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Edit Module Show Tags Advertisement. Calendar January Today. Bones, Bones Dinosaur Bones. A Poppin' Good Time! Call him up and let him down like the confused puppy he is. When I was a youngster, I dated a few guys who were much older and, yeah, they all turned out to be sort of losers. But, I handled them all pretty well, in retrospect. The guy who was joking about "jail bait" on our third date? Sorry -- if you can't handle the age difference then what the hell am I supposed to do?
Another guy just really seemed to like showing me off to his friends but had precious little to talk about when we were together. My most serious age-gap boyfriend was only five years older but I was 19 and that was a big gap at that age. I realized that I wasn't ready to be his long-term relationship which is what he was very ready to have and so I broke it off. Later that summer, I accepted a date with a guy who I pegged to be about 25, maybe.
Anyway, you have agency here. This guy is just not going to work out and who knows what his problem is. But he's 34 and if he can't get it together at that age then I don't think you want to mess around with him. Not this fake sort of break-up you've been having, but for real. Not because this dude is older than you. Because this dude is a jerk. It is perfectly okay to say to someone, honestly and kindly, "I like you, but I really want a sexual relationship, which you are not currently interested in, so I'm afraid this isn't going to work out for me.
And just because he stopped doing that for the time being doesn't mean it was okay for him to do it, repeatedly, in the first place, or that he won't do it again. I think the issue here is that this man is attracted to you, but really wants to have sex, NOW, and is not patient enough to wait for you to feel comfortable about it, or reasonable enough to have a respectful and rational, no-pressure conversation with you about it. I think he feels just guilty enough about having those feelings, and having already pressured you over it, that he is now engaged in a weird kabuki dance about what he actually wants instead of telling you, or openly admitting to himself, what he actually wants which is a partner who will have sex with him, now.
It's weird to demand a specific planned length for a relationship before it even starts. I think he started doing this in order to convince you and himself, too, probably that he's really for real committed enough to be worthy of you giving up your virginity and having sex with him. It's weird to suddenly impose rules on a relationship like "we can have lunch dates but you can't come over to my house anymore.
I agree with everybody here. And the weirdest thing by far is the 'term limits' on the relationships. No, that's not usually how people approach relationships; typically, they are more open-ended in the the expectation is just that they'll continue until they don't, get progressively more intimate unlike this one and I don't mean sexually intimate , and timetables only enter in if one party is wanting to move forward faster than the other, and then they have to decide how long they are going to give the current relationship to develop.
You have many other options. The most important argument here, I think, is that no matter what's going on, this guy is not acting at all like a guy who's interested in you for you. I know it's exciting to be the pursued one and to feel like you are caught up in star-crossed, tortured romance, but actually, compared to being loved and respected by a peer, it's all kind of crap. This guy knows better.
He's trying to get out. You should give him his walking papers to make it easier on both of you. You should be having a great time dating people who are somewhere closer in life to where you are - wanting to get to know each other, enjoy spending time together, and making big life decisions at a pace that's appropriate and comfortable to you.
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Yeah, that is weird. It reminded me of the movie Guinevere. There's this guy who dates a series of younger women for a couple of years apiece, and it's treated like he's a sort of postgraduate program they are going through. I think this is a good movie for people to watch if they find themselves dating mentor figures. It does put a positive spin on this type of relationship, presenting it as a formative experience, but it's rather eye-opening. Try going no-contact for some set period of time perhaps three months and don't break it--set an expectation with him that, as a matter of respect toward you, he needs to honor the no-contact period.
Give yourself and him! The whole "We're meeting at coffee shops but not anywhere that could lead to sex" plan is terrible, and I suspect he knows it. It will just keep the two of you in a space where the relationship is an enticing possibility, not a reality you're exploring and then choosing to continue or sever. Neither his sexuality nor yours is a wild force that needs to be contained in public spaces lest it unleash itself--sex is something you choose to do together, and you could very easily choose to leave the coffee shop, go to his house, and have sex.
Or, you could have a romantic dinner at his house and choose not to have sex. Take him at his word that he no longer wants to be in the relationship he's been trying to persuade you to commit to. Ignore his flip-flopping about "no contact doesn't seem right, either. Block this guy's access to you online, phone, etc and RUN. He's not a nice fellow, and I'm having a very difficult time understanding how a percentage of mefites in this thread interpreted his actions as though he is nice and trustworthy. I dated with that age gap at your age.
Yes the age gap can be OK, but in your case, this guy is manipulating you. I think he maybe has a girlfriend, and either way he's playing games because you are still a virgin. He should have initiated this when he discovered you weren't up for having sex with him. At 34, he's planning on having a 4 to 5 year long relationship with you that includes sex. Is he telling you he is not the marrying kind, but a player instead? All of the break-ups, and then re-initiating contact? He's trying to wear you down so you'll sleep with him -OR- he's an immature drama queen. Either way, it's beneath you, at any age.
Block all access from this guy and move on with your life. You deserve much much better. I'm unclear if he thinks relationships have predictable expiration dates or if that's just the way things seem to work out for him. But if it's the first, I've actually known someone who thought that way. I think it was based on one of Ursula Le Guin's novels.
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Couples entered relationship contracts that lasted for a set amount of time, instead of getting married as we earthlings do. It's less about the age gap then about this particular guy. I get a bad feeling about him. On the other hand, we learn by making mistakes. He seems to be the kind of mistake one could survive. Call him out on this stuff. Haven't you a choice and a responsibility in the matter too?
Why would you inevitably end up hating him? Not only bad, say I. That said, frequent mini-breakups are a bit of a reddish mini-flag nevertheless. I don't think this guy necessarily has to be the huge manipulator and a Bad Person, as some commenters suggest, but might just be really torn in the way he describes. Because none of us is perfect, we don't always display full maturity at all times; so, despite realizing that he shouldn't be dating you for all the reasons he says, he's quite right in those and it looks like he has a realistic view of the situation , he's still attracted to you, and those continued meetings just fuel the fire.
So it's hard to let go of this possibility of a relationship, even if he knows that it's a really bad idea. I'm a 34 year old myself, and I tend to date women years younger than myself - in my experience, I'm had the best relationships from that age bracket. Occasionally I may break the unofficial "rule" and go out with somebody 10 years younger when we really "click" but at the back of my mind, there's always this concern that maybe I'm taking advantage of her. I tend not to vocalize these feelings because dating is complicated enough without creating drama by saying every silly thought that crosses one's mind, but it's there.
So on the one hand, I want to reassure you that most of this guy's concerns and feelings are perfectly normal. On the other hand, the fact that he hasn't successfully resolved his inner conflict and continues to express it to you even though you have absolutely no ability to fix it it's not like you can snap your fingers and magically become older suggests that he's a drama llama. I recommend telling him it's time to man up and decide what he wants, then stop agonizing about it.
This just sounds like a complete mess. Before he preached about "strong feelings" and "love down the line" is crazy manipulative all by itself. At 34 years old, this guy has been alive long enough to know that frequent meet-ups at coffee shops and other "safe" locations "just fuel the fire," as Ender's Friend put it. Whether the guy is playing with his own emotions, or playing with the OP's, this is not the trusting and honest relationship which leads to lifetime commitment the OP is looking for.
This is a guy who thinks relationships top out at 4 to 5 years, max. The OP doesn't need to stick around to try and change someone who holds a stunted view on intimate relationships. And by the way OP, I think you are totally correct - after dating somone for two years, both parties have enough data to decide if the relationship will lead to marriage or not. OP, if you are going to date someone 14 years older than you, date a Man. Don't date a Peter Pan-type with commitment issues. Being a player or an immature commitment-phobe with stunted views on intimate relationships does not make this guy a "Bad Person.
Is he a poor choice for mentor or friendship material? OP, the mini break-ups and chaste coffee shop lust isn't romantic because it is not leading anywhere solid. Upon Preview, wolfdreams01 really nails what I'm trying to say: I wonder if this is in part what's behind the meeting in public places requirement? That would make him an "MF" in my book if he was keeping secrets and playing with people's hearts. However, I can back off on that point and still say that in all my years of experience, I've learned this: Relationships that feature obstacles and lots of mini break-ups never turn into what either person involved wants or needs.
Thanks for all the quick replies. Sorry I may have painted him in the wrong light: In fact, the one time I suggested that to him he said we weren't ready to go there yet. He's been meticulously careful about building up to it, the issue is more that I don't like oral and he thinks I should experience that before actual sex. He's never made blunt advances, just made it clear that he wants to fuck me eventually. I genuinely don't think he has a girlfriend, albeit a serious one.
He hates cheating and honestly working hours a week I don't think one would have time for that. Going into the line of work he is in, I know personally maintaining one relationship is difficult enough, having two with that while working 80 hours a week is unreal. We also talk regularly on the phone late at night which I imagine is not very likely to happen if a girlfriend is a reality. He's also definitely not a "losing loser" as some people have described. One of the reasons I like him is because he is very inspiring in his work ethic and charity work.
He didn't grow up in the best of circumstances but has really built a great life for himself. Just some more comments - dont know if it will change people's perceptions. He may be very good at dealing with his work life but make incredibly poor choices regarding his emotional attachments to people. From what you have shared here, he sounds like he likes you but cannot get past the age gap.
This can create an unintentional power struggle, especially if you are not as experienced. I would step back from all of this, especially because of the history of mini breakups. That is just manipulating and drama-Rama. You should be having this discussion together; he shouldn't be telling you what you want out of a relationship. As many, many others have said, it's really not an issue of the age difference; it's an issue of the nature of the relationship.
It doesn't really sound like a healthy relationship to me; he sounds as if he's taken on something of a paternalistic role, which is almost guaranteed to lead to a messed-up dynamic. Have you ever had a Facebook friend who is slightly nuts and full of drama, and you keep looking at her posts and feeling irritated, and like you want to engage, and tell her to stop being so dramatic and fighty about everything, and it's this tiny thorn in your paw whenever you notice?
And then eventually you just hide her posts, and oh my God, it's like night and day, the annoyance totally evaporates, and you can't believe you put up with it for so long? In my experience, that's what this type of relationship is like. The drama is both annoying and sort of addictive, but as soon as you walk away, you're like - OH. I didn't actually like that very much. I don't know if the age difference is necessarily a problem, but does this relationship really feel fun and supportive to you?
Or do you spend a lot of time with an anxious knot in your gut, wondering if he's going to call, or what he'll say when you see him, if he'll smile when you walk in or frown dramatically and then tell you you definitely have to break up this time, etc? Like many people, I had a few mildly dramatic relationships when I was your age. Why did I put up with that? Why did I engage with those people? I wasn't even having a very good time! They weren't fun, I wasn't learning anything very useful about how adults behave in relationships, and they were so full of mild drama and I felt anxious all the time.
The only thing they had going for them was that the very drama they generated was mildly exciting and made me think "I guess this is what the beginning of a relationship is like! Maybe this is how you know this is going to be an important one! That's how you know that the relationship will be ridiculous and full of drama.
I mean, look, you're young and you're figuring things out. Will it ruin your life if you remain involved with this guy? Probably not use birth control , but on the other hand You are a young, happening lady, and there are definitely other fellows out there who would love to date you without weird flip-flopping drama about everything. I personally think those guys are the ones you want. Just because dating without a knot of tension in your stomach is more fun! BlahLaLa is 13 years older than I am, and we met when I was We've been together for more than 20 years, so yeah, I don't think the age difference alone is a deal breaker.
But the difference between our relationship and yours is that ours was drama-free and fairly healthy right from the get-go. Drop it and move along. He's not the right guy for you, and the age difference is just a tiny part if why. You have multiple people with much more experience telling you he's sleeping with someone else based on your last paragraph.
Let me bold the parts that stand out: How could someone who talks about that completely flip flop to " I can't see you anymore because if I do I know I won't let you go"? I wish that when I was 20 someone with more experience had shown me the things to look for. I'm showing you now. Run away from this guy. At best he's a muddled mess and a horrible mismatch for you. It's more likely, though, that he's a liar. I would highly recommend rephrasing this question in your mind as "a 20 year old dating a 34 year old.
Too much drama, yet all of it backstage. Find a guy who isn't so squirrelly about his intentions and his life. It seems pretty fucking far. It is also really not a good sign how much you've focused on what he wants instead of what you want. From the distance of the internet, that you are at least under the impression that he works 80 hours a week is not actually a good sign, at least from where we sit. Working 80 hours a week is not something you can really do and date one person, I've done it before and it is really really non-trivial; that is 12 hours a day every day, which minus 8 hours for sleeping and leaves 4 hours total for everything else from shitting to laundry to commuting to eating.
It sounds an awful lot like the kind of thing someone who spends a normal amount of time with their girlfriend would say to explain their naturally sporadic amount of time to the girl being groomed on the side. This guy is taking advantage of the many subtle and non-intuitive things you don't yet know to look for but are freaking the fuck out of the many older women in this thread who have literally been there and are trying to point them out.
He is both fully defining the relationship, hell you even phrased your question as if from his perspective, and using that power to craft a really unhealthy one. You don't need to deal with this bullshit. Breaking up and getting back together multiple times is something that teenagers or other 20 year olds do, not mature grown men in their 30s.
I don't think the issue here is this man's age, but rather his maturity or rather, lack thereof. He seems to want to control the level of contact you guys have, the amount and type of physical contact, and the length of your relationship. OP, is that what you want from a boyfriend? Late night conversations makes this worse, not better. He's keeping you from being intimate with anyone else, any one who is not him. Yet, he doesn't believe in relationships that last more than 5 years? And he doesn't want to be your boyfriend, anyway? Please don't let someone like this have that kind of power over your present or future.
Your first statements about him pressuring you for sex were very clear. Also, your statements were very familiar to me, so therefore, much more believable than your backtracking. Please don't make excuses for this guy.
It is NOT your fault that he came on so strong and inappropriately, so don't take on his burden by now downplaying what happened. You're better than that. Please understand that men will be propositioning you in ways that reflect poorly on them not you for many many years to come. No one here is slut-shaming you, so don't you do start doing that to yourself!!
Telling you what kind of sex you should engage in? That he has weighed in with his opinion on what type of sexual intimacies you should try, and in what order, despite the fact that he's rejected you as too young, yet he texts and phone calls you like you are his girlfriend Every second you spend talking to or thinking about this guy puts you further away from appreciating how valuable your time and energy is, and further away from being in the relationship you really want.
I have a weird feeling that this guy is an investment banker, or at least that type. In that culture, a pretty 20 year old virgin is a trophy. I suspect he can't bear to give the trophy up to anyone else, but is aware of how using you would harm you; thus, his conflict. You can do better.
Your follow-up response has made it abundantly clear to me that 1 you like and admire the man, and 2 you're going to become increasingly uncomfortable with the responses on this thread. So, my practical answer for you is No - he's not robbing the cradle. Age gaps are not the critical issue alone.
Rather, continue seeing him as long as you are fulfilled and enjoying the relationship with him. When that changes, move on.
OP, of the things wrong with this relationship, the age difference is not one of them. I do like him but I also do really appreciate all the advice that everyone has given here. I believe there is cause to question the relationship I wouldn't have posted if I didn't. In the follow up comment, I was just trying to make sure I was portraying it the right way which might not have been the case when I posted late last night posted by avenue at Ugh this guy is way too immature and gross for a 34 year old guy. He wants to have sex with you and then put in caveats and pretend he has a deep emotional life.
He's gross and immature and wants to have sex with you and will say whatever it takes. What I'm getting is that he doesn't love or care about you. He isn't even respectful but is trying to seem like it. I tend to agree that 20 is quite a different stage of life then a few years later, such as 24, and that in that sense 24 is much "closer" to 34 than 20 is.
It's a different stage of life in terms of maturity and in terms of life experience, and the reason is because there's usually a long process of transitioning, rather than an overnight one, from being a dependent child of parents to being an independent adult who is a mature grown up person, and for many people that transition is still a work in progress when they are 20 but is much more completed when they are I think what this guy is experiencing is a struggle between being attracted to you personality, etc. And I agree with everyone saying he has a girlfriend.
He's regularly having sex with someone who doesn't know he's saying these things to you. When I was in my early 20's I dated a lot of people in their 30's. I didn't feel that it was inappropriate, or that anyone was "robbing the cradle" or that I was being taken advantage of in any way. In fact, quite the opposite -- in most of those situations I felt like a mooch because I had less money than my partner and in general less ability to be the "giver" rather than the "taker".
I also felt like I was holding those partners back, that they should be off building a life for themselves, not running around with a 22 year old. That said, there were some really big drawbacks to the age difference. For one thing, the power differential of always being the needy one in the relationship and never being able to give generously of myself really bummed me out.
I also felt like my partners were experiencing pressures about dating someone so young, while if anything I was getting approval from my friends about my choice of awesome partners who, like, had jobs and were good at sex and stuff. Also, in every case, we were in very different places in our lives. This meant that the relationships were ultimately doomed. In almost all cases, these people broke up with me to date someone closer to their own age. In most cases, a specific person closer to their own age.
It really sucks to hear "I met someone else" or "I'm going to start seeing [Katie] exclusively" rather than the general "this isn't working out" breakup script. The constant threat of there being someone else who was more appropriate for my partner to be dating and thus who would always win out in the end kind of messed me up for a while. I'm also a little concerned that you are still in college, while presumably your boyfriend is not.
College is really a time to be in the headspace of school, and it's hard to do that if your primary social interactions are with people who are not in school, or worse, people who left school behind 10 years ago. As a 31 year old, I absolutely would never consider dating a traditionally-aged college student. Not because the year age difference is too much, but because of the college kid thing. I'd consider dating someone who was 21 or 22 but out of school. I would not consider someone the same age who still had a year or more of college.
I also somehow missed the whole virginity thing in your question. As a virgin, you are basically incompatible with someone in their 30's. You are sexually on different planets. Go date someone who is around your age, who will see the whole "losing my virginity" thing from the same level you do. Hell, a 20 or even 23 year old guy has a decent shot at being a virgin himself, or at least being sexually inexperienced enough that this won't really be a thing. Someone who is 34 and became sexually active around the typical age range has been having sex for close to half their life now.
It's like the difference between community theatre and Broadway. Go find someone your age to experiment with. I also feel like this guy has a girlfriend and doesn't want to "take your virginity" because he doesn't want to be the kind if immoral asshole who cheats on his girlfriend with a 20 year old virgin.
Or he doesn't care about morality and doesn't want the drama that is inevitably going to accompany you having sex for the first time. I think you are asking the wrong questions, frankly -- or at least, of the wrong people. This guy is trying to dump you without actually doing the dirty work. Further, he's the only person who can really tell you why that is, but he probably won't, because he seems pretty concerned with not being a "bad guy. But what it sounds like is that there are some real incompatibilities here, only some of which have to do with the age gap.
Brief breakups that are common are NOT normal, under any circumstances. I'm also with those who think that there's someone else in his life. It also occurred to me to ask you what your family and friends think. If, as I'm going to guess, you haven't told them, or many of them, think about why that is the case.
One hallmark of a worthwhile relationship is that it isn't secret. I understand why alot of people may think he has a girlfriend at least not a serious one but here's just some reasons why I think he doesn't: Of course, you all could be right and he could very well be fucking someone else. He's telling you what steps you should do what sexual activities in. He's an adult professional dating a college student aspiring to that profession, which is a big power imbalance.
He has all kinds of bullshit rhetoric about how relationships "should" be. He makes decisions about the relationship without your input. You deserve better than this. And he probably is fucking someone and either it's someone who's not that into him and doesn't mind his head games because she's just looking for a fuckbuddy, or he's running his head games on her, too, and called her after he got off the phone with you on Thanksgiving and laid the same script on her. And why is he doing this? Because he clearly thinks of himself as some kind of romance guru. Because he gets off on having a young, bright, attractive woman be pining after him.
Because he honestly likes you. But the last reason is so posted by Sidhedevil at Avenue, I can't say whether he's seeing someone else, but those aren't convincing reasons. Everybody say hi to my girl avenue! We wish you could be here sweetheart! And 2 is just a promise about the future, and those aren't real things happening now.
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Again, he may not be seeing anyone else, but these behaviors aren't substantive evidence for that. They can be and have been entirely consistent with seeing someone else, as those of us with relevant life experience can attest. Every time I dated someone in their thirties when I was in my early twenties, they were seeing other people in addition to me. None of them had serious girlfriends they were trying to hide from me, but in each instance I was not the only person in their life. We were not dating exclusively. If nothing else, there was a lot of competition between me and other women they were potentially also seeing.
It just seems completely bizarre to me that this dude in his mid thirties is carrying on an exclusive and serious relationship with a 20 year old college virgin who he has no interest in sleeping with. Frankly, if that's the case, I would be a lot more worried about his overall fitness as a partner.
If nothing else, he's playing the field and has eggs in different baskets. Maybe he doesn't have a Serious Girlfriend of the sort he'd spend holidays with, but you are not the only woman he is involved with. I'm also wondering if you guys don't have different and incompatible views of the nature of your relationship. Like maybe you see this as an exclusive Boyfriend-Girlfriend relationship leading towards marriage, and he sees this as a casual open thing where, because he's not having sex with you, he is free to see other people.
I don't see him as "the one" I am not leaning towards marriage. HE is the one who makes it seem like that's what he wants. He's hinted at it multiple times. He has expressed multiple times that we are exclusive bc I asked him if he was seeing someone else. It seems bizarre to me too! I don't want that because at that point I would be looking for a husband. I'm not at this point in my life. Also thanks for everyone's insight on possible other girlfriend. I don't know if he's trying to backpedal on the relationship, or if he's trying to manipulate you, but the line about what you "should" experience sexually and in what order is not good.
You get to decide what you want to do sexually, and when, and with whom--and if the person you want to do those things with doesn't feel the same, that's totally fine and totally the person's right to express it, but that's different from telling you that your desires and preferences are wrong and instead they should be X. The level of teaching here's how to do sex , controlling relationships work best if you take my view of relationships , and self-doubt-complaining you're so young, you're going to hate me in 5 years he seems to want to do with you is not worth your time.
He doesn't have to be a totally awful person for this to be true. He can be nice and fun and smart and still not be worth having a relationship with because the two of you just don't seem compatible, and he doesn't seem like a good relationship prospect for you. I am about to share with you the root of all relationship wisdom, If something about someone else's behavior feels weird to you, it probably should, and investigating why will lead you to the wisdom behind why it felt like something weird and not something known.
This dude's behavior seemed weird to you, and you've gotten a lot of excellent advice to this question from folks who have followed similar threads of weird feelings before. Really I hope we can convince you to not only carefully and calculatedly DTMFA, because honestly there are a bunch of things Like, if he is trying to push exclusivity on you that is really not ok; you get to decide when you don't want to date other people, not anyone else that seem really weird in really not ok ways, but also to trust your instincts and then think through them. Women in particular are generally socialized to not trust their instincts, to devalue them, and to consider them irrational.
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This only serves one purpose, to make women more vulnerable and manipulate-able. You seem to know your answer - you're at different places in your life. You want to date people in a not-heading-right-to-marriage way, maybe be sexual with people you're really close to, but not marry the first person you are with out of the gate. Meanwhile, if what you say is true, he wants a longer, exclusive relationship, but he wants you to wait for that until you're 25 and will meet his requirments.
It's not going to work. You're going to be a different person in 5 years, and so is he. Who knows whether you'll be looking for a husband. You are capable of change. In fact, you are guaranteed to change in ways you can't predict yet. And because of that, relationships really can't be put on hold until a more convenient time. And it's unfair of him to ask you to pay attention to him in the interim, while he's also saying that he can't date you, openly and uncomplicatedly, and meet your needs right now.
It's not wrong of you to feel like this isn't what you want. You are totally correct in diagnosing a disconnect betwen your desires and life stages and perhaps a fundamental attitude toward relationships - what they're for, and who is an appropriate partner. It's really hard to try to force something like this to happen. You both want different things right now, and you're likely to want different things in the future, so even if you try to be together, it means one or both of you are going to be uncomfortable and unhappy.
Why would you want that? It's not going to work out perfectly, as you might wish in fantasies. He's telling you loud and clear that it can't work now.