Young woman dating an older man!

*Lorraine, in Novato, is 22 years old. She has fallen in love with a man 28 years her senior. They’ve been dating for the past 2 years. When she introduced him to her friends and family, everyone was shocked by the difference of age. Her family disapproves of their relationship and her friends are always asking her all sorts of questions about her future with him. There have been instances where strangers mistook them for father and daughter. This has given her food for thought and lately she’s been obsessing about her future, children, and all the challenges that may appear. She wants an outside opinion from someone who doesn’t know her personally and is able to give her a different perspective of her situation as an outsider looking in. Her question is: should she stay with her much older boyfriend?

Answer: Let’s go by parts: the shock, the stares, and the people who are confusing you two for father and daughter, along with your family’s disapproval, draw attention to the fact that you two are not psychologically healthy. Often, the young women who date older men do so because they like the sense of feeling mature and it could also be that they are looking for a father figure who is going to nurture them.

Why is he not healthy either? Because he’s not very mature at all. A mature man doesn’t play with 20 year olds and of the ones who do, it’s because – in general – they’re feeling their age. A young, hard body gives them a sense of being more virile and sexual: it makes them feel manly and much younger. Besides, it’s easier to manipulate a 20 year old than a mature woman his own age, that’s why he’s with you. He’s not with a woman his own age because he can’t handle one and that shows his level of maturity. He’s being challenged by his sense of mortality and virility and the way he’s fixing this is by dating a 20 something year old girl because then his pals are giving him hi-fives and saying “way to go bro”.

If you think carefully, you will see that the two of you are in very different stages in your lives. You’re still working on maturing, forming your own mind about the world and life; while he’s looking forward to retirement. I’m going out on a limb here and say that he’s basically using you for his psychological well being because it’s definitely not in your best interest to go out with a man this old.

In my view you should not be with this old dude. When you’re 50, he’ll be 78 years old; and although that may not mean anything to you right now, it will later. Right now, I believe you need to let him go. Then, assess your level of neediness and figure out what is making you seek out a man that much older. If you can’t figure it out on your own, if it’s available to you, seek a professional therapist. Find a good one that can help you with that journey. Good luck.

*for privacy reasons the name has been changed

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