Dear eNotAlone: I have a huge crush on older women and it has slowly grown through the years. I was around 13 when I started developing feelings for women significantly older than me, some of them by as much as 15-20 years. As I am now in my early twenties, these feelings are getting stronger and I'm afraid I'm going to make a foolish decision because of it. I don't want to harm anyone but I'm feeling very confused right now. What should I do?
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If you find yourself with a crush on an older woman, then you're not alone – age gap relationships are becoming increasingly common. But that doesn't mean you should jump into a relationship without thinking about the risks. It is essential to weigh out all the pros and cons before taking any drastic action.
Start by considering the potential drawbacks that come with large age gaps. Older women may already have commitment issues due to previous experiences. Feelings can become even more complex if you are still young, and your immaturity might cause her to doubt the relationship. society can be judgmental of relationships with large age gaps, which can make things awkward, especially if you decide to go public.
Age gap relationships can also have their benefits, though. Older women are usually more experienced, compassionate and understanding, so they may have greater insight into your inner struggles. That can be especially helpful if you're still trying to work out who you really are and what kind of life you want. For example, an older woman in your life can certainly provide invaluable advice for dealing with challenging situations, such as workplace drama or family squabbles. She may also be able to help you clarify your career aspirations or life goals.
In regards to actually pursuing the relationship, emotional maturity and self-knowledge are key. You should ask yourself whether you're ready and willing to handle the potential issues that may arise from an age gap relationship. If you both feel the same way and decide to take the next step, then discuss boundaries and expectations. This can help to ensure that the relationship remains respectful, healthy and consensual.
Then there's the tricky issue of timing. Having a crush on an older woman is one thing, but truly acting on your feelings could have unintended consequences. It could mean potential legal issues if either party is younger than the age of consent in your state. So, if you don't want to face serious consequences – legal, emotional or otherwise – you should wait until both parties are legally allowed to be together.
Having a crush on an older woman isn't unheard of and, given the right circumstances, can be a potentially rewarding experience. However, make sure to remain mindful of both sides of the coin and reflect on your feelings carefully. That way, you can make sure that your decisions are well-informed and appropriate for both parties.