May-September Relationship?


#1

Hi all,

So those who know me know that my marriage ended in October. It has since been annulled (lack of form--it was quick) and I have started to see someone else.

The man is a fantastic person and we have a lot of fun together. He's a business owner, an athlete, and yes, a Catholic, and there's every reason why we are attracted to each other and get along famously. Here's the hitch: He's 54. I'm 31. Is this reason by itself to call off the relationship, or would it be OK to continue seeing each other?

We haven't discussed marrying each other (we haven't been seeing each other long enough :p ), but we know we're generally after the same thing in a relationship--something that could result in marriage. It is his fondest wish that he could be a father. This concerns me just a little, because does he really want to be chasing a teenager at 70? He's in fantastic health (he's already run two marathons this year), but let's face it: You become more likely to drop dead when you get older, and I'm not enthusiastic about raising a baby alone.

We do love each other, and I would like to keep seeing him. But, I don't want to date someone I won't consider marrying. Thoughts?

Pax,
-MM-


#2

You need to spend time alone for quite a while before even considering dating, much less marrying. And stick to someone in your age group, plus or minus maybe a decade, but not a quarter of a century. My own father tried that kind of thing. It's not wise.


#3

You asked whether that alone should disqualify him as a potential marital partner. No, I don't think so. But I don't believe there's anything wrong with the age difference giving you pause. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. He won't be chasing after teenagers. He'd be chasing after your children as toddlers and the most, when they're up to about the age of perhaps thirteen. When they're teens, he would just have to have the nerves to put up with a whole new slew of problems: dating, curfews, approving/disapproving their friends, paying for their high car insurance, (:eek:) etc.

  2. I advise NOT rushing into anything. You might feel pressured after one year of courtship, because now he would be 55. You might think, "Gosh, if we stretch out this courtship to long, by the time we'd get married, he'll be heading toward 60! Better to get married sooner than later. It takes a long time to get to know someone, though there are always exceptions. (Problem is, many people then say, "I'm the exception!" and then do something foolish.) As a person on the verge of a second divorce (regulars on this board know me and my problems...), I can tell you—be very cautious. Pray, deliberate. Hate to say it, but take your time.

  3. And now, let's talk about age. My father had me when he was about 52. Now he is 92. And my dad smoked two packs a day for 20 years, and ate whatever he wanted, and never exercised. Though he did have a triple bypass at 77—and that just kept his ticker going until this day. But in my mid 20's, I had to take care of his severe medical problems at the time. I am now 40. But to look at this scientifically, genetics are the greatest indicator of longevity.

  4. As you already know, divorce is depressing—very depressing. It makes one lonely and longing for that special someone. Be sure to take an honest look at yourself and your motives for loving this man. Considering that you just got over this last relationship in October, isn't this too soon?

I wish you luck and God's blessings. And most especially, I hope you find the love of your life. May he be your knight in shining armor.:knight1:


#4

And in addition to what I wrote earlier, yes, I have to second what nominal effect is saying…a quarter of century is risky. But of course, you are closest to the situation, only you can decide.

But, gee! Divorced only just this last October? Sorry, but this really is too soon.


#5

Advocate, you make a good point about being tempted to rush. That concern has entered my mind too. It's the "Act Now" phenomenon--I'm tempted to think that if I don't marry him quickly, the opportunity will pass. And maybe it will. And maybe it should.

To clarify, we are not, at this time, discussing marriage. We're dating and getting to know each other and having fun, and we have talked in general about what we're after in a relationship. But, as I said, if I wouldn't even consider marrying him, I would like to end it amicably now rather than wait until we're really attached. And, I think it's perfectly appropriate to begin to date eight months after the end of a two-year marriage.

Thanks for your help. I will take it under advisement as I continue to deliberate, discuss, and pray.

Pax,
-MM-


#6

Personally I don't think there has to be a spcified length of time to date before considering marriage. However the age thing....

I am 30, my mother is 48 so for me I would date anyone more than 5 years older than me but my sister does not really feel the same. She is 2 years younger and her boyfriend is 35 or 36, she even dated someone who was 40.

I think this need to be a personal choice of what you are comfortable with.


#7

I would look at the quality of the relationship, and worry less about the age difference. If you find he provides everything you would ever want in a future spouse, and the age difference is the only thing that would be the deal breaker, then I'd forget about the age difference. Sure there is a risk of his health being an issue, but there is a risk of anyone's health being an issue in the future because we do not know what the future holds. As long as the relationship is all you could ever want in a marriage, I just wouldn't let the age difference hold me back. Better to have a all the time you can together than to regret not being with someone because you were afraid of being a widow at some point in the future.


#8

Everyone who marries takes on the possiblity of being their spouse's caretaker. With an age difference like you are looking at, it is more likely than not. But he is apparently doing what he can to have a healthy old age. Having said that, you can only do so much.

If he has never been a father, then wanting to be one is natural. It is just a luxury that women do not have at 54. He needs to understand that it is sometimes not a luxury that women have a 35, either. On the other hand, unless you have a serious reason to avoid having children, then being open to children is an essential part of marriage. Again, though, you are facing issues that would be unlikely to arise, if your husband were closer to your own age. I do not doubt that there are people who would argue, too, that if the men in his family have this habit of dying of a sudden heart attack at age 60, then that is a serious reason to avoid starting a family at 56. Athletics can do only so much about genetics. If the men in his family typically live and work into their late 70's or 80's, then that is a different story. He isn't more of a risk than a man whose family has had sudden deaths in their 40's or 50s. Those guys don't usually avoid marriage and family. They just buy a lot more life insurance.

You are 31 years old, not 21. You are fully capable of weighing these things. On that account, I wouldn't make the age-difference a deal-breaker. It is up to you. But if he would like to eventually marry (and as a Catholic, be open to children), then you need to be up front with him if marrying a man so much older than you are is not something you are up for. He would be asking a lot. His chances of finding a woman who is both capable of bearing children and willing to marry someone his age are quickly vanishing. If that is what he really wants, let him know that he needs to look beyond you. Then let him decide.


#9

I would look at this from a practical side. Can you really make a relationship with 23 years difference work? Some can some can’t only you would know in your case. For me no. But then again I would feel like I’m dating my father and not a peer. :shrug: If the relationship works for you great I would caution though to think it through carefully and weight in the future. When he’s in is 70’s and maybe wanting a quieter life you’;; still be in your 50s and maybe wanting more activity. Sometimes too just because you click with someone doesn’t mean it’s possible to make it work. I still think it’s better to stay closer to your own age. :thumbsup:


#10

You need to hang out with some of his friends and he needs to hang out with your friends. That much of an age difference might be a challenge with the two age groups. You may not have anything in common with people in his circle and vise versa. And this might be important because if you do ever get married, those people will probably continue to be his and your friends.


#11

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.