack of “alone” time with him apart from sex and sleep; (3) his taste in friends being different from hers; (4) him possibly leaving her for a younger woman (someone let me know if I’m missing something).

          I’m still not sure exactly what it is that she wants her boyfriend to do, to make her happier.   For instance, would the lack of alone time bother her, no matter who was accompanying them?   Should he just make more alone time for her period, regardless of the ages of the other people?   Or would constantly socializing with other 40-somethings she has more in common with be okay?   Or does she just need reassurance he won’t leave her for one of those 20 year olds?

          The fact that this has gotten so many interpretations suggests it’s not that crystal clear.   I think she needs to really think through what she truly wants, so she can communicate that to her boyfriend.


        7. onlyonetime

          Girl you need to lay off Karmic’s case. Or did her post hit a sore spot?

        8. KK

          Second account? Lol

    3. 3.3

      Thank you, Adrian.

    4. 3.4
      Karmic Equation

      Thank you, Adrian. <3

  4. 4

    Some men mature very late.   My husband and I married when I was 23 and he was 26.   I was only the second girlfriend he had had and the first he had slept with.   All through the 36 years of our marriage we had no mutual friends.   His were either professional contacts or 15 – 20 years younger. Mine were our age.   He finally divorced me to marry a colleague a couple years older than our oldest child.   They have now been married 14 years, and “together” I don’t know how many years before that.   Even though he is very successful professionally, I think he is emotionally the same age as wife #2.   More power to him/them.   So a word to the wise–your boyfriend isn’t going to change, because emotionally he IS 20 years younger and will remain so all his life.   Get someone your own age.   Nt easy, I know–I’ve been “looking” ever since and have given up.

    1. 4.1
      Michelle H

      Tina – Don’t give up.   With God’s grace, Evan’s material can help guide you, based on your own free will.   Best of luck to you & all of us on here!

    2. 4.2

      Tina, instead of saying “Don’t give up”, I’d just say leave it in God’s hands. Be happy, be healthy, be content, be grateful for the life you had, which is a lot more than many other women would have experienced. Be grateful you’re a woman in a western, developed country, not Afghanistan for example. Be grateful for your children, seeing that many others are childless, not by choice. Be happy that your children are healthy and thriving, and if not, be happy that they are safe and your life is so much richer with them in it. When you are truly at peace with yourself and the world, things will start to happen for you. If not, being at peace is the next best thing you can ask for. And yes, I was left for a younger woman too.

      1. 4.2.1

        To AY and Michelle,

        Thank you for your kind remarks.   The point of my letter was the nature of   emotional maturity vs actual age, from my experience.   I am not unhappy being a 72 year old (told I’m much younger looking–see photo) single woman, for all the reasons you give, plus many more.   Statistically there are 15 single women my age for every single man.   We are who we are without the luxury of time to “grow together” like when we were young.   All of which makes finding a compatible mate like the proverbial needle in the haystack, regardless of whose expert dating advice we choose to follow.   That’s simply reality.   The thought that I’ll never again feel a man’s arms around me or experience the joy of sex makes me sad, but friends and family do give me sustenance.

  5. 5

    Sounds like a mid life crisis.   Talking to him about it you can try i guess.   I see it as the two of you are not compatible nothing more. it is good you found this out before you two got financially entangled by buying a house.

  6. 6
    Elly Klein

    Great advice, Evan. That’s all I have to say.

  7. 7

    Oops I posted this on the wrong post, it’s meant for this post lol:

    Yeah I personally have to say guys who behave more kid-like are not so sexy to women usually. Men don’t seem to mind that so much if the genders were flipped (as long as its not taken to an extreme!) , because they are attracted to innocence and youthful type of behaving. But I think women really get attracted to strong mature responsible types, the man-child thing is not so sexy. 90% man and 10% boy is very attractive, not 50% man 50% boy. Just my view.

  8. 8

    The issue isn’t whether or not he will outgrow his behavior. The issue is that this is how he is today. If you can’t accept who he is TODAY, then leave.

  9. 9

    Oh, and not that it matters but I am 38 and I have never EVER had a fear that any man I am with would leave me for someone younger.

    1. 9.1

      Stacy, I’m 57 and I’ve never had that fear either.   EVER.   It never even occurred to me before, and now that it has (thanks to so many comments on this blog), it still doesn’t bother me.   If my man thinks he can find better than me (someone who makes him laugh ’til his cheeks hurt, satisfies him in bed, is understanding and supportive of his health issues, etc.), then go with my blessing.   But I’m not worried about it.   I’m too busy looking forward to our next planned-in-advance date.

      1. 9.1.1

        Same here @ Stacy & SMC,

        I’ve never had that fear either.

    2. 9.2

      The “defend the territory” against younger women usually kicks in a little later. Then again, you may never experience it! So that will be a parting “wishing well” for you! 🙂

  10. 10
    Karmic Equation


    FTR, I’ve always enjoyed your posts. They come from a compassionate place 🙂

    Caroline and KK,

    Please point out in any of my posts in this thread where I wrote you gals were wrong. Do a search of this thread. Yet, both of you wrote that I could be wrong and KK even outright lied by claiming that I told her she was wrong:   “After which I was told authoritatively how I was wrong.” – I did no such thing.

    So, if I never said you gals were wrong, why do I need to write that you gals were right or could be right? I never denied that you could be right. I simply never affirmed it.

    Why do you gals need me to affirm your opinions of either myself or the OP?

    By demanding that I affirm your opinions and ideas, you’re putting me in a superior position that I never sought to be in.

    TBH, I’m human though. Once you put me in that superior position, I was contrary on purpose by making sure I didn’t affirm either of your opinions as I knew that was getting under your skin.

    My posts throughout this blog is consistent in at least one theme: That we women are more empowered in relationships than we want to acknowledge. But rather than acknowledge that, we’d rather make men the bad guys for not giving us what we want.

    While it would be a stretch to say that we (KK, Caroline, and I) are in a relationship, we are in this community and through this particular debate have created a testy relationship of sorts.

    You gave me power (to affirm your respective opinions)–power that I didn’t want or seek btw–and then made me the bad guy when I refused to provide that affirmation.

    You shouldn’t have given me that power. Don’t give men that power, okay?

    Speak assertively. Make no apologies for your beliefs.

    If you like the video, read this commentary on it:

    Peace out, ladies.

    1. 10.1

      Wowzers! Lots of word salad just got tossed.

      I never lied. It’s clear to anyone with reasonable intelligence what was implied. Any reasonable adult can differentiate between an opinion on any given situation and someone making an absolute assertion. You did the latter. Fine. Trying to get you to acknowledge that was entirely fruitless. Not sure how that is my loss when you’re the one who comes off as a stubborn, narrow minded individual. And by the way, I do understand the “power” psychobabble. I simply disagree.
      “By demanding that I affirm your opinions and ideas, you’re putting me in a superior position that I never sought to be in.”
      Wrong! Trying to seek some common ground even if view points differ is a sign of strength; not weakness.
      “TBH, I’m human though. Once you put me in that superior position, I was contrary on purpose by making sure I didn’t affirm either of your opinions as I knew that was getting under your skin.”
      Thank you for admitting that. It says way more about you than I ever could have. Just like saying how weird it was that I kept going back and forth with you when you dug in just as deep. I knew you were trying for a reaction but this isn’t my first rodeo. I’m sure that your manipulation works on some of the guys who date you, but don’t be so smug as to think no one has you figured out.
      “You shouldn’t have given me that power. Don’t give men that power, okay? Speak assertively. Make no apologies for your beliefs.”

      I didn’t give you any power. I didn’t ask for your advice and quite frankly, I think it is wrong. I will continue to seek common ground in my relationships  whether or not I agree with someone. When someone poses that I might have a blind spot, I will evaluate that and admit to it if it is in fact the case. I do not seek power nor do I give it away in my relationships. I seek connection. That has always worked for me and that is how I will continue in the future.

      That’s all I have left to say on the subject. Please do not address any comments to me in the future.

    2. 10.2

      Karmic-we wanted you to respond thoughtfully and consider others opinions like any intelligent person on a dating blog who is in search of knowledge. Instead you dug in like many people do who consider their self superior and always right. You topped it off with a condescending tone for good measure. Some of us actually come here to exchange thoughts otherwise we’d just read the blog and not comment. We wanted to exchange thoughts because we know we are on the same level and have a history of relationship struggles.

      We actually wanted to converse with you. All I could think was why would this seemingly intelligent woman act so condescending? Does she realize how badly she is coming off? Wouldn’t you think such a bright girl would want to learn how to be more effective in conveying her message?

      But thank goodness- Karmic was just trying to empower us! Aren’t we such silly girls being duped by the wise Karmic? I was just rolling on the floor laughing at being duped for such an altruistic motive! Yay girl power.

      Peace out

  11. 11

    I think her boyfriend is remembering how happy and carefree 20 year olds are.   They are fun to be around,no worries – optimistic, attractive, bright eyed with hopes and dreams. It’s a great place to be! Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by that no matter the age. If he’s accepted in the group – good for him. He’s happy. If she loves him she should accept him and not try to change him and if she can’t talk to him – what kind of relationship do they have.   I’m a 40+ year old female and that’s how I feel.

    1. 11.1

      I think the biggest concern is where he is mentally… If he is actully 40+ but still mentally 20, then it is likely that he may have more of a lean towards 20 year olds. He 40+ girlfriend will still recognize them and fun, carefree, etc, but she is still recognizing that she is not 20 and that they are both old enough to be parents of those 20 year olds. A man who literally thinks he is one of them…and feels no difference is something to be concerned about for several reasons. The possibility of him one day desiring to date one of them is just a given judging by the attractive description you just gave. If a 40+ year old man is more mature according to his age, he can be youthful and enjoy a younger crowd while still recognizing that he is someone who could be teaching them not reverting back to becoming one of them. I can only imagine that when those 20 year olds are 40+ themselves, they may look back and say “I could never hang around us back then the way that 40 year old guy did. I wonder why he did that?”. That should say something. To each his own, but it’s odd to me.

  12. 12

    There’s nothing wrong with making friends with much younger people as long as he’s not trying to pick on twenty-something women. An intergenerational friendship can be quite wonderful as long as it’s genuine. I can think of several reasons to hang out with the younger crowd:

    1. It goes without saying that it’s harder to make friends after college because older people tend to be busy with their jobs and families.

    2. As you get older, there are fewer opportunities to celebrate friends’ milestone events, such as weddings and graduations. Befriending younger people will give you the chance to experience them again.

    3. Sometimes, you just happen to have interests that are typically associated with the younger generation. Video games and electronic music come to mind.

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