Im in love with my friend and teacher 20 years older than me

This is quite sarcastically funny and I dont know if this is diabolical or coming from God.

I was converted primarily by the influence of my Religious studies teacher. I deeply loved him and considered him as my spiritual father…I owe to him my faith. We’ve been friends for more than three year. Just recently however, after a 4 day trip we made together with some common friends and his family I realized how much I deeply love him.

I’m not sure if I am pitying him or really liking him as a man and more than just his friend or my father. He is single and old…I cant imagine him growing old without someone beside him.I am honestly worrying about that. Sometimes I wish I would take care of him and be with him for the rest of my life. I would even admit that at times I love him more than I love Jesus. I accept him as he is…but this is getting weird.

I’m not sure if this is only a temptation or a real calling from God. I miss him every day…but I’m starting to doubt my intentions. Since hugging and coming to him now gets entangled with romantic feeling. I also have those wishful thoughts.

Should I still see him? what should I do about this? Can somebody enlighten me?
Thank you.:slight_smile:

This is tough to deal with. Congratulations on coming to the church.

I have been in love more than once. Those feelings come and go, and are heart-wrenching while they remain. It’s almost like having the flu, you’re really good for nothing while it continues.
But they will pass. I would recommend remaining friends, but limiting physical contact and extended visits. Maintain your dignity, enjoy his company when appropriate, If he has family, they no doubt will step up if the need arises.
Wait a year or two, and see if your feelings aren’t much different. Hopefully you will meet someone closer to you in age, that you don’t need to pity.
God bless.

I wouldn’t say this is “diabolical” or “divine”, either. It happens.

I had one friend who insisted that in love, age doesn’t matter. However, I would have to disagree.

I was married, twice. Once, I married a man who was about 15 years younger than me. In my second marriage, I married a man 15 years older than me. Age was a huge deal in both my marriages.

Especially in my first marriage, I very much loved him, and he was my best friend. However, it takes a lot to make a relationship, and marriage, for example.

In my first marriage, I was at a totally different stage. He was studying, getting his degree. I had already gotten my degree, was ready to settle down.

His friends were his age, all much younger than me. Some people thought I was his mother, and it was very embarrassing for me.

My first husband seemed to have great difficulty feeling physical attraction towards me, and I suspect age was a factor.

He liked to do computer games, and I used to like those, had grown past that.

In my second marriage, he looked a lot older than me, and it affected me. After about 5 years together, I had more and more difficulty feeling attraction to him. The difference between the 2 of us was just so great. The last 3 years of our marriage was asexual. I just couldn’t do it, in part, due to the age difference. I couldn’t bring myself to ever tell him, though, because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

I wanted to work in some capacity, volunteer, and he wanted to retire and do nothing.

Now, insofar as marriage is concerned, I’d like you to look at some statistics.

Just have patience with this, since there are ads that pop up. If you wait, I think it’ll be worth your while, though.

theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/why-to-marry-someone-your-own-age/382520/

I was married, twice, divorced, twice. My first husband said age was the main thing that was going against us. A friend of his said it was actually the only issue. Well, I think we had 3 or 4, but the age difference (which wasn’t as great as your relationship) certainly didn’t help.

Now, I am dating someone who is older than me, but there is only a 4 year spread. After what I have lived through, even if I felt madly in love with a man 20 years older, I would fight it.

I would probably continue to see him but try to imagine in him, say, in 20 or 30 years, and ask myself if that’s what I wanted for myself.

Once, my friend, who was…probably more than 20 years older than me fell in love with me, even once proposed to me. I saw him as a friend, if anything, a father. He once told me that society will also only accept a certain age spread…say, maximum 8 years with the woman being older than the man, and I guess…was it 10 years for the man?

I do know of one blind couple where she is 13 years older, and she keeps that a secret, but confided it in me. They seem to have a wonderful relationship, but I’d say she is probably more the exception than the norm.

I also know of one other couple, family, where he is…very much older, and they, too, got it to work, at least so far. Although, they are both young. We’ll see when she’s 50 y.o. and he’s 70 y.o. how they do, though.

Look at a 50 y.o. and then a 70 y.o. Society and friends will, at that point, often reject the couple, try to intervene to stop the relationship. In my first marriage, especially, people were coming out of the woodwork trying to split us up.

One would need to not care at all about society’s reaction, not be hurt by society’s rejection.

There was a movie about a woman with a much younger man…“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”, but again, it’s very hard.

Also, tastes in things can be different, because there are 2 different generations. There will often be drastically different tastes in music and such.

Anyway, although you may feel this way, now, realize that were you ever to get into a romantic relationship…even 5 years down the line, these feelings of attraction would probably change to something else.

When I wanted to marry my second husband, one of my sisters was brutally honest, asked me to try to imagine him in a few years with his being all wrinkled, and me, not. I refused to listen, because it was something I didn´t want to hear at that time. I just went ahead, and later, I regretted it.

You can still see him, but I’d say every time you feel romantic feelings towards him, to imagine him in 20-30 years, to try to see him as a friend, realize anything more would probably be disastrous for you, both.

Can you see others to help you change your perspective, men your age?

In any case, it’s ultimately your decision, and not that you need anybody’s permission, but I, for one, would support you in whatever you decided. Good luck in your decision. God bless you, Dear. :thumbsup:

How old are you? This is an important consideration…

Peace
James

Can you begin to think of him as a father, and you, more as a daughter?

To me, when it is a 20-year age spread, it is too much for most people…even if you are 20 y.o., and he’s 40 y.o. Eventually, you will reach a point, if you stay together, that you will be 60 y.o., and he will be 80 y.o.

You may be right but there can be many variations and the ages can make a difference.

I was married to a woman 16 years older than me.
We recognized going in what the potential issues could be and we accepted them. I cared for her to the very day she died. If I had it to do over again - I would. So age difference is not necessarily a barrier to love…

That said - I was 38 and she wad 54 when we married. Our children were all grown and there was no chance of us conceiving. This is a very different set of circumstances to a woman of 20 considering a marital relationship with a man of 40.

That is why I consider it important to know this person’s age if we are to give any truly meaningful advice.

Peace
James

A 20-year age spread is greater than what you, and I, have experienced.

While there are exceptions here and there where someone had a 20-year age span, got it to work, I would have to generally say it’s not the norm. Most cases fail. There is a MUCH higher divorce rate…statistically speaking, the failure rate is 95% higher.

So, while she may end up marrying, making it work, if that happened, it would very much be the exception.

If she were to do this, she would need to realize the odds are greatly stacked against her/them, and love him enough to be able to do it, anyway. However, it might end up being more like a caretaking relationship. If she realizes that going in, is okay with that, then that’s different.

I just want her to go into this with her eyes open, realize what she’d be taking on. If she were to still decide she wanted it, then more power to her.

She would need to be so sure of herself, her love, relationship that she would defend it and protect her partner, come hell or high water, no matter what, have an absolute conviction born of certainty.

Totally correct I would say…It is definitely out of the ordinary.

Wow! You must be a VERY wonderful and special man! :thumbsup:

**I AM - - - **

I’m humble too…:smiley:

Kidding aside…such things are neither a real burden or an obstacle if Love is at the core.

Peace
James

Interesting. I think that’s an example of a REAL and AMAZING love story.

It’s beautiful, inspiring.

James, you must have been a great blessing to your wife. God bless you! :thumbsup:

This is concerning. I don’t think you are having an accurate definition of love, and I also think that you are not looking at it practically or objectively.

This sounds extremely weird. No don’t pursue this. You are much too young and he is wrong to be tempting you.

There’s another person involved. Does he feel just the same way?

Usually a 20 year barrier is a hurdle. But maybe not the biggest hurdle. If you both have God and found your house on that ROCK, or include him as the “third cord” to bind you together, then perhaps investing your future with a person who’s also a tried and true friend
is no sillier than seeking out a stranger to audition for life partner.

These days age is a social taboo. People will think they have license to tut tut and roll their eyes. They shouldn’t of course, but brace yourself.

:shrug: Maybe you’d be an exception to the (social, not religious) rule. Job had a family of grown children, lost them … and had his wife walk out on him. He married again and had children … so presumably his second wife was younger (young enough to have children anyway).

IMO your feelings are valid with no ill intent towards him. If he feels the same way and if the Lord is a high priority in your family … maybe He is drawing you together.

You’ll get plenty of advice otherwise, so put this on the scales too before dismissing a possibly wonderful thing. It WILL take both of you to make it work though. :slight_smile:

Tell him how you feel. If nothing else he ought to be deeply complimented and built up.

Life is short too. If this relationship would be a pearl of great price, it’d be worth the risks.

Of course eternal life is another matter. In a good marriage, you help each other get to heaven. :slight_smile:

The BEST to you … whatever happens. Or whatever you decide. :angel1:

(Bracing myself for the obligatory scolding to come from somebody - as secular social sins go - this is fashionably a MORTAL one even to ponder about). :hmmm:

Oops. I didn’t have the young person’s age. Was imagining late 20’s to 40s (or 30s to 50s) or more because she said “old”.

Late teens - late 30s usually makes a 20 year difference greater.

Although I do personally know of a case where THAT did work. They both did years of youth and young adult ministry together. Had many children. And, to the surprise of us all, it was the younger woman who passed away last year in her late 30s. The husband and father is not quite 60 now. Still sort of young to be a widower … even had he married someone his own age. :shrug:

Oh well. The trust in God advice is never a bad idea. Praying for both people involved in the meantime. :sad_yes:

Im 23. He’s 46. I regard him as my spiritual father. I appreciate so much your reply…I’m thinking about the religious vocation as well. All I know is that I deeply love him as a daughter to a father, but there are times that I desire to really care for him as a woman to a man…I dont like the thought of seeing him alone and sad. He deeply loves me as well (like a father to daughter) so we have that sort of relationship…I believe that the more I come to him the more this romantic feelings will grow or I dont know…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.