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age doesnt matter. it really depends on the people, not the age. its like any relationship, only there is an age gap. my neighbors parents have a big age gap. her mom is ten years older than her step dad. it just depends on the maturity of the 2 people & their interests & basically every thing that makes any relationship work.

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I'm sorry enadevoli but age gap realationships don't work as well as we would like them to. Why? because the older person tends to be more mature and can't handle the youngers immatureness. At first everythings cool, you're both really into each other, but then the younger gets all clingy and it really gets on the olders nerves. If they are both on the same level of maturity then there's more hope of it working but chances are if the younger one is not legal yet and the older one is then when the older wants to go out for drinks etc. the younger is going to question what goes on when the older is out. My views are all from experiences I've had. I won't deny that there is a 18 year difference between my parents and everything is fine there but it's completely different when you hit about an age of about 23-27 and you're finished your partying and you can look in the same direction as your other.

 

smiley_turtle, what ages are we talking about?

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There are certain levels of maturity and development that work well together, someone in their teens coupled with someone in their thirties is asking for trouble. We all know about Freud and his theories of incest, but we may not know the reason why he felt this way. His mother was the second or third wife of a prominant man. In those days people died and then remarried instead of divorcing like now a days.

 

Anyway, he had a half-brother who was about ten or twelve years older than himself who was in love with him own mother -- or step-mother as was the case. The funny thing is that Freud didn't think that it was wrong for his brother to love his mother so much.

 

Now to get back to your case, 17 is not yet an adult and 37 can feel like a child at times, but really isn't, all things being equal. What is 17 + 17 =?

 

34? So your man would be over twice your age? Do I make my case? Look at your family history and his. Are there any boundary issues, like incest or rape? Ask him this one question and see what his answer is, why me?

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I think it really depends on "life experience" once you're talking about two adults, I mean like early 20's on up. if you've got someone who's older but been relatively sheltered, they can actually be more immature than someone who's been exposed to harsher things and had to be independent from an early age. Before that point though, physical maturity and hormones haven't even really finished settling from puberty in some cases, and socially, the levels are way different, school as opposed to work, living with mom and dad as opposed to being independent. I don't like "rules" as a rule, because there's too many people who can and do fall outside any generalizations the rules were made from.

 

Just try and keep some perspective and exercise some good judgement, really weigh if the relationship will be a positive thing for both of you on all fronts, and if the age gap is large, I'd just make sure I looked carefully before leaping and getting maybe disappointed. And be prepared to face a lot of criticism depending.

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I believe the young woman said her age is 18, not 17.

 

You haven't given people on the board much to go on here. Since your question was whether an age gap of 19-38 can work, I think the only answer is yes, it can. But it's not that simple, as you're demonstrating by your question....

 

Rather than try to answer this in one big sweep, which makes the pressure so much more heavy anyway, why don't you try breaking this down into smaller pieces that you can chew? What are your biggest fears about this guy in particular (e.g., he's not as spontaneous and active and you'd like, or he's starting to go bald, or he'll ruin your relationship with your Mom, whatever it happens to be)? Then think about what you DO like about him. Sort these things out, and be clear to yourself. Next, if you want to move forward, get to know him gradually and tell him you're not ready for sex until you get to know him better. This idea of suddenly becoming a big item after your 19th birthday sounds a little drastic. Is he placing any kind of pressure on you? Does he control you too much? Is he impatient for a relationship because of HIS age?

 

A lot of the success for a relationship will depend on how well you two interact on even the subconscious level (as is true with any relationship). If you have giant wall of fear and he's not sensitive to it or addressing it, then I have to say he's probably not a good match for you. At 37-38, you deserve to expect much more from him.

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Don't we agree that she is less likely to find someone appropriate for her if he is over twice her age? What is his reason for going out with a younger girl -- she is a virgin, and won't expect very much from him or he hasn't made much of himself and he is looking for someone with very low expectations?

 

How realistic is it that this guy is in a similar level of development as she is? Of course we are speaking in generalities and not in specifics.

 

If she is so mature that she needs someone on the verge of losing his hair, then she should date younger anyway and give those guys a run for their money, so to speak.

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sisterlynch - Of course she's more likely to find someone appropriate for her who is not twice her age, but that's beside the point, because she apparently likes this guy.

 

His reasons for wanting to date a young woman could be any number of things. No doubt, he finds her attractive. Apparently, she finds him attractive, too. This is not a shocking revelation. All couples are attracted to each other, and all couples include cycnical reasons based on the insecurities of the individuals. For example, she married him for the money, or his job, etc. and so on.... So reducing his motives to some inadequacies of his does not help matters much here.

 

What DOES concern me is that she's so worked up over this, and is approaching it as one big cosmic question. Clearly, she's not exactly entering into this with overwhelming joy. She's afraid, and doesn't seem to have enough experience to sort this out more specifically. It seems as if the guy has placed some big expectations and/or demands on her. It also sounds as if someone she trusts (e.g., her Mother) has told her this won't work for her own selfish reasons. That's where I get concerned for smiley_turtle. This relationship may not have healthy dynamics from the start...that's how it appears from my vantage point. For any relationship to work, the two people need to be on a very similar wavelength and truly in touch with each other. If they had these critical elements, I don't think she'd be asking us such a general question. But maybe smiley_turtle will come back with some comments so we can better help here.

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How many people do you know who marry only for looks or money?

 

Both of these are very bad reasons to do something permanent like to marry someone!

 

If she is living in an abusive relationship with her mother and or father, I would see where being with an older guy would seem like a dream, but she needs to consider the consequences of being with someone so extreemly insecure, or maybe even divorced?

 

I would rather have her stay at home, than to sell herself out just to get out of the house. We need to weigh out her alternatives for her, as she can't or is afraid of doing so herself.

 

If he was really right for her, she would be with him, not asking us for our opinions. Why should she wait? she should be able to meet and see lots of guys at this age. Besides, 17, 18, 19 are all pretty similar. They are physically an adult, but emotionally speaking, is it right for some middle aged guy to get it on with a teenager?

 

You argue against me, or against my ideas? What is the logic behind your theory?

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sisterlynch - If we're going to discuss this, you shouldn't twist my words around. I never said people should marry for looks or money. My point was that you were leaping to conclusions about him (e.g., he feels he needs someone with low expectations because he hasn't done much with himself), when in fact, we can deconstruct any marriage if we so choose. Any. So what's the point I say? Maybe he's perfectly stable financially and simply has not yet married. Very possible in today's world.

 

In some ways I AGREED with you. But now you are suggesting that she's getting abused at home!? That's really very outrageous and emotional, isn't it? She will have to tell us if this is so. I think your real problem with this couple comes down to your question about whether it's "right" for a middle-aged guy to "get it on" with a teenager. Well, if she's of legal majority and they're in a commited relationship, I would ask you what's wrong with it? Please explain your logic on that. You might find it disturbing, but since we're talking about two adults here, you might want to keep that opinion to yourself and mind your own business....

 

As for my logic, it should not matter to two adults what other adults feel about their relationship, especially in this day and age. There used to be a time when women routinely married at 19, and those marriages did not end in divorce. So, insinuating that she's an innocent child just doesn't work for me. Age gaps are socially taboo to many, but that should not concern the people who want to be in these relationships.

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I know nothing about what it means to be a nineteen year old girl in this day and age, I am from the 80's so I know nothing, accept that it is inappropriate for a guy my age to want to date a teenager, that is all that I know and I am sticking with it. You do what you want in your personal time and I will stay here and try to show girls the proper way to live in this emotionally charged and outrageous world or "male-dominated society"!

 

This is why young girls are valued is because they don't know what they are really getting into when they marry at a young age. It is even worse for the guy because he knows that he is feeding her a line and that she is so much in denial that she will listen to his falsehood, and not argue or stand up for herself and let him do what he wants. That is the value of her to him.

 

She sees him as an escape. I know she does because there isn't a nineteen yr old girl who would go to her parents for advice, she sees him as an adult whom she can talk to, but wait, the gloves will come off in a few years and she will realize that she is wrong, I hope not too late...

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