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I'm in Love With a Much Older Woman, But I'm Worried



Dear Athena,

I think I'm in love with someone 16 years my senior. I'm 27. I met one of the managers where my friend works out one night and we really hit it off. She's funny and smart and really sexy. We ended up going home together, and started seeing each other right away. I really think I'm falling in love with her and want to spend my life with her, but I'm worried that, someday later on, her age will be a problem for me. Right now she doesn't look or seem that much older than me, but she will eventually. I worry about what other people will think, like my parents and friends, and I'm not sure if I should try to stay with her. What do you think?


In Love With an Older Woman

Dear In Love,

What does it matter how old she is, or you are? You're in love, and that's something to sing about. It's cause for giddiness and celebration. You've met a person who is smart, funny and sexy, and you love her.

But how does she feel? Have you asked her if she finds you too young?

When you make a commitment to share the rest of your life with someone, it isn't just about love; it's about compatibility. If the two of you see your life moving in the same direction and want to do it together, then the hell with age.

It's not that unusual for people to fall in love with someone much younger/older than themselves. But the connections we make aren't just about our birth date, where we grew up or what we do for a living. It's largely about chemistry: a physical force that we can't explain.

You say you're worried about her age being a problem for you in the future. Are you worried that your attraction to her will fade? Remember, you will age, too, and all long-term relationships evolve. Attractions may fade in some ways but grow in others. If it's true love, time will only enhance your bond. But over years all couples — regardless of age or age differences — must find ways to rekindle the fire.

I have to say, though, the fact that you're worried about what other people will think is just sad. If this woman knew how you felt, she would be pretty disappointed. If it were me, I'd be pissed. Who wants to be with a partner who's ashamed of them? My father once told me: "If he doesn't introduce you to his friends and family, then he's keeping you a secret, and you should never be anyone's secret. He should want to climb to the top of a mountain and tell the world he loves you."

Now, my Greek father was a bit old-fashioned and melodramatic, but still, he was right on. If in the end you decide you really do love her "for life" and the opinions of friends and family will not erode that, good for you. Count yourself lucky to have met someone you feel so strongly about.

But if you think you're going to be embarrassed or ashamed of your woman in the future, show her some respect and call it off now. There is nothing wrong with any age, but there might be other reasons why a large gap in years between partners is not ideal. The inability of either person to deal with it is the biggest one. And have you thought about whether she might find you too immature?

Sounds to me like this subject is worth an open discussion between the two of you.



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