Being in fond

by Dating Goddess on August 25, 2012

A good-looking, successful, kind, generous, attentive, single man is wooing my single friend. He tells her how much he adores her and wants to be with her. He tells her it’s OK to take her time; he doesn’t want to pressure her.

And yet she’s uncomfortable.

Why?

Because he’s 37 and she’s 57.

He’s fine with the age difference. She is looking ahead and seeing that in 10, 15 or 20 years, their physical needs will most likely be very different. She doesn’t want him to waste his good years on someone who’s so much older.

We discussed how different this is than if the genders were reversed. Few men would be concerned about the future needs of a 2-decades-younger woman.

She’s trying not to fall for him. She asked me how to protect her heart from falling for someone who she feels isn’t right for the long term.

I tell her he’s a fully grown man, capable of making his own decisions. If he likes spending time with her and falls for her, he is going in with his eyes wide open. She needn’t try to protect him. She should do what feels right to her.

I also tell her it’s completely alright to be in “fond” right now if she doesn’t feel she’s falling in love. Love is something that builds. However, if she doesn’t feel she can or will allow herself to fall in love with him, she should let him go. It’s not fair to him to string him along.

So if she thinks she’ll never be okay with their 20-year age difference, she should tell him so. But if she’s only not letting her heart be open because she’s trying to protect him, she’s treating him like a child.

It’s natural to want to protect someone we care about. But there’s a line between protecting and infantilizing them.

If he enjoys her company and she his, there’s really no reason to not spend time together. Her 30ish daughters are both fine with it, even though she tells him he should really be dating them. He says he doesn’t want to date them, he wants to date her. He loves her wisdom, confidence, experience.

Part of her wants to surrender to this loving, attentive, gentleman. But she holds back because she wants to protect him.

Have you ever had this dilemma? You would jump feet first into a loving relationship except for one thing that doesn’t bother him, but you think it should? Share your thought process and what you learned.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard August 26, 2012 at 4:08 am

Is she trying to protect him? Or, is she trying to protect herself?

“She doesn’t want him to waste his good years on someone who’s so much older.” While it may be his decision to make, what if, when the time comes, he decides, “Ooops, made a mistake”?

While it is more normal for older men, the reverse has some benefit. Women typically outlive men. So, being in a relationship with a younger man evens that out a little.

I would have problems with an age gap relationship if it is built on “her wisdom, confidence, experience.” I would rather see them enjoying life similarly, and that is what brings them together.

john August 26, 2012 at 4:40 am

She should just enjoy it. Tell him, “Let’s enjoy each other. Relax. Have fun. Take each day as it comes.”

A year from now, they will have learned a lot about each other. Maybe it is a go, maybe not. But there will have been good times, good memories for both – at the least.

Meari August 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I think if the age difference bothers her, she should move on and not waste time on someone she doesn’t see herself in the long term. Neither gets hurt that way.

chris August 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I don’t really see a big deal in it. From the sounds of it they are not very serious. They should just have fun and see where it leads to.

Seilidhe August 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I have a crush on a much younger man… 19 years younger, in fact. He has no idea. (I hope). If he returned the affection, I’m not sure how I’d react to that. Like your friend, I know I’d be worried about how his feelings would change as time passed. But like Richard said above, I’d also be worried/scared of how much it would hurt *me* if my crush decided that he’d made a mistake. But then… would the love and fun shared until that time be worth it?

I think if it came down to it, I’d take the risk. But if your friend isn’t able to accept the age difference, then, she has to tell him that she doesn’t think it’s going to work.

Seilidhe August 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I phrased something wrong… I meant to say that, like your friend, I’d be concerned about the guy I know wasting his youth on someone so much older. Sigh… y’all know what I meant though, right? :)

The friend in the blog September 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Hi. I really want to thank all of you for responding to this blog.I am the friend that the Dating Goddess is speaking about. I appreciate all of the messages. I am looking for a guy who will give me his time, attention and respect. At this time, this younger man is doing just that. It has been quite an awakening for me. I did let the age difference bother me in the beginning, but I am learning just to relax and enjoy each day and see where it goes. All I know at this point is that he makes me happy and we really enjoy the moments. One daughter is ok with it. The other one is not. OHHH but how I enjoy his attention at this time :) Hey, it has awakened the reality that I guess there IS someone out there who thinks I am still alive, and awakens me to the fact that yes I AM alive.

Seilidhe September 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm

To “The Friend in the Blog”….

You *go* girl! Enjoy the time, have fun, and be happy. Best wishes to you!

TrippyBeth September 5, 2012 at 11:14 am

I can totally relate to “friend” i’ve been dealing with a similar situation. i keep telling him he should date a girl his own age, but he doesn’t want to.
he’s sexy, smart, fun and i like the way i feel when i’m with him. and he’s hung in with my indecision for almost 2 years!
and as far as an “oops” moment as Richard mentioned, i don’t know about anyone else, i’ve had plenty of those with men of my own age, so that can be an issue at any age…

Trixie September 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I am 55 and have a crush on someone who is 37 nothing will ever come of it unfortunately. You are so lucky to have found a great guy relax and enjoy

the friend in the blog September 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Hi Trippy and Trixie and all,
It has been a busy time since I last connected with yall.
Things are still nice with my guy. But I am learning that no matter what age we all are or he is, that life in each of our lives are sometimes a challenge to manage. I think that as long as we stay conected and are not afraid to just ask what is on our minds and not judge each other, but to be there for each other no matter the outcome, that evolving friendships happen, and that has been my first hope. I want a good frienship first, and then if something progresses it is icing on the cake. Our friendship is evolving around the deeper moments. That IS in itself something I am treasuring.

Donnas Robet September 11, 2012 at 3:26 am

Great blog. Lovely information on dating …

Goomena September 19, 2012 at 6:43 am

I understand your friend not because I have been there, but because it happens so many times. She should ask herself if she is giving up on this love that they feel just because of age. If the guy is okay with her age then she should not be afraid. Most women are usually scared when it comes to such things but they should know that it is normal and someone does not choose who to fall in love with. It just happens.

the friend in the blog September 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Hi to everyone and thanks for being there.

I just want to start out by saying this:
I would say my guy, but he really wasnt my guy. He was and continues to be such a gift from God. And I will always be grateful for what I had and continue to learn from this” wonderful moment in life and in my heart” moment. In MY moment in time, It was really sooooo nice. The first spark that catches your attention. That look, and smile,and then your mind and hormones start talking to you. This is good. This makes me feel so special and so I will continue to be persude..Then , meetings happen, and you feel so energized and happy. Things seem to be going well and your mind is caught up in stupid stuff. Am I too old? Is he too young? Where is this going and is it ok?

Then it became clear for me,it isn’t the age,but where each soul is in their journey Even though we had great times, and he was close for a short period,” he just wanted ” the cookie”. wasnt interested in anything else when he didnt get it, and has now stopped texting, calling, etc,etc. .

There is nothing wrong with that,because I know that he hasn’t gone through quality moments yet. He is not ready, and has to build on what is really important in his continued journey. I wouldn’t change any of what I went through. It just solidified in my soul ——what I deserve in a companion and what I deserve to give to a companion. WOW, thank you God! What a gift to me and hopefully to this adorable moment of happiness man. Thank God I did not give him the cookie!!! I am done licking my hearfelt wounds. I am gooooood now .Just wanted to share. in case it helps another one who is hoping for a true companion and holds her willing and hopeful heart in her hands. Tread lightly. YOU deserve the best always,

Rebecka September 23, 2012 at 1:53 am

I say we are midlife dating, we should’t throw any GOOD ones out of the pond, no matter the age!

The friend in the blog September 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Hi Rebecka and all,

The calls to hear my voice, the calls to ask me out, the sexual texts initiated by him have gone away. If I text him, he does respond nicely, but that” spark” is just gone .The chase is over on both sides. I took him out of my cell phone list. I know he can still call or text. But I needed to do this for me. I was starting to hope that he called, hope that he would contact me. I do believe that he is a special man, and am sure that we taught each other alot, in a good way. Such a gift. I need to stop the initiating always now of the call or text. I wish him the best as he continues his journey, and I feel more at peace by removing the availability of contacting him first ,now.

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