I got an email (I respond to all emails so please feel free to ask me a question or just say hello here) from Lena. “I just wrote to say that I am in love with a much older man. We are 28 years apart. I am just 25 years old and he’s 52 years old. I love and care about him very much, he loves me very much as well, He’s a very good listener and is very wise and funny. I think that I have never been happier before. He’s very interested in how I feel and is very supportive of whatever I want to do. I have learned a lot from him and we’ve been together for 11 months now. At first it was kinda weird when we realized we had feelings for one another, but then the whole age thing grew on me as well. But recently he brought up the topic of our 28 years age gap and he thinks he’s being unfair to me and that I should be with people my age. I told him that I chose him, that he’s made me the happiest woman in the world, that the age thing doesn’t matter to me at all and that I don’t want to date people my age since they are just too self-centered. Please help me make him understand that him being a lot older is okay for a woman provided everything else in the relationship is great. Other than that we are happy and in love with one another.”
I think like any other older man or woman, this man is suffering from midlife crisis and that produces the guilt that somehow he does not deserve a younger girl and that by dating someone so young he may be robbing her of the opportunity to be with people her age.
I think Lena is doing the right thing by emphasizing that she “chooses” to be with him and that she likes him not for his age but for his persona. Any woman in her situation can tell an older man (the vice versa is even more true — mature women often have many hangups about their age and younger boyfriends often need to convince them of their sexiness) that she would have had the same feelings even if he was same age as her or even younger. Tell him that he makes you happy and that you want to enjoy that happiness.