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New Relationship Reflection, Age Gap and Polyamory

Tagged as: Age differences, Crushes, Dating, Sex, Three is a crowd, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 November 2017) 6 Answers - (Newest, 20 November 2017)
A female United States age 22-25, *ayCharles writes:

I have been recently seeing a man that is 10 years older than me, I am 21, he is 31. Saw him at the bar and asked for his number, had a date, was pretty nervous but ended well with us making out and finding out we were really physically compatible.

The sex is incredible. The most sensual and pleasurable sex I have ever had. I am very sexual and so have high standards and generally only engage in sex I know will be gratifying, having a partner willing to go the distance and be very communicative, which he is.

The age thing has definitely been a point of discussion. We have check-ins about how we are feeling and whatnot. He wants to make sure that he is respecting me and not holding power over me in any way given his age/ potential power dynamic. I am quite emotionally intelligent and mature for my age, so for me we are reaching a level of emotional intimacy that I really cherish and respect.

What does come in the way is experiences. He, obviously, has had more life experiences than I have. I don't take it as a negative thing as in I haven't done enough, but that we are in different stages. I just graduated and am starting off my career journey and he is just now finding great success and growth in his career. We are both focused on that for the most part, enjoying each other's company.

A positive sign for me in the beginning that I wasn't going to be treated as a young naive girl was that he would invite me to hang out with his friends, all in their early 30's as well. I can hold my own and work a room. I am confident and personable.

Anyway. Going into this sort of relationship, he shared that 3 years ago his ex broke off their engagement. It was a hard time for him, he is mostly over it but as a result, he isn't interested in long-term, monogamy right now. As a young person myself, just a year out of what was a 3-year relationship, I am open to exploring polyamorous relationships. We communicate well enough I was willing to try it out. The woman he was dating when I met him, had an issue with him seeing me because even though he had the same talk with her, they fell into monogamy because of their work schedules, so she was expecting their relationship to become more serious. So, that ended because he couldn't give her what she wanted. Which means we are exclusive at the moment. I am free to see other people, I just don't want to. I have a fuck buddy, but the sex isn't as good (lacks the intimacy I have with this guy) and also just want to minimize risk, so less sexual partners the better. My guy is queer and has two close friends of his that very rarely he will make out with or hook up with after a night of drinking. He said they will never be his boyfriend or girlfriend, but he wants to make sure he can maintain his closeness with them.

I totally understand wanting to keep those you are close to in your life, and I have met both these people and do not perceive them as threats or anything. In fact, I am becoming friends with the woman, who mainly dates women anyway.

We both agreed that if we exchange fluids with another person, we need to share that information as well as health concerns, testing, protection etc. The problem is that he rarely engages in penetration and if I hook up with someone, that is what I want. So he could make out and do hand stuff with whoever and I wouldn't know, but if I got with someone else, I'd go the whole way and we'd have to discuss it. He has also said that it, psychologically, would make him desire sex with me less depending on when and how it happened. Which I get, but also makes me not want to have sex with someone else (which I don't want anyway) because I want to be completely attractive to him.

For me, I guess I want perspective on what to expect in a constrained relationship like this (being told it will not become serious from the start) but also recognizing that we are becoming much closer and I feel like the physical chemistry and emotional intimacy we are sharing is pushing us into another relationship zone. And to me it seems like he just dislikes labels. I don't care about labels as long as my expectations are clear between my partner and I.

I honestly know it won't be long term, I am too young and have more to do and see. But I also feel like this could be a great experience and relationship if it progresses into something more.

I know there isn't an exact question here, but I could use perspective, perhaps clarifying questions for myself and advice on how to proceed in such open territory.

View related questions: fuck buddy, his ex, my ex

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A female reader, RayCharles United States +, writes (20 November 2017):

RayCharles is verified as being by the original poster of the question

So as an update, neither of us has seen other people. And neither is actively looking. The relationship is acting exclusive except in the label of it being open. I know this does not mean I should expect it to remain this way and need to still check in with him, but I feel good about where it is at. And it feels like we are becoming closer and are spending more quality time together outside of sexual relations. For me, this isn't going to be a long term, end all be all. That isn't what I want or expect. But what I do want is the intimacy we are sharing an respect. And I feel like I am getting both of those things from him. To me it seems that he also likes where we are at and wants to continue to explore and figure out what we are doing together, the age thing being new for both of us, but that he needs the "open, no label" thing as a reassurance of his freedom and protection since what happened to him a few years ago.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (14 November 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntYou feel you are mature for your age and perhaps you are but I fear that you are going to get deeper feelings for this guy than you want to admit and you will end up heart broken. If you really think you are strong enough to share him with other people and keep this a bit off fun and not serious then sure go ahead, but I feel from reading your post you are already looking to want more but you are denying it to yourself deep down.

It is your life and your decision, but to me it sounds like this guy got really hurt when his fiance left him, you need to remember he wanted to marry this person. It sounds like he is not over them yet and so he still has a barrier up so another person cannot hurt him the way that they did.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (14 November 2017):

OP, I don't have much to add. He sounds like a good guy and you are having a good time.

This is very minor, but you are a good writer so I wanted to point out that the correct usage is "between my partner and me."

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 November 2017):

I think this is a dead end. I know you don't feel that way, but I don't think you really are mature enough for this relationship. Your age is years of life - there are only so many life experiences a 21 year old can have to make them mature.

I think you're in over your head and he isn't actually respecting you. He wants you, but more as a trophy girlfriend.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but what would a 31 year old *really* want with someone so young and new to being an adult?

It's fairly easy to treat someone as older than they are, especially when they naively think that means they are being treated like an equal.

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A female reader, RayCharles United States +, writes (13 November 2017):

RayCharles is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I didn't want to have sex with someone else before that was something he said. He made it clear that it wouldn't stop what we were doing, but would require more conversation to make sure all safety precautions were taken. And the "less attractive" bit of it is more the psychological part of being less enthusiastic to jump into things or, for instance, go down on me, if he knew someone else was just there. But I think that also depends on the timing of it all. So yes if I have sex I want penetration, but I do not want to have sex with other people right now. And this is a conversation we come back to in order to check in.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2017):

So he told you that what you want and like to do (penetration) would make you less attractive to him? Which is making you change what you’ll do?

I know you don’t really have a question, so all I can point out from reading your post is that that part seems a bit ridiculous.

You seem mature, you seem to understand power dynamics... but not really. He already has you backing down on what you want out of this relationship. You can say that you don’t want to have sex/penetration anymore for yourself, but the fact is you’re doing it for him.... With the type of relationship that this is, you shouldn’t have to stifle who you are or what you want.

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