Man eight years younger than woman. December 7, Will this work for us? Do you know any couples like this? I am a 23 year old man. She was my roommate in a rented apartment. We became friends and began to date after two weeks.
It was a fairy tale romance, a three month honeymoon. She is beautiful, intelligent, honest, and loving. When it came time for me to leave at the end of April, I swore to her I'd see her again. We communicated daily over the summer and there was no doubt that we wanted to continue to date eachother. In August, I graduated from university. We spent a two month holiday together in Hungary and eastern Europe, bicycle touring. Not everything was perfect. There was a lot of uncertainty ahead of us.
She had been be Beijing for five years, and now runs a small, sometimes struggling, but promising business. I had just graduated from architecture school and the whole world was open to me, but I'd always dreamed of moving to San Francisco. We didn't know how to proceed after the trip, and the uncertainly caused some conflicts arising from insecurities in both parties.
It was a difficult situation no matter which way you looked at it. In October I returned to Canada and she went back to Beijing. Since then we have been deliberating on how to proceed. In the end, we decided that it would be best for me to move to Beijing, because I have much more flexibility at this phase of my career.
This is fair enough, and I am happy to do this. I booked my ticket for next week. Yesterday she emailed me and told me she's having cold feet. Immigration, even if temporary as we have planned, is serious commitment. Although she has been with many men in the past, she has never been this committed with one before.
She said she is worried about the age difference. Specifically, she says that she finds it hard to feel good about herself when she is dating a man eight years younger. She doesn't feel safe about the future, and she says it will be easier to break up now, rather than to do it after I've moved. We have been speaking about this over the past day and are both quite confused, so I am turning to all of you for help. Before I ask my questions, I need to give a little bit more background about us.
She is looking for a man to settle down with. I had not been planning to settle down until around 27 or 28, but since I'm dating someone older, I am happy to compromise. I have dated enough prior to this relationship to have confidence in the soundness of my judgement. I have lived in six countries on four continents, four of them on my own, working. I am no stranger to relocating to unknown cities. Last summer I spent 16 weeks cycling km solo from Shanghai to Singapore.
I am intelligent and mature enough for this kind of commitment. We both want kids. I am willing to have them soon, so she can be young when it happens. I know what I want in a woman. She knows what she wants in a man. I am a good boyfriend. She is a faithful and loving partner. Her only flaw is her fear for commitment.
She did not grow up in a stable family, and she is terrified of making the wrong choice in marriage. She is scared of being hurt, and she feels that the age difference will cause this in the future. On my part, I have no such concerns. I grew up with a single mother. I've learned from my parents' mistakes. Once I've committed to someone, I'll not change my mind.
I don't cheat and have a lot of faith that this thing between us can work out in the end. Ofcourse, nothing I can say will satisfy her, because she can say, "when you are older you may change your mind. We'll have to be brave enough to make the leap, so we can continue exploring eachother.
As such, I am looking for the following. We will both be reading this. Do you know any couples in which the man is much younger? Did it work out? Please share your stories with us. Do you have any insights or advice about our situation? They've been quite happy together for 10 years now.
They did not have a long-distance relationship though. I have had a long-distance relationship where we had to commit to marriage in order to be in the same hemisphere.
It did not work out. Had nothing to do with an age difference and everything to do with the real day-to-day world not matching the vacation-world we had shared for relatively short periods. This stood out for me: She is looking for a man to settle down with This seems like a bad idea.
Compromising and settling down on her schedule, is a recipe for dissatisfaction on your part. When you factor in the different ways in which men and women age, I just think you should think very carefully about making big commitments with this woman. It sounds like you've got a lot of things to think about and a lot of potential issues, but I don't think that the age difference is the major one except in the fact that she sees it as possibly having an effect on your willingness to commit for the long term.
They have two lovely kids and seem very happy. Both of them are religious people who take marriage and commitment very very seriously; that may help to mitigate any age gap problems. I know couples who are decades apart and doing fine, and last month I watched two of my friends break up their long term relationships where their boyfriends were within a year of each other.
Saying "forever" at twenty-three is tough- but it's not like it hasn't happened before. If you want it, go for it. They're still together and happy. But the relationships in which I've personally seen it work usually involve adding about fifteen years to both of your ages. The difference between 23 and 31 is a lot bigger than the difference between 38 and Even so, the standard rule says half-your-age-plus-seven, and you're right at the lower limit of that for her.
The reason is that, as you've noted, you're not really done coming into yourself as an adult yet, and she, even if she hasn't finished that process, is way, way further along than you are. If you were 33 and she were 41, even though there'd still be the same age difference, at that point you'd have been on your own, as an adult, making your own decisions and leading your own life, for more than a decade.
Right now, you've just finished school. All of that being said, each relationship is unique, and lemme tell you, the problems you're talking about here are far from the largest problems I've seen people deal with. Any two people can, theoretically, have a healthy, positive relationship, if both approach it with the right attitude and the situation otherwise permits.
So yeah, the age thing is a red flag, but I'm not aware of any relationship that doesn't have any red flags. Best friend and good friend - she is in her late thirties, he is in his late twenties. They have been together for several years, live together and seem likely to stay together - it's a serious relationship in which both seem very happy. She had dated a lot before this relationship; he had dated less. Funnily enough, my best friend grew up in a less stable family and has had to work through a lot of stuff about men, commitment, etc.
I've known some other folks who have had these types of relationships, but most were long-term-not-permanent - ie, your standard youngish adult several-year relationships where, although marriage had not been ruled out, it was not a priority for either person. These relationships were like any other relationship; the age difference didn't seem like a big thing.
Eight years really isn't that much if you're at similar places in life, but twenty-three is pretty young. Are you in general a serious and focused person who is ready for a family? When you meet other attractive women, do you seriously consider them as prospects even semi-consciously or do you just notice that they're attractive the way everyone does?
What are your relations with the other women in your life? How heavily do you weight youth and appearance in general? Are you freaked out by the idea of growing old?