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Will this age difference be a problem in my new relationship with a co-worker?

Tagged as: Age differences, Dating, Family, Health, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 March 2015) 4 Answers - (Newest, 30 March 2015)
A male United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

I have just entered a relationship with a Co worker.

We have both come out of bad relationships in the past.

We both love each other and make each other very happy. We are considering moving in together soon. She has a young daughter who I get on very well with, my son has grown up and flown the coop.

The problem is she is concerned a little bit about the age difference. I am 43 and she is 24. She worries that I will die long before she does.

My question is, is the age difference a problem when two people love each other so much?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

To be frank, having read the posts so far, it sounds much more like you want validation from us rather than impartial suggestions, opinions and advice.

You probably are aware of all the usual responses regarding a (very nearly) two decade age difference ie. that she will get bored with you as she grows older and is less vulnerable/less in need of support with her child and that you won't be able to keep up the pace (regardless of whether she is a 'party animal' or an introvert). Obviously these concerns apply, but you sound as if you have already constructed a 'defence' against them and don't really want to hear them.

However, I share the concerns of So Very Confused regarding the children, especially her daughter, which are greater due to the usual age gap concerns outlined above. If the dynamic of the relationship does change between you (to the point of splitting up), because your partner is still very young and A LOT can change for 24 year olds in their 20's and 30's, it's the child that will be very hurt and confused in the end. Your partner will still be young enough to move on and find an alternative male partner and father figure for the child (which will be hard, in itself, for the child to deal with) but where will this leave you as a (kind of) ex Step Dad? What role will you play in her life if this happens?

My guess is that you won't want to hear this 'doom and gloom' opinion - as So Very Confused says, you sound like you are still in a kind of honeymoon phase and have convinced yourself you are (almost) invincible.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States + , writes (30 March 2015):

So_Very_Confused agony auntNo it's NOT wrong but it's NOT realistic.

I am an older partner. I am 14 years older than my husband.

At 43 I said the same things you said. I am fit. I am healthy I am active. I was. Then I was the first person in my family to get DEGENERATIVE DISC disease. 52 I was handed my life sentence of surgeries and crippling uncorrectable back pain that only can be treated NOT fixed. There are days I can barely walk.

THE first thing I did was try to BREAK our 2 week engagement. I did NOT want my then 39 yr old fiancee (now 41 yr old husband) to have to deal with pushing my wheelchair when I was 70. And Yes I will probably end up permanently in a wheelchair long before I die.

HE refused. I think it's totally incumbent on the older partner to encourage the younger partner to find someone else.

The fact that SHE'S concerned and you are all "don't worry be happy" concerns me greatly that you are not thinking clearly and are in that lovely stage of denial about how you will fare with age.

IF there was not a young child involved I would say YAY go for it... but if you two get together now at her most formative years and in a few years your gf opts to leave... it will not be good for the child.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

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

I am not her supervisor, we are equals. I have no problem raising a 5 year old and I am a very active and fit person so don't worry about fitness when I am older, in fact I am probably fitter and stronger than most men her age. . We both like the same things and yes we both want it to be long term. We both like the same things and she is not a party animal. To me it would be better to share the great happiness we have together Whether it lasts 5 years or 45 years. Surely it is better to be happy and love someone with all your heart than to give up and never find it at all. As for the dying part, anything could happen to us in the future. You can only live for the here and now and plan for the future. You can't live the future. Plus the men in my family live fit healthy long lives and outlast the wives. My grandfather outlasted my grandmother and she was 15 years younger than him. So is it wrong of me to think of all the positives and not the negatives that might, or might not happen?

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States + , writes (30 March 2015):

So_Very_Confused agony auntIt's a big gap.

She has a young daughter...are you sure at 43 you are ready to go through all that is involved with a young child and then a young lady in the throes of puberty? Are you committed to raising this child as your own?

Why are you NOT kicking and screaming and trying to get her to find someone more appropriate to her age? Do you like the same shows? What about the same music?

I am the older partner in my relationship and I can tell you that usually it's the OLDER partner that has to be convinced that the relationship is viable. WE as older partners with experience who LOVE our younger partners do not want to saddle them with our care. We as older partners with experience do not want to cripple the life of the one we love by tying them to someone who won't want to get up and get out and go and do like they do.

In ten years you will be 53 and trust me feeling it... and sh will be int he prime of her life at 34 with a child who is now capable of caring for herself somewhat... then what will happen.

Are you thinking LONG TERM or are you thinking about here and now.... because with a young child involved I would tread very very carefully.

A 24 yr old woman mother or not has not had a enough life experience to always make good choices. As the older wiser partner it is incumbent on you to think long term and think what is best for ALL involved.

IN addition, young lady is a co-worker... Are you in a supervisory position over her? If so, NOT a good idea to date her at all. And what happens if you guys don't last? how will it be at work?

Since men tend to die 8 years before women her worrying that you will die before he is a very valid worry. Good for her for being realistic. When she is 54 you will be 73.

How long have you two been a couple?

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