Need Some Guidance


#1

So I’ve been lurking on this forum for quite some time now and I decided that this would be a good place to ask my question.

Here is some background info:
I am a 20 year old female college student. I have always considered myself to be more mature than most people in my generation in many ways (financial, faith, sex, respect, traditions, etc) and it makes it hard to be attracted to men my age or close to it. Since I entered high school, I have been attracted to older men. None of these feelings have ever panned out or materialized. Currently, I have an interest in a man that is 40 years old.

I really wish that I didn’t have these feelings and that I could feel something for someone more age-appropriate for me. I know that if a relationship would pan out between me and a man that I’m typically attracted to, my family would definitely disapprove. I’m very close with them and I would hate to see my actions bother them.

So I guess my question is this: How can I go about dealing with my attractions towards older men?

Thanks for any and all help!

-redredsox


#2

Well a few pointers;

Firstly; not all men your age group are immature -- although as a young individual myself I can agree with the fact that the general trend of youth is to waste their time drinking, partying etc.; instead of studying or working. Many people seem to view university (or as Americans call it "college") as a social place; and ignore the primary function of such an establishment -- that is; to gain scrips.

Perhaps the case is that the mature people are simply not seeking relationships? I for one don't see the value in pursuing relationships until one has paid off all student debts and has either paid off; or is getting towards paying off a mortgage. The purpose of "dating" is to discern individuals with whom you have marraige as the final purpose; seeking a relationship when you are a debt ridden student with no free time (inbetween working and studying); is neither practical nor wise.

Secondly; twenty years age difference is not that great; an eighteen year age gap worked fine for my parents; moreso; there were no serious financial worries, as mortgages and debts had already been paid off; and there was a secure enough setting to safely raise a family.


#3

Why don't you leave your happiness for God to work it out for you. Try to find your own happiness first. Once that has been done then find out what God has plan for your future and then your marriage. I know that relationships are important but your own happiness is more important first. You can easily find the one God has chosen for you when the matter is given to Him. What God wants from you now is your own happiness. That does not mean one should not engage into relationships. But set your priorities in place. When you go out with someone think of it as a learning experience. But your first priority really is to yourself. When you have become happy with yourself and have acheived your maturity and established your gifts and talents to be express now in the open then you will meet that special person God also has prepared and the two of you will find happiness in each other. Allow yourself to grow. May by your future husband will be much older than you and if so he may be having a difficult time waiting for you. I mean an older man today waiting unless he is a religious man will have a harder time. So pray for your future husband. My grandfather was 17 years older than my grandmother ( they were married 49 years ) and my great-aunt was 25 years younger than my great-uncle yet they were the happiest couples I ever saw together. Try not to find your husband ( that never works ) but try to find your own happiness and allow God to bring you to your husband. You will know when that happens because it is not you or him only that recognizes each other but God who is inside you both that makes you recogize each other. It is like this. When a couple are meant for each other if they have both the Holy Spirit in each other then the Holy Spirit lights up in both of you so that both of you can recognize the moment. God lights up like a light bulb to give you the indication that you are meant for each other. This happenned to my grandmother. When my grandfather came to visit Montreal he met my grandmother and in a very short time they got married. I asked her once if she had any boyfriends and she said she had 4. Her father and 3 brothers. She was very close to her family and learned so much from them. Now she was a deeply religious person so she had a better time than most. Some need to go into relationships before they meet their husband and that is OK. But enter them to learn and not to get too serious. God will provide if you let Him to. He is preparing you to meet him and He is also preparing him to meet you. Learn along the way to be happy and don't worry.


#4

Dating is to discern marriage - until you are ready to do just that it is really not an issue. Once you are on your feet with your own career, money, and place than the opinions of your family are just that - opinions. You may find to that this will give the men a chance to catch up as well. And one last thing:

Go Red Sox - Beat Yankees!


#5

I was not much older than you are when I formulated this theory: 1 in 10 guys is worth dealing with from the time he's about ten, 8 in 10 guys aren't worth dealing with until they're at least 25, and 1 in 10 are never going to be worth dealing with at all. By "worth dealing with", I meant mature. I always enjoyed older people, not just older men, and I married someone 8 years old than I am.

Here is the problem: When you are 20, there is a huge leverage difference between you and a man who's 8 or 10 years older than you are, let alone 20 years older. He just knows more. The problem is, he doesn't know everything, he knows some things which give him an improper advantage because you don't know them yet, and you aren't far enough along to know what he should know or do, but doesn't. If he doesn't know it, it can be worse than if he does. He'll take advantage and not even know you're not as saavy and consenting as you both think. He may mean well, and still do you wrong. When I was not much older than you, I dated a guy who was 12 years older than I was. Not a good idea. I was very mature for 21, but not mature enough for someone going on 36.

In other words, at 20, I wasn't ready for a 40 year old, and most 20 year olds aren't. Oh, have I known some very bright women in their 20s that learned this the hard way! He's got all the cards, and he may mean well, but he can't make it into a real card game. Care to date an associate professor who's "only" 10 or 15 years older, anyone? Can it work? Yes. Can it end in a very very ugly way? Oh, yes. Oh yes, oh yes. Folks, stand back, and don't try this at home! The exceptions practically prove the rule.

I think that even those who are actually ready will have the sense to wait for a bit. You don't know whether you're the exception or the rule, except in retrospect. Not even experienced people do. Guessing wrong about yourself is a very bad ride. Guessing right, and you're still not looking to have someone who can do anything like mutual care when you hit 65.

When you are 30 and a 50 year-old is interested in you, that will be a different story. If you are still so inclined, you can bat anywhere in the big leagues when you're 30. Until then, keep it to within 5-6 years until you're out of college, and no more than 10 years for several years after that.

In the meantime, those guys your age will eventually catch up. Wait at least a few more years before you give up on someone close to your own age. Maybe not many will have caught up with you by then, but you only have to find one. If not, well, you won't have trouble at 25 or 30 finding a 40 year old who's interested.

A particular caution: many a 40 year-old man will want a 20 year old when she's 20, but wouldn't want the same 20 year-old when she's 40. There is a woman in his wake, possibly more than one, who gave this guy the best of her 20s, and deserves much better than to be traded in for you, now that she'll never see 20 again. If he's 40 and a bachelor, don't think you're a match for him until you're quite a bit older. Might you be ready to lock horns with someone who's been around the barn that many times? Maybe. But maybe not. If not, you have a lot to lose, and seeing how that is to be avoided will be something you see in retrospect only. Want to gamble? You only live once? Proceed with caution, and expect you could lose the farm.


#6

Rule of Thumb: If you can’t openly hold an opinion that would disappoint your dad, DO NOT date a man who is old enough to be your father. You have to be ready to openly make your own decisions and have your own opinions and stick to them (without a second thought of backing down!) with someone whose approval you very much want before you ever consider dating someone 8-10 years older. Trust me on that one.


closed #7

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.