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Old 05-03-2004, 10:59 PM   #1
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Age Gap in Relationship

My best friend (who is like a sister to me) broke up with her long-term boyfriend a few of months ago and is has been dating this guy who is younger than her (she is 24 and he is 20, almost 21) for almost two months. She isn't admitting it, but I think that she is falling for him quickly. She is gorgeous and he seems smitten by her, but I am a little worried. I think that she is reaching a point where she is gradually beginning to look for someone to settle down with (which is why I think she broke off the other relationship - she says that she began realizing that she would not want to spend the rest of her life with her ex). She says that she is not yet falling in love and that she is in control, but we've been friends since we were 13 and I know better! He seems responsible and mature in the way that he treats her, but still pretty young in mind. He is also a good-looking guy (she is just as good-looking of a girl) and I'm just afraid that she may get her heart broken! I'm afraid that he won't want to settle and that she will.

 
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:36 AM   #2
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devastated HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

I don't see the big deal...I'm 29, and my boyfriend is only 22...and he is more ready to settle down than I am. I think we're perfect together, age difference be damned! It was a bit wierd that when I started dating him, he was underage, but truthfully, I never even think about the age difference anymore...we just bought a house together. If your girlfriend thinks he's the one...have some faith in her!

 
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:58 AM   #3
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Re: Age Gap in Relationship

I don't think this is something that you can really do anything about. Think about when your parents tried to stop you from doing something as a teenager. It made you want to do it more. Also, this is her heart on the line, not yours. I think all you can do is share your concerns with her once, and then let it go. After that, you stand the chance of ruining your friendship with her, rather than the relationship she has with this man.

 
Old 05-04-2004, 08:09 AM   #4
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newlywedgurl HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by mizvespa
My best friend (who is like a sister to me) broke up with her long-term boyfriend a few of months ago and is has been dating this guy who is younger than her (she is 24 and he is 20, almost 21) for almost two months. She isn't admitting it, but I think that she is falling for him quickly. She is gorgeous and he seems smitten by her, but I am a little worried. I think that she is reaching a point where she is gradually beginning to look for someone to settle down with (which is why I think she broke off the other relationship - she says that she began realizing that she would not want to spend the rest of her life with her ex). She says that she is not yet falling in love and that she is in control, but we've been friends since we were 13 and I know better! He seems responsible and mature in the way that he treats her, but still pretty young in mind. He is also a good-looking guy (she is just as good-looking of a girl) and I'm just afraid that she may get her heart broken! I'm afraid that he won't want to settle and that she will.

I am 24 (will be 25 in July). I met the most wonderful man I have ever known last June. He was 20 years old (and had just turned 20!!) At first, I was pretty stand-offish about his attempts to date me, but he very quickly won over my heart. We spent a LOT of time together, but began "dating" in the middle of July. Two weeks later, we were engaged. We got married in December, and just returned from a weekend away to celebrate his 21st birthday. I love my husband more than anyone in the world. I voiced reservations about his age at first to my mother, who said to me, "You have dated men your age that treated you like *****. You dated a man 14 YEARS older than you who was a committment-phobe and treated you like *****. You dated people a handful of years older and they treated you like *****. What difference does it make that he is younger than you?? He adores you, is responsible, and treats you like you deserve to be treated!" She was right, of course!! If your friend was 20 and the guy was 24, it wouldn't be an issue.

We both dealt with the comments and raised eyebrows when we announced our engagement. I am the most practical, rational person you could know. I do not make rash decisions, am very independant, and well-educated. Of course, there were the "Is she pregnant?" comments and the "He's HOW old??" comments. My former boss even asked me straight out one day "You really plan on marrying him don't you??" Like it was the most incredulous thing she ever heard.

I hate to sound harsh, but it is really not your place to judge your friend. Trust me, if they do end up together, she'll remember how judgmental you were and how you did not support her. Everyone took issue with how we had not known each other very long. But you know what?? We both "just knew." I had no doubts. And still don't.

You can spend 5 minutes talking to someone and "know" that you can't stand them. Hell, you can dislike someone you have never talked to...Just because "there's just something about them!" But no one ever questions that. Support your friend. Who cares how old he is if he is good to her?!

Just wanted to offer you another perspective!

Cheers,
Newlywedgurl

 
Old 05-04-2004, 08:17 AM   #5
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TruthaboutLife HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

Age gaps are only a problem:

(a) if one/both view it as one
(b) if you have little in common or at totally different life stages.

 
Old 05-04-2004, 09:18 AM   #6
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Re: Age Gap in Relationship

Its not a problem...He may share the same goals with here, but this is your friend and her life. Its good to see that you are caring but this is her decision. If they break up and she is heart broken, oh well, she will have to toughen up. We all get our hearts broken. There is no way you can stop this but as a friend you can voice you concern in a friendly matter.

 
Old 05-04-2004, 09:44 AM   #7
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newlywedgurl HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

I guess I don't see where she should have any concerns...it doesn't sound like there is any problem with him....she just doesn't like that he is 20.....

 
Old 05-04-2004, 09:50 AM   #8
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TruthaboutLife HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

First off, they haven't anywhere reached the stage for either to decide whether this is marriage material or not so cross that bridge IF they come to it...yeah?

Secondly, I am of the firm belief that you cannot expect a young person to voice a long term experienced opinion, simply because they haven't even LIVED longterm!

HOWEVVVVVVVVVVVVVERRRRR......I would quickly add that because someone is young it doesn't mean they are incapable of giving as much credible input to a relationship as someone older. So don't write him off because he seems immature. Sorry guys, but I think that ALL men are immature at least until 30. I always say to my gfs, a man isn't a MAN until he is 30, but it's a bloody shame he looks so ***** by then!!!

Anyway....she might just want some immature fun with a hot guy....is that so wrong?

 
Old 05-04-2004, 10:03 AM   #9
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newlywedgurl HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

My 21 year old husband is more mature than the 36 year old lawyer I dated.....and I am more mature than a lot of 30 year olds that I know.

I don't want to stray off the topic and get into a battle over what "age" people are capable of making intelligent decisions. There are 40 year olds who are horrible decision-makers.

The point is, this poster has a problem with her friend spending time with this young man who is younger than she. First of all, I don't see where it is her place to take issue with age....she is not the one who is involved with him. Secondly, she is worried about her friend having her heart broken, which is something that can occue NO MATTER WHAT age the other person is...

I think it's great that she worries about her friend, but I think she's putting the proverbial cart before the horse here. Her friend and this guy may or may not be serious....and she's already worrying about whether her friend will want to settle down and he won't. I personally feel that it is really not her business. Her friend--and this guy--are both grown & don't need a mother.

The point of my other post was to offer her perspective from her FRIEND'S point of view. Because I WAS THAT FRIEND. She doesn't have to understand, like, or agree with her friend's choice in whomever she dates, marries, sleeps with, etc. But if she is a true friend, she will be supportive and accepting of that choice. Her friend may end up having her heart broken. Or she may end up the happiest woman on earth. Either way....it is not up to the original poster to determine the suitability of this man for her friend--regardless of age or anything else.

 
Old 05-04-2004, 10:23 AM   #10
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eightball61 HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by newlywedgurl


First of all, I don't see where it is her place to take issue with age....she is not the one who is involved with him. Secondly, she is worried about her friend having her heart broken, which is something that can occue NO MATTER WHAT age the other person is...



We all mature at different ages and rates...Guy have a tendacy to be late bloomers or never mature.

I agree and I personally don't see that she needs to be so worried about her friend so much. Its good that she is looking after her but this is her friends problem not her.

 
Old 05-04-2004, 10:27 AM   #11
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Re: Age Gap in Relationship

Quote:
I agree and I personally don't see that she needs to be so worried about her friend so much. Its good that she is looking after her but this is her friends problem not her.
Exactly Jeff....and so far, there IS no problem....so leave them alone.

 
Old 05-04-2004, 02:17 PM   #12
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mizvespa HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

Thanks everyone for your input! I don't think that I made myself clear, though. I would never, ever tell anyone who they should date or how they should live their lives. Basically, I was just looking for a little reassurance and I pretty much heard what I wanted to hear. My main reason for being concerned is that I'm already hearing her say, "What if we got married, then..." Basically, in just being around him and his friends, it just seems that he is still enjoying being young and a little reckless and I know that she is moving away from that. It is really none of my business, therefore I would never ever tell her what to do or even offer an opinion unless she asked. Still, knowing my friend, she has always had a tendency to fall too fast and I've seen her get her heart broken so many times. I am just concerned as she has been concerned about me before.

 
Old 05-04-2004, 03:19 PM   #13
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eightball61 HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by mizvespa
Thanks everyone for your input! I don't think that I made myself clear, though. I would never, ever tell anyone who they should date or how they should live their lives. Basically, I was just looking for a little reassurance and I pretty much heard what I wanted to hear. My main reason for being concerned is that I'm already hearing her say, "What if we got married, then..." Basically, in just being around him and his friends, it just seems that he is still enjoying being young and a little reckless and I know that she is moving away from that. It is really none of my business, therefore I would never ever tell her what to do or even offer an opinion unless she asked. Still, knowing my friend, she has always had a tendency to fall too fast and I've seen her get her heart broken so many times. I am just concerned as she has been concerned about me before.

Its good that you recon. that its really none of your business. I can tell that you are a caring friend and she lucky to have you but somtimes she has to learn life herself. There is only so much you can do as a friend. She is living her own life and will do what pleases her. Just give them the chance and we'll see what works out. Maybe it could be like i said; they may share the same goal. Age doesn't in some cases when you are ready to settle down.

 
Old 05-05-2004, 07:14 AM   #14
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Re: Age Gap in Relationship

mizvespa--

I can understand your concerns with regard to him spending time with his buddies and enjoying being "young and restless." But let me also say that when I met my now husband, he was living quite um, restlessly. As a matter of fact, I basically said I did not want to get involved with him for that reason....

Long story short....he basically "cleaned house" with regard to his friends and um, restlessness....not anything I asked him to do. It was his decision. He is the most responsible man in the world and the most dedicated husband. I never worry about where he is, what he is doing, or anything of the like. He is home with me every night and brings me nothing but joy. He calls if he's going to be late, helps around the house, contributes financially, and is very attentive to me and whatever I need. He's also a loving father to our "fur-babies!" (2 dogs/2 cats)

So, please rest assured that everything is not always what it seems. There may not be a thing in the world to come of this guy and your friend. But he also may be her knight in shining armor!! I know mine was!!!!

 
Old 05-05-2004, 08:42 AM   #15
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Salinas1 HB User
Re: Age Gap in Relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by eightball61
...Guy have a tendacy to be late bloomers or never mature.
I am not sure what the measures of maturity are, but in my 48 years, for every immature adult male I have encountered, there are a similar number of immature adult females. Guys may show it differently, but there are a plethora of women that are more than willing to do incredibly immature things at any age when it comes to looking for, picking, or keeping a man. I'd say that both genders are pretty equal on this call.

 
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