My Boyfriend Is 27 Years Older Than Me And It’s No Big Deal

My boyfriend and I have a 27-year age difference… *gasp*. Now look away in horror and say it ain’t so. Well, my friends, it is so and it is so not as disturbing as you have convinced yourself it is.

I have to start with the disclaimer that I certainly don’t believe relationships between older men/women and teenage partners are healthy. I am simply talking about a woman in her 20s and an older, handsome, fit, genuine man as her partner. I don’t have daddy issues, I wasn’t violated as a child, I didn’t come from a broken home, and I am not a gold digger. I know I have you in pure suspense at this point wondering what in the world is wrong with me because something must be, right? Wrong.

Rachel and her boyfriend, Tim.

The truth is, my boyfriend is the perfect man for me and that is strictly the only reason I date him. At 21 years old, when I began dating him, I had just gotten out of a 10-year on-again-off-again relationship. When the relationship finally ended nine years past its due date… I craved maturity. I wanted so badly to have a conversation with a man: a full- blooded, successful, independent man. Unfortunately, I was 21, and the pickins’ for established fellow 21-year-olds was, well, nonexistent. The only guys I knew were frat boys that got drunk and peed their beds once a week—not man material. Then walks in this handsome, older guy with a mysterious glow to his eyes, a raspy sultry voice and, really, ladies… I couldn’t resist.

My least favorite question that I get asked is “What do you have in common with someone 20-plus years older/younger than you!?” Well, I don’t see my boyfriend with a big neon sign blinking his age across his forehead every two minutes. I have more in common with this man decades older than me than anyone else on this planet. To name a few (just to appease the skeptics): Our humor, our beliefs in religion, politics and family, our love for seasons, vacations, books, pancakes (very important to me), success, business and learning. Yes, we have differences: He is an adrenaline junkie who skydives every weekend, and I get nervous looking over the second floor railing at the mall. He claims that rules don’t apply to him and I have a panic attack running a yellow light. We do have oddities that we don’t see eye to eye on, but we certainly don’t have any issues holding a conversation, debate or wrestling match.

What I want you to know: The judgment hurts

One evening after we started dating, I was trying to win his heart over by showing him my impressive ability to down copious amounts of booze and still remember every word to Cher’s “Gypsys, tramps and thieves” during karaoke night at the local dive bar. After my performance, as I was trying to decide what my next tune would be, a woman came up to me and my boyfriend. She looked at us then looked me in the eyes and said, “I bet your mother is so embarrassed of you dating this man.” Then she walked away and even with the music and clattering of drinks around me I could hear my heart break as it hit the floor. I couldn’t help but take this mean stranger’s words to heart and wonder if I was an embarrassment to my family. Was my relationship causing the people I love pain? Would this one part of my life define me? Would my dad give me his blessing to marry my boyfriend should he ever ask? Would my parents come to my wedding? Would my family keep him a secret to avoid judgment? It took me three and a half years, many talks with my mom and tons of endearing moments with my man before I realized that the judgmental people of this world don’t define me. My parents are proud of me, they respect my decisions and they stand behind me. My friends love me and are always supportive of my life, especially when I am spending it with someone who makes me so happy. My boyfriend shows me love every single day and it is in these moments I am reminded that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. As long as you give those you love a chance to acclimate to your situation, I have found that they always come around. The people who truly love you will never leave you.  When they talk about my boyfriend and me they talk about how we bring out the best in each other, how we laugh constantly and how we fit perfectly together—not about our age difference and that is exactly how it should be.

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man and woman kissing

What I want to ask of you: Give me a chance

I guess my plea to you, world, is please talk to me before you decide about me. Please don’t assume that because I am dating an older man I am shallow and immoral. Try not to stare at us while you wonder if I am his daughter or his date. Take us in for a moment, watch the way he looks at me not as if he is going to chop me into pieces later but with a gleam in his eye that can only be adoration. Watch how many times we curl over in laughter and the way he helps me with my coat. Notice how when I look at him I cannot help but smile. Talk to me with an open mind and kind heart, ask me about my church or my education—get to know me. I understand that my boyfriend and I do not come in the best package but we are the best for each other. We consider ourselves one of the lucky few that actually found the other person out there in this big world made for us.

What I want to tell you: Don’t judge a book by its cover

My advice to you is love without worry. Listen to your heart and follow it. Choose a partner in this lifetime based on faith, morals, compassion, humor, drive and don’t let something as silly as the year he was born determine if he is good or bad. Maybe you need someone a little older, maybe you need someone a little younger, maybe your soul mate out there is a different race than you, maybe they are the same gender. Love with an open heart and allow love to come into your life. Celebrate the people around you who have found love, and love unconditionally. And remember… “Just because it wasn’t what you were expecting, doesn’t mean it wasn’t everything that you needed.”

View Comments (125)
  • Hi! First of all, I’m glad you and your boyfriend are in a seemingly happy and healthy relationship (also, side compliment – you look like a healthy Lindsay Lohan). However. I don’t think this is as straightforward or easy as you’re making it sound. I’m sure you and your boyfriend had to overcome a lot of obstacles, not just from society, but because you guys are from completely different generations and are at different points in your life. As you get older and your “self” is more established, this becomes less of an issue, but especially in your early 20s an age gap can be more significant (both your teens and your 20s are formative times). The older person will have different expectations out of a relationship, sexually, and may pressure the younger person into doing things they’re not ready for. Your attitudes towards going out may be different (in my case, it actually turned out to be, “Wait, why does this guy who’s 10 years older than me still think getting wasted every weekend is fun?”). I found that the things I could forgive in someone younger were things I expected someone older to have grown out of already. Lastly, I would guess that a relationship with a large age gap has a higher risk of being manipulative or controlling (especially if, for example, the younger person is dependent on the older one for housing or stability).
    Again, I am not saying all age gap relationships are bad – a bad relationship is a bad relationship regardless of age (or, a good relationship regardless of age). It’s not right for strangers to come up and judge you. But I would argue that there is reason behind the caution, and it IS a big deal.

    • Erin- Valid points! & thank you for the compliment. Being
      in a controversial relationship (such as mine) is not for the faint of heart,
      that goes without saying. Of course my relationship is not simple or easy- not because of the age difference, although that presents issues that are different to people in relationships with similar ages, but because it is a relationship.The examples you presented- sexual issues, personality differences and controlling behavior are certainly not specific to couples with an age difference, those issues are open to everyone and most everyone could probably relate to one or two of them…regardless if the relationship was between people of the same age or different. My personal experience has had its share of ups and downs but it is only with two people willing to tackle each issues that presents itself that we have persevered. We have both had to grow, change, listen, and be selfless to get to the point we are at today. While I would have loved to share the good, bad and ugly of my relationship- I was writing an article and not a book and chose to focus on provoking thought in those who read it and giving them a different perspective on an issue that most find taboo. Thank you so much for reading it and providing your feedback!

    • How are any of these thing different than with a younger man? All people of the same age are the same? Ridiculous. There are fewer issues in dealing with an older man. First, they are more likely to know who they are. Being a relationship with someone who is still trying to figure themselves out is doubly hard. An older man is more thoughtful of others because he has less to prove. Most older men realize that you don’t always have to be right and other people’s opinions being valid doesn’t mean that yours are not. Older men are ready to limit their lives to one woman, and are not constantly wondering if there is something better out there. But if you’re into a kid who is self-centered, has little or no direction and is threatened by you in any number of ways, have at it. I won’t judge you. So, don’t judge me and my girlfriend either.

      This is why society has a problem with age gap relationships: biology. 10000 years ago, our existence was not a given. Biology tells a man he must spread his seed and women that they must find a man that can protect them and help raise the children. Biology also tells us that we, as a society, must enforce those rules in order to survive as a race. This is why we slut-shame girls, but not boys. This is why guys get a high-five for conquests, while girls are harassed for sleeping around. This is why gays are harassed. The same with age gaps. An older guy was not a good choice 10000 years ago because he couldn’t adequately protect the family. So, even though you can’t come up with a good reason that a woman should choose an older man, it feels wrong to you. That’s biology. However, our existence is not threatened anymore (at least not in that way), so those old rules no longer apply. Try to get over your judgment.

  • Love this article. I personally know of a relationship with a 20+ year age difference and it worked really well. I agree that we should love not based on what society deems is “correct” for us but based on what is inside. Beautiful article.

  • Glad to see this topic generating some conversation and I’m glad things seem to be working out for you in a healthy way.
    One thing I do take issue with, however, is the dismissal of college guys all together as suitable mates for a mature 21 year old woman. Age is not a guarantee of maturity and your characterization of them plays just as much into societal preconceptions as those that you decry. Of course there are the 21 year old beer gut date raping frat bros but there are also the super creepy mid-life crisis guys who want a hot young thing as an accessory.
    It all depends on who you find and I think that that on that point I can agree with you. I do believe, however, that it’s important not to erase the caution around relationships with large age differences (either male or female, same or different sex) particularly when we are talking about those that start off in college. Age brings experience- and no amount of maturity can match those extra years of experience. At the beginning of any of those relationships the younger person will most likely be more susceptible to being taken advantage of.
    But, once again, very happy for you (as well as for my several friends who do have 10+ year age diff successful relationships).

    • Hi! Yes, it all depends on who you find and that they are a good match for YOU and only you are able to make that decision. I don’t believe you should be closed to love from anyone that makes you happy, college guys included. I just stated that for me, I didn’t know any guys at the time that I connect with on a mature level. Many people do find love in college and are very happy, for those people and anyone else that finds love, I celebrate them :)

  • Hi. My friend sent me this article because I’m a 26 year old dating a man 30 years my senior. I really enjoyed reading this and found it nice to know that someone else get this kind of relationship. I have to say, though, the judgment really never bothered me — I was very aware of the risks I was taking and it was more important to take a shot at love than deflect cheap shots from random strangers. I was also lucky enough to have parents (who are older than my boyfriend) who were very accepting once they saw how much I cared about him and how well we interacted.

    The real warning I think is that even as the younger woman, there are times where you might still be the one thinking ahead or desiring to move faster in the relationship. And, after many dating experiences and over a year in my current loving relationship, the most important thing to realize is that such is the case in pretty much every relationship, as least for me. The point is, it seems like you two can effectively communicate through those times when you might be out of sync. At least, I know that the key to our successful May-December romance.

    I wish you the best of luck and the happiest moments love has to offer!

  • This is such a beautiful artucle it made me tear up and gave me hope for my 16years older boyfriend. Thank you so much

    • Hello, Ronesha. If you are 16 and in the United States, don’t even bother. The laws are too strict. Once you are 18, there are no rules. However, I have heard the general theory that “normal” for a man has a limit of “half plus 7”. Or for a woman, subtract 7, then double it. So, at 18, max “normal” boyfriend for you is 22. Of course, that is quite limiting, but so is society. I am 50, so my lowest age “normal” girlfriend would be (50/2 + 7 = 25 + 7) is 32. However, my girlfriend is 23, so we are way below “normal” and society looks at us condescendingly.

  • i am 25 and my boyfriend is 10 years older. We have good communication and have the same goals in life. after my previous relationships with guys of my age, i have come to say, this is the best relationship i have been into, there is maturity and there is no pressure or bossing around. some of my friends thinks its inappropriate, and they have encouraged me to leave him, but since we are not bothered by our age difference and we are in love, i choose to love and be loved from the heart than be played by guys of the same peers. Age is nothing but a number. to love with all your heart , and to be loved in return is great pleasure. Oh, and always remember to include God, that’s if you believe/ follow God.

  • I NEVER post comments, but yours really struck me because I’m 40 and my man is exactly 27 years older than me. He is amazing and the best man I’ve been with by far. We both have kids – his 3 girls are grown, of course, and mine are finishing elementary school. I’ve been a single mom for a long time. He interrelates with my boys so well – it has been the greatest blessing. It is just another experience for me to have that reminds me to not judge others and their relationship choices. Support and love is what family and friends should provide and then be there for their loved one if it doesn’t happen to work out. There are so many challenges in even the most seemingly perfect relationship, so who gives a rip about age. The lady who made that negative comment sees only the negative in things. She must be a sad person. I only feel sorry for her. Best of luck to you and yours!

    • Hi Hope! Thank you so much for commenting on my article, I feel very special since you never comment! You have made my day and (ironically) given ME hope! It is so nice to hear from someone that is in a healthy, nice relationship with an older man and isn’t in their 20’s. Thank you for sharing that with me, I wish you and your man all the best and I am so glad you are happy. And I agree, comments that are narrow-minded and self-righteous only speak volumes about the commenter, I can only celebrate love and the love those around me find. Thanks again, darling.

  • I just got out of a horrific relationship with someone my age. I am now dating a guy 27 years older than me as well and have been for the last year. It of course is hard Amin some aspects but I have never been happier! You go girl!! There are some differences in our relationship especially about out past! He’s had a rough one and so have I… Any advice?

    • Hi Kristina, thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article! While I don’t know the dynamics of your relationship, nor would I give advice even if I did (we are all learning on this crazy train called life, right?!), I will say, that in all relationships, it is very important to accept your partner’s past and take him/her as they are today. We all have made mistakes, we all have hit some bumps in the road but just try not to make the same mistakes over and over again and move on. You both can’t change your past, so live in the moment. There have been plenty of times in my relationship that hearing/telling stories from before we knew each other make me/him cringe, but I just have to accept that who he was then is not who he is today and that the person he is today is the man I love. Hope that helps a little, or maybe gives you a different perspective. Best of luck darling.

      • Rachel,, Meaning to comment on your main article but responding to all the amazing comments first on my way down to the comment part of the website to comment on your article, lol. Just to say, yes, awesome, what matters is the person / people you both are TODAY. Live in the moment. xx

  • Hi Rachel,

    I can totally relate!! Could I get your email address? I love to connect with people in similar situations.

    Thank you!

  • Thank you for this article! I, too, am dating an older man 32 years older than myself. I don’t have daddy issues, nor need or crave acceptance from an older man. We compliment each other in so many ways. He teaches me new things and i make him feel young again. Love is love! I could be with a young guy who treats me badly, or with an older guy who absolutely adores me and treats me like gold! It is really great to hear from other woman with similar relationships. It is funny to me how others can be so bothered by someone else’s happiness. I say Live, and let live! Best wishes to you all!

    • Hey Katie, I am 34 dating a guy aged 59. Just saying, respect and best wishes, and also, you could be with an older guy who treats you badly, or a young guy who treats you with respect. As well as the options you stated! What matters most is that you make each other happy. xxx

  • Hey everyone! I also read this article and I’m also found comfort in this article. I recently started date a 25 years older guy that I’m. It’s just our start. And my mom even younger then him in 4 years. I’m really afraid of the things that can destroy my realnship with my family. But the first in my life I found love and happiness. We are in the same level in life. And you know I read all of this comments. And I thought if a Hollywood couple had such age difference nobody even dare to judge them. But why us? How we different from them. I don’t afraid of judgment, but my family afraid to lose them. I don’t know what to do

  • I love this! Thank you for sharing your experience! I Am dating a man 20 years older. I am 34 he is 54. I’m loving every single moment of it. The way he treats me is the way it should be always. Our relationship is so open and honest, full of compassion and thoughtfulness that I am confident that I have made the right choice in pursuing it. When someone else hasn’t experienced what true love is…they can’t understand and then they judge. I could care less about the haters. I am shown love everyday and that is all that matters! Best wishes for you and yours! Xoxo

    • Hey Maritza – awesome and good for you. Im also 34, and its great to hear someone the same age as me is open to seeing someone so much older, I met a man aged 59, amazing in every way, do you want kids? IM not sure, just curious how you feel about that with the age gap xx

      • Hi Clare,

        My guy and I both have children from previous marriages. The topic of having one together has been mentioned and granted we both do not want anymore kids, we would not be totally upset if it happened. Obviously, to have kids is a subject that should not be taken lightly. Given the age gap it should be one deeply considered respectively. What I asked myself was, If I were to have a child with my guy and if something were to happen to him, would I be able to care for the child on my own or would I be willing to raise a child on my own?

        2 years, 5 years, 10 years or 20 years…love is love. Baby or no baby, always choose it!

        I hope that helps!


  • The last 4 years have been spent with a man 23 years older than me. We have had our ups and downs and have actually decided to take a break for a little while because I am having issues with his past and with my insecurities and jealousy, which he has trouble dealing with. I need to decide if I can accept all of who he is. One thing is for certain; I love the man with all my heart and sole. We are in different places in our lives and it is testing. He is my first love, but he has been around the block. There is a lot of scary stuff to think about and to consider but I so badly want to make it work. Has anyone been able to get over similar insecurities? This is a problem in many relationships, not just ones with a large age gap. I want no one else but he cannot continue a relationship with an emotionally unstable woman, and I understand that. He loves me deeply and is honest and loyal, but he is also only human. Any words of advice from someone in a similar situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hello darling, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I am sure most women in relationships can relate to your current struggle, age difference or not but whereas most men carry around one piece of baggage, our older partners have had the time to accumulate a few pieces of baggage, some carry-on luggage, an air plane pillow and a back pack (if you get what I am saying haha). My only advice to you would be 1.) he did not know you in the past so he cannot go back and change it. Just as you did not know him four years ago. As long as the man you have now has the qualities that you need and want, what more could you ask for and 2.) In my case, the reason my boyfriend is a great boyfriend is because he has fucked up with all the women before me. He made bad decisions, he took wrong turns and they all lead him here, so I kind of appreciate the baggage because without it, he might not have made it to me. Don’t tell him I said that though ;). Best of luck Dixie!

      • LOL, totally agree, the reason they are the person you / I / we find attractive now is because they have fucked up with enough other women before us, to make them not want to do it again and therefore more considerate / respectful / awesome :-) Amen to that ;-)

  • I’m so proud of you Rachel, l wish that there were more people out there like you!! I’m in a relationship with 23 year age gap I’m 46 and he is 72 years old .is been hard for both of us.his family is really against our relationship,l have spend many nights crying because of his kids and other family member coments!! But anyways lm glad im not along on this journey.

  • I absolutely applaud this article you have written! I am also in a relationship with an older man, 24 years older, and we always get the looks, the stares, the your daughter is so pretty comments. I got totally ridiculed by one of his classmates at his 40 year high school reunion. My boyfriend had no idea this was happening as he was mingling with his old friends, I handled it very well, explained what he thought made no difference to how we felt about each other, and in the end, I’m happy! We are happy! Those that judge you because of your age difference are ridiculous and have problems within themselves. Age is nothing but a number, you can’t help you click with and fall in love with. Cheers to you both for a long and happy future together!!

  • This article gave me so much hope! I’m dating a man 25 years older than I am and it’s the best relationship of my life! (friendship, lover, every type of relationship) Our love story sounds exactly like yours! We met at work and we could not resist our feelings anymore. You can’t help who you love. I’d love him just as much if he were any age! Thanks for the wonderful article and I wish you two the best of luck!

  • So happy I ran into this article. I am also dating a man actually 28 years older than I am and he’s perfect for me. I was just curious to see how many others were in similar situations since its something I do not see everyday. I am proud of my relationship and all of the great qualities and foundation we have built. With his wisdom and my old soul we are in sync with one another and it makes things so much more fun and exciting. :)

  • LOVE your article!! I am 28, my husband is 51. I think we had it a lot easier because he has never been married, nor had children. I have always been way ahead of my time. I’ve been into 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s music. I remember making a 70’s reference to a guy I dated previously, and it was lost on him. He wanted to party and play video games. I purchased a home at 18, and guys I was meeting in my early twenties still lived at home, and mainly because they wanted to continue partying and playing video games. FUCK THAT. I met my husband two years ago, at work. We ended up hanging out on accident during a work function that customers were included in, and the rest is history. I wish all of you strength and wisdom as you go on in your lives with these men. The ONLY bad thing I can say about it, is that as time goes on, I love this man more and more, and I realize that he will die before me, and I will be absolutely heartbroken. That is the one terrible aspect of our relationship, but I do believe our years of complete happiness will outweigh that pain. Best of luck and love to everyone.

    • Hey Katherine, I am 34, boyfriend 59. Amazing to hear your story. So happy for you. I too am afraid of being heartbroken losing my partner. While its easy to say enjoy the moment, life for the now, who knows what life will bring, either one of us could die under a bus / not wake up tomorrow – we generally plan for life assuming that won’t happen and we will get old – and getting old with a partner 20/25 years older changes the perspective – care to comment more? As I am still sorting my head out about it?!! and my perspective changed a lot from 28 – 34… and still does change a lot !!

      • Hey Clare.
        My wonderful boyfriend (31 years older) has just said to me “the great pain of loss is an inevitability of such intense happiness. You have to enjoy every moment you’re given as life is a great gift and in your times of sadness you can look back at the wonderful memories you have both made.”
        Good luck in your journey xx

    • you dont know shit. obviously. you could get cancer and die before him at any moment.
      just because you are younger doesn’t predict anything, especially for those of you who are thinking so outside the box with these 30 year difference love stories…..(he will definitely die first) ya, ok, right. all of you are gross. you dont even know what you dont know which for the rest of us, is at least, entertaining.

  • Thank you Rachel for writing such a fantastic article that has struck so many chords with me! I’m 24 and my boyfriend is 55 and reading your article was at times like reading about my own life! It’s so refreshing to read what you have written about with such a positive tone and actually fascinating to also read the comments from so many who are in a similar situation.
    Every day we come across some sort of judgement whether it’s from family or just people who pass us in the street.
    All I can say to anyone is that love is love no matter what package it comes in and if you’re truly happy in life, grasp it and hold on tight because let’s face it, no-one knows what tomorrow brings xx

  • My boyfriend is 16 years older than me and he has had 2 marriages that didn’t work out. But all I can say is that I am completely in love and so is he and we have so much support from everyone. However he is just getting out of one of the divorces and I can tell it’s hard on him because they both cheated on him. So he always thinks I’m oging to cheat too and I don’t know how to convince him that I’m not going too. Any advice would be great!!! He also told me today about how he is probably going to die before me and I almost broke down and cried right there. But I love him so much that nothing can change that. I’m not leaving him for anything because I honestly believe we were meant for each other and everything that has happened in our lives led us to each other. Who cares about age, it’s just a number :) Love this article by the way gave me a lot of faith in my relationship!!!

    • Hi Amanda-

      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to reply! The part about how your boyfriend brings up that he will most likely die before you is sad but something you have to come to terms with being in an unconventional relationship, as we both are. To be open and honest about all of the obstacles you may face can only make you and your relationship stronger. If you’d like to read my opinion on that topic, please take a look at a more recent article I wrote which discusses misconceptions about dating an older man. Best of luck to you darling, may your future be bright and full of love!

      Misconceptions About Dating An Older Man-

  • I’m 27 and my partner is 54 I really enjoyed reading your article it’s so nice to see that I’m not the only one out there that has similar thoughts on dating older men
    To me it’s the best decision I’ve made and 4 years later we are still strong
    Thankyou for writing the article it was absolutely beautiful good luck x

  • Im 22 and bf is 57… greatest man ive ever came encountered with, he understands me, and i understand him. We been through a lot of ups and downs. But still staying strong because our love is deeper than ever. But the only problem is my family nor friend accepts our relationship. I hate to cut them out my life, but i dislike the negative energy. I dont like that i cant bring him around are have family dinners. I feel so alone at times, but trying to stay strong for him. Not that what ppl say bother me, but it definitely hurts…. and makes it difficult to live as many happy couples do. Its just me and him against the world. Another thing is hes really insecure and jealous, our relationship has been emotionally abusive because he cant even see why i love him so much, i try hard to reassure that hes the only man i want and love. But since there’s a huge gap in age he taunts me about being with younger guys…. Thats not what i want though. Their immature and not on my level of expectations. I know he loves me with all of him. But how do i deal with my family. Friends, and his insecurities.

    • Hi Christina – I don’t know about the age gap, but you probably shouldn’t be with someone who is emotionally abusive.

    • I agree with Erin, Christina. It seems as if you were steering clear of younger guys to avoid immaturity yet the way you describe your boyfriend “taunting” you sounds very immature (Just because a man is older does not mean he is mature). I feel any relationship, age difference or not, cannot survive and thrive without a foundation built on trust. Your boyfriend needs to trust in your decision to be with him, he should cherish and love you, not spend time emotionally abusing you. Best of luck darling, take care.

      • Agree with Rachel and Erin, age gap awesomeness is great, enjoy, any relationship of any age with insecurities, when not dealing with them, bad.

  • Hi Rachel,

    Thank you for the brave well spoken article! I too am dating a man 30 years my senior and I have never been happier. I am not a gold digger, I don’t come from a broken home, and there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with me. I am a very beautiful (much like yourself!) 23 year old worldly young woman with a zest for life pursuing further education.

    It is so nice to read such a supportive positive article and nonjudgmental responses! My parents, like yours, stand by my decision and adore the man I am seeing because they respect me, knowing they raised an intelligent young woman. He encourages me to finish my masters degree and travels with me all over the world. Despite some of the negativity I have received from acquaintances I have never been in a more healthy, fun loving relationship than I am now.

    Funny question for you, how do you respond when people assume you are his daughter? This happens to us mostly traveling or in restaurants. At first it’s always awkward and its all we can do to not laugh out loud which is one of the reasons I love this man, our ability to laugh and laugh often.

    Yours truly continuing to LOVE WITHOUT WORRY,


  • This article brings me some hope- I’ve found myself in a similar relationship with a man 25 years older… We support one another absolutely. Likewise I’ve heard the “daddy issues” (never had those, love and respect my father in a totally healthy relationship) and had random passers-by make comments. It wouldn’t bother me so much if my mother were supportive, but she threatens to disown me time and time again because of it. So when I read that woman telling you your mother must be embarrassed it ripped my heart out. Not her place to assume, and not only that; not a healthy mindset to judge others based on something as petty as age. If it’s a strong relationship devoid of abuse and full of love that is all that should matter.

    I’m very happy you shared this story and I hope you and your boyfriend have many wonderful years together!

    • Rae – so sorry to hear you don’t have your mother’s support. I am 34 dating a guy 59, not officially told my parents yet who I think the world of, mum is about 3 years older than dad, (71/68) feels weird to think if I stay with my guy I could never have what they have, but, I am happy living my life my way and I am really happy you are too, just to say I 150% agree with you, “If it’s a strong relationship devoid of abuse and full of love that is all that should matter.” *hugs and best wishes xx*

  • hi Rachel,
    I’m so happy to have come across your article. I’m dating someone who’s 23 years my senior. he’s the best thing happened to me. Just like how you described yourself, i am, too, independent, both emotionally and financially, and raised by traditional and conservative Asian parents. i went againt all odds by dating this man: I’m dating out of my race, he’s more than twice my age, has two kids going throught a divorce; but he is such a sweetheart! we get along so well, (including his kids)
    it’s hard to keep the relationship going, as we live in a society where people are so judgmental and always have things to say. however, we’re so happy with each other, that when we’re together, we’re too bz having fun to notice the stares and raised eyebrows.
    whether it works out or not, i know i don’t and will not regret a bit of this relationship. and I’ll always be grateful that i get to experience true love in this life. after all, we only live once and not everyone gets a taste of true love.
    I’m 30 and he’s 53 :)

    best of luck to you and your man, and thanks for sharing!

  • Hi Rachel
    It was so heart warming to read this. I am in a similar relationship with a man 27 years older than myself. I could never imagine being happier. I adore him with my whole heart, and I know he feels exactly the same. Admittedly, however after reading some comments and your article i feel somewhat ashamed, the judgement does have some painful impacts upon me, especially to my self esteem and makes me question a lot about myself. It hurts especially when it comes from your own family. My mother went to the extent of disinheriting me because of my relationship, however for me it was never going to be a choice, I would never give up on a love this strong. Unfortunately i wasn’t as lucky with my family, although i do have some wonderful friends, old and new introduced to me by my partner, who support us and become like a new family. I do get worried however, because I want to marry and have children with my partner, i just worry that my mother especially will never come to my wedding, or see her grandchildren because of this hatred towards him. Also i on occasion have depressive moments when i think of the future, and the inevitable ending to a relationship with such a long age gap. I worry about the loneliness, but i have come to know that the moments we have together now are so important to enjoy, and not to have them tainted by the negative, vague predictions of a future that may turn out much better than i imagine.
    I love my partner more than many couples of the same age do. I can see the purity in our relationship, and i am saddened however that others cannot. I wish society was more understanding especially when it comes to matters of equality, because this certainly is one. Equality in love should be considered shoulder to shoulder with all other forms of equality.
    There is nothing wrong with falling in love, and we should never fear it.
    Thank-you Rachel for reminding me of this.

    • Hi Anna-

      I am glad my article was able to offer you some comfort. I am sorry to hear you are struggling with your family accepting your choices and my heart aches for you and how you are in the middle. I don’t know how new your relationship is or if your mother has spent much time with your boyfriend but I know that for me, giving those I love time to adjust was necessary but most of all, my family and friends needed to meet my boyfriend, they needed to see us together. All of their preconceptions of us quickly faded away after being around us and seeing how we fit together. At the end of the day, you only get to live this life one time, maybe 5 years from now you will be looking back and thinking “he was too old,” maybe you will be looking at him sitting next to you and thinking, “thank God I didn’t let other people’s opinion drive us away from each other.” You just never know what the future holds, my only advice would be to live your life for you, fill your soul and heart with love and do what makes you uncontrollably happy, whether it makes sense to others or not. Best of luck love. -Rachel

      • Thankyou for the reply. We’ve known eachother for three years and been together for one year. I am more confident to not let those judgements get to me now. I enjoy loving him and look forward to being with for many many years to come :)
        All the best. – Anna

    • Anna – equality in love is so powerful and amazing to read your comment and thank you rachel again for the inspiring article xxx

      • Thanks Clare. Just wish more people could see it too!
        so lovely to be reading all your comments, you’re awesome ;)

  • Hi Rachel, I too am in a relationship with someone who is 25 years my senior, and this article gave me peace, would you maybe email me? I would love your advice and words. Thank you so much

  • I really needed to read this. I’m 24 and have recently started seeing someone 26 years older than me. Although the age difference doesn’t bother me personally, I’ve been apprehensive about the whole situation because of how my parents and his children would react. He’s only a few years younger than my parents and I’m 7 years older than his oldest kid. I know that if we’re happy and right for each other, things will fall into place even if we have a rough start (as far as getting our families used to it). It’s good to see so many success stories. Honestly, the thing that worries me most is that if we both live to a ripe age, I would lose him a lot earlier than I’d be ok with. It makes me sad thinking about it, but like I said, if we’re meant for each other, it’ll be worth all of the bumps in the road. Good luck to you both.

  • Wait…you were in a ten year relationship that began when you were 11 years old? THAT is strange, not dating an older man

    • At what age did you start liking boys dear? Not till you were 16? When you were young you didn’t chase some little boy around the play ground? Did you ever have AIM (AOL instant messenger) where you used to have a “boyfriend” and put his initials in your profile? Well I did, and it was all the same boy, the one I played hide and seek with ended up being the boy I called on the phone for hours on end and then eventually (at age 13- just to clarify since I am so “strange”) my first kiss. And then we went on for 9 long years after that together. So it really isn’t strange but thank you so much for taking the time to read my article and leaving a nice little comment.

      • Rachel – I too read that and thought that was also strange. Not meaning strange to diss you, you seem like an amazing strong woman from your writing – (that’s all I know of you :-) ) I just mean, strange in that your article is so mature talking about yourself aged 20something dating an older guy, your 10 year relationship starting age 11 cant’ be in any way compared to that. Or your headspace about relationships for the duration of your 10 year relationship aged 11 onwards –

        Totally dig what you say about men / boys your own age being lame, lol, each to their own but what you described is the norm, haha – its a tiny point in your article, but did stick out to me as well. Again, not to criticise, you are very inspiring and a great writer… just did seem odd!

  • In can’t believe That I am actually are COMMENTING because i do not often comment. And not only That, i am coming all the from Norway, so exuse me for the spelling, I always use spelling program but not know. hehe.
    Reading this gives me hope. I got a boyfriend who is 28 year older than me. I am right under 18 and we will wait until I am 18, and he does that for me because i wanna wait, I need to get mentally prepared to tell everybody, heheh.
    So we met in real life, and it was something that made me fall for him. We started talking online also outside and boom we were both in love. I did not understand how he could fall in love with me who was so much younger, but then I thought reverse and he must have thought the same. So i just needed to trust him. And I was really blinded by love. hihi
    We have been together for two years. It has been the best two years of my life. Every day together is an adventure.
    And I did not believed in fate, but I do now. He is my destiny, no matter how silly it sounds. Everything with us two matches, we click together perfectly! Everything is absolutely perfect, he understands me in a way you never could imagine. And I’m going wonderfully well with his brother who is older than himself and his friends. I love being with him and his friends. He’s actually just absolutely perfect and I’m the luckiest and happiest.
    But I dread to tell it because I come from a small space with lots of prejudice, including my parents. But I love him more than anything and I know we can get through anything.
    He is amazing and I could not found a more wonderful man. I know he will only me well and it is the only thing I want him.
    And just so everyone knows, I have a father and I am not looking for a father figure ;)

    It feels so good to write this there are some, but not many people know properly that we are together yet.

  • I have been dating a man 26 years older than me and its the best relationship I’ve ever had.. I just don’t know how my mom or brothers would react to it.

    • Same here, I look forward to tell a lot of people but not my family. Cause I do not think that they would react that good..

  • Rachel I love you posting <3. Ive been dating a man 20 years older than me but whats stopping him from seeing clearly with us is the thought of having children..Before meeting me, he was set on not having children but he mentions us being together he wants children but when on his own he thinks 'how is it going to work or how old he will be when their older'…My man is 46 and I'm 26, this could make us or break us. I do want a child and my sister reminded me that I shouldn't change what I want and have wanted because my man got himself to think he'd never meet anyone like me. What do you think?

  • I love this article. I’ve always been attracted to older guys. A friend of mine, she’s a senior, she told me that usually boys mature slower than girls which makes sense. I mean, I’d rather date a gentleman instead of a frat boy with swag. I had always seen relationships with less than five year gaps, always thought I was wrong to like older men. But I guess Im not wrong. If it makes you happy, go for it. And my situation, he’s 27 years older, but married so I think I have to move on from this one xD. Thanks for the hope.

    • Hi Kayla, thank you for reading my article. I don’t know how old you are, although you say your friend is a senior which makes me think you are talking about high school, so that would mean you are under 18. If this is the case and you are having relations with an older, married man I would encourage you to tell your parents because this could cause a lot of problems in your life both personally and legally. If you are in college, then you are of age and able to make these decisions, however there are millions of great men, old and young that aren’t married to pick from, I would suggest you do the right thing and stay away from married men. Best of luck dear, please be safe and think about the decisions you are making.

  • I have read this article numerous times.. I started seeing a 48 year old at 21. And I understand the judgement. This article helps every time I feel that doubt. Thank you for this. And congrats on your relationship.

  • I think more women need to be stronger when it comes to relationships that society considers “not normal”. Myself, i am in a relationship with someone who is 29 years older than me, and personally: i have never been so happy! My bf of 6 months has made me realize and value life in so many different ways. He has been the best thing that has happened to me. I am currently in university (i am 18, soon turning 19), and he doesn’t want me to introduce him to my parents until a couple years from now. But it is hard to sneak around and not talk about him openly; and i have told him, that this hurts me. One can see that when i am with him my whole world changes, its amazing the affect he has on me! So what is your advice about introducing my bf to my parents? Do i wait a couple years or, what? I am stuck at a cross roads of deciding what to do!! Thank you for your help!!

    • Hi Dominique :) I am in the exact same situation as you – 19 turning 20 this year. My family knows about my boyfriend only because he use to be a family friend – stressing use to. I think there are a lot of things to consider i.e what your boyfriends reasons are for keeping it a secret and how close and understanding your family is. From my experience mums are extremely protective, and being an only child, she wants to make sure everything goes right (in her eyes). Even though she can’t offer me any real reason i shouldn’t be with Glenn, I know she is only trying to secure the future she thinks i deserve. (In my opinion i think my mum is pretty cynical when it comes to relationships too). What i a getting at is that i think it really depends on what your relationship is with your family, and if you think they would accept him, i don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t tell them about your love. I was truthful from the start, but it backfired on me, so there are risks. I am just glad i have some really awesome friends who i can trust and talk to who accept him and us for who we are and can see how much we love each-other. I know what pain you are going through in respect to the lies and sneaking around – trust me it gets really tedious. My boyfriend knows how main trouble is causes me, and it hurts him too. If i am honest with you – i think i understand where your boyfriend is coming from – if you wait a couple of years, perhaps your relationship will have more credibility to your family. However i think also that your relationship should be something that is celebrated, and if your family would accept you, there is nothing more amazing than that.

      Its a tough one, and i commented because i know exactly what you are going through. I hope it all works out for you better than it did for me, but babe at the end of the day – do what is best for you. If you can’t handle the secrecy, you don’t want it bottled up inside you for another 2 years.

      All the best, feel free to chat with me if you need someone to talk to!

  • Hello Rachel, so I don’t know if you will even get this but I just started hanging out with a 45 year old and I am only 20. I am here in Italy and we have become friends. He has asked me out a couple times and I have accepted. I am starting to feel something for him just a little, but my heart sometimes is telling me no and not to think those things. Is there any advice you would give me? Sometimes it just feels weird, did you ever feel that?


    • Hi Emily-

      Thanks so much for reading my article and leaving a comment! Personally, I have not been in your situation, so I am not sure how beneficial this advice is but wanted to respond anyways. I believe one of the reasons I am so sure that my relationship is right for me is because of the fact that it has never felt “weird” to me. In fact, it has felt so extremely right that I have been confident enough to stand up to anyone that feels differently or feels like they need to tell me their opinion of it. I know a lot of other people don’t understand my decision but in my heart- alarms have never gone off about him. I only hear alarms when I am not with him. If your intuition is telling you something about this situation is off, then listen to it. If this is the right person for you than your heart will let you know. Best of luck darling, have a beautiful time in the most lovely country.

      • Thank you very much Rachel, we decided to just stay friends, but apart of that was that I am still growing up and figuring out what I want in a man and in my life. But thanks for you’re wisdom

  • I found this article to be really helpful, and to know that I am not alone in this journey. My boyfriend and I have an almost 40 year age difference. We have been going out for about a year and a half and I could not be happier. The only struggle I am having is trying to get my family to accept us. They will not even give us a chance. I graduated from college and am now working full time, but I still live at home with my family to continue saving money. My parents have threatened to kick me out and essentially disown me, if I keep seeing my boyfriend. They gave me the ultimaitum of choosing between them or my boyfriend. It is a lose lose situation, because I will resent them for making me end things with him or if I move out my family will likely cut ties with me, which I know is not what they want. I also do not want to make my boyfriend feel pressured into having me move in with him. I want us to be able to make that decision on our own when the time is right. It is a terrible situation to be in. I have always been a family person and I know my parents are only trying to protect me; however, they could not be more wrong about this. The only thing they hear or think of when my boyfriend is mentioned is his age. Not only his age, but they picture him as being the stereotypical older man who is using a girl for sex. My parents make him out to be some kind of monster. We are none of those things. I am not a gold digger; I take pride in the fact that I worked my way through college and am now supporting myself by working full time. I have always been attracted to older men, and it has never had to do with money. Also, I tell my parents if he wanted me for just sex he would not be with me and all the baggage that comes with having to sneak around because my parents do not approve. My family is too concerned about me ruining my future. However, like you mentioned there is no point in worrying about the future. No one knows what tomorrow may bring; I am so happy right now there is no need to worry about what might happen in the future. Maybe I will regret this decision one day, but if so I need to figure that out for myself and not from my family. I took my boyfriend to my company Christmas party and everyone there was accepting and told me they could see how in love we are. I wish that my family would take the chance to see what I see when I see my boyfriend. A guy who has a big heart and a great sense of humor, and a guy who treats me right and respects me. When I look at him I do not see his age, and I hope that one day my parents and family will be able to do the same and accept us and our happiness. Thank you for sharing your story, reading other peoples stories has made me realize I am not alone. I wish more people could be as accepting about relationships as we are. As long as two people are in love, and being treated right nothing else should matter.

    • This article is amazing and I am so glad I found it. I am a 51 year old man and I have fallen in love with a 26 year old beautiful lady. She rocks my world. I want to be with her forever, but I worry about not being fair to her. When she’s 56, 30-years from now, I’ll be 81. Will she be fatigued by being with such an older guy? I don’t know. But our love is so strong, so passionate, and so magnificent right now. I don’t want to let her go – ever. I want to be fair to her and not deprive her of anything in life that she should experience or enjoy. But I so don’t want to lose her. What do you think?

      • Hi Mike! So glad you enjoyed my post and thank you for commenting. My boyfriend deals with many of the same issues it seems you are dealing with, we play the when you’re “X” years old, I will be “Y” game all the time (it is miserable, stop doing that to yourself haha). What I like to tell my boyfriend when we get stuck in these types of ruts is that in all honesty, it is not his decision to make. He can feel guilty, he can feel like I am getting the short end of the stick but it isn’t his decision to decide that this relationship isn’t right for me, that is my choice. As long as I make him happy, he is in love and enjoying his life with me, then let me do the same. Until one of us decides differently, then let’s just be happy together. Plenty of relationships like ours don’t work out Mike, I am just going to be honest, but plenty of them do too. It seems like you love your girlfriend very much, and she wouldn’t be with you if she didn’t love you too. Let her love you, you aren’t depriving her of anything, you are GIVING her your love in return, and isn’t that all anybody really wants in life? Mike, best of luck in the future! Here is another article I wrote about being in a relationship that might help you see it from another perspective:

    • Mary – so sorry to hear your family is not supportive. That’s a huge age difference and only you can know what feels right for you – while you want your family to cut you some slack and appreciate you are happy, I think you rtoo could cut them some slack and appreciate that while what they say doesn’t feel right to you, it might be that they are just saying it because they care. Sometimes people try to force their values on to you and its not right for you – but it doesn’t mean that it’s not well meant. Im also dating an older guy – good luck with what makes you happy and I hope you stay happy. Big hugs x

    • Hi Mary
      Only commenting because that family dynamic – kicking out and disowning – is something i have experienced too. It is soul destroying especially because my mum and i are so close, it was so painful to have the person so dear to you want to wipe you from their lives. I am okay now only because my relationship is a subject that is just never discussed, and we act as if it isn’t true. We live our lives together very happily, and i am sure my mum knows that when i go out sometimes i must be seeing him. I don’t know how my mum feels about it now, but i think it is just something we won’t talk about. I wonder how things will go down the line – if we get married and have kids – but i think it is best to take just one day at a time.
      I am sorry about what you are going through, but i am afraid you can’t change everybody’s minds, and their misunderstanding really is just their form of protection – even if i does seem backwards. However i think that if you stand up for your love, show them how serious you are and that neither of you are in the relationships for superficial or financial reasons, and you continue on your career path, living the life they think you deserve, hopefully they will see that this is just another fantastic decision you have made in your life. My mum said once i am throwing my life away, but i silenced her pretty quick when i pointed out i was going to uni, and was just as enthusiastic about my career choice as i had every been, and was achieving good results (she doesn’t know but my boyfriend often helps edit and proof read my essays – i wonder what she would say about that!)
      Anyway, it is sad that the two important loves of your life can’t get along, i wish mine could. But never give up on something that makes you happy just to please someone else. Risks need to be taken in life as long as they are done for the right reasons, and i am sure the love you have with your man is the right reason.
      All the best

  • Rachel,

    Finally reached the bottom to leave my comment on your article. You are an amazing woman, really inspiring, positive, and good. You’re a great writer.

    I have read this a few times but finally tonight I wanted to comment and hopefully get a reply sometime. You’re 26 now. I know when I was 26 I would feel similarly to you about things. I too was always told I was an ‘old spirit’, had a lot of older friends, etc. And lots my own age too.

    I’ve looked in a lot of places to see peoples’ perspectives about dating much older guys. Not to gain approval or permission but just to share experience. I do think that when it comes down to having kids, getting old together, things change. I loved that in your article you said you’ve had loads of talks about everything. Strange how the age gap speeds that up, just done that with my man, well it’s always ongoing isn’t it?! Im 34 dating someone 59. Would’nt feel the need to chat about that 8 months in if we were the same age. In some ways I guess thats good but its a bit weird sort of cutting to the chase so soon too?!

    Defo 10 year relationship starting age 11 is best left out. Not relevant to anything. As you said your current perspective and his, is what counts now and is what you are both into. Just curious whether you want kids or how you *really* feel about growing old and being without the love of your life.

    Brought this up with my guy. He said and credit to him, well look at person x/y/z you /I have been with? did we think it would last forever? well I guess at the time, why be in it otherwise? well it didn’t, as we are both here now, so don’t look for reasons why not, just enjoy it. And I guess that’s the bottom line isn’t it. Just working through everything in my head. Best wishes with everything :-)

  • I usually don’t read blogs and reply to things like this but I was looking for some external support and your post totally spoke to me in a way I have never seen because it reminded me of my relationship, and that doesn’t happen, ever! Anyways, someone I work with asked to see a picture of my fiancé tonight and then proceeded to laugh and tell me he looks like he could be my dad- right in my face! I am 26 and he is 43- 17 years difference, but yet I couldn’t be happier! My family loves him and my friends are so supportive and get along great with him. We move a lot for his job and most of the time its just him and I and we don’t have that support system always around us since we live so far away from our friends and family. Thus, we encounter the “is that his daughter or date” thing a lot since we are always in new areas meeting new people. It bothers him A LOT more than it bothers me, but the fact that she knew he was my fiancé and still had to say that and laugh it was so cruel and rude and totally bothered me tonight. I mean have some respect. This isn’t anyone I consider a friend but unfortunately a co-worker I have to deal with. Normally I shake things off and don’t let it get to me because I am totally secure in our relationship and so excited to marry him in a few months!! It just hit me the wrong way tonight because it was on purpose, versus the people who judge from afar without knowing. I’ve always called myself an old soul and the couple serious relationships I’ve had have been with older men, just because like you said I like guys who are over the drinking and cheating phase and actually like to accomplish things in their life that doesn’t include counting the number of girls they’ve been with or shots they took last night. Our morales are right on point and we have the same crazy humor and share a love of health and fitness and traveling together. We just go together so well. And yes, no daddy issues here either! I wish more people would get that age is just a number and be more open to what a couple brings emotionally to a relationship that makes it work, instead of their birth date defining what is “normal” and acceptable. There should be groups for people like us to hang out, lol. I just say that probably because like I said we move a lot and its hard to make friends constantly, but it would nice to be around others who understand when you don’t have friends and family near by all the time like us! But really, thanks for writing this post- I have never doubted our relationship and with or without reading your post I would still feel the same way about my fiance regardless, just as much in love with him as ever, but it does give me a glimmer of hope that there are SOME people like you out there who get it and it continues to remind me that people are going to hate sometimes no matter what you do. So thanks!!!

  • I was 23 he was 49.. He was my lover for 10 years and I never had the courage to commit and be together. I tried not to see him anymore and married someone 5years older than me .. We have Kids but couldn’t stay away from my older lover . My double life how terrible. Looking back I wish I had just been with the man I loved, but I wanted children and a ‘normal’ relationship. .. Now im heartbroken, he died at 59. Our love was secret. Although he died of cancer I wish we had had those 10 years, would I be a single widowed mother at 35 or childless? I don’t think I was mature enough in my 20s to make the decision and also I belived it was morrally incorrect as he was married with children. Life is a compromise? Hindsight? Who knows? Heartbroken and miss him so much.

    (You look perfect together , I’m very envious )

  • Thank you for this Rachel, it gave me hope reading this and all the comments. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost a year, i’m 23 and he is 46, we were friends first but fell for each other. At the beginning we just enjoyed being with each other without it being too serious (because of the age issue), but as time went on, we couldn’t keep apart and are now looking at moving in together. He makes me truly happy and I know that he loves me.

    I don’t have the support of my family. My dad told me to end my relationship and that it was ‘sick’ and ‘disgusting’ and that he is ‘devastated’ but since we haven’t spoken about it, he also hasn’t met my boyfriend or seen how happy we are together as he threatened to hit my boyfriend if he ever met him. I don’t know if he thinks that I have broken it off, which I told him I wouldn’t do. I want to tell him how happy I am and that I am doing this, but I’m also afraid of hurting my dad, and him disowning me. I also don’t want my boyfriend to get hurt by comments from my family.

    I’m going to move in with my boyfriend regardless, its all I want, but if anyone has any advice for me on how to deal with the difficult family situation?

  • I am so happy I found this article. I’ve been with someone 30 years older ( I am 27 ). For 2-1/2 years I’ve been hiding it from my mom and dad, and from people at work. It is exhausting and it puts an unnecessary strain on our relationship. At the end of the day, people will always judge. The people you want in your life, are the ones who wont! In the end, your circle will be smaller, but you will have the best people you could ever hope for standing by you.
    I will tell my family this coming week when they visit, and I’m scared. Reading this has given me a bit more courage.
    Wish me luck!

  • Hi Rachel, congrats to you and your boyfriend on finding love! I’m also dated an older guy and fell in love with him. I’m 29 and he’s 57. Our relationship was a world wind romance. He is certainly the best man I’ve ever met. While I was with him I felt love everyday and knew that I wanted to spend my life with him. However, those closest to me didn’t share my sentiments. I was ill advised and so I believed some of the lies like, “he’s just using you for your youth and beauty”. As a result of the words that were said and believed, much friction develop in our relationship. I also recall meeting his side of the family! I was a pleasure for to meet them but they were quite withdrawn. Shortly after meeting his family, we had a major argument and I called our relationship quits. Within a month of doing so I realized I made a huge mistake. I reach out to him to and asked for forgiveness. He was quite open to me but stated clearly he no longer wants a relationship. I accepted the terms because I love him. After reconnecting on his terms, we’ve been on vacation, dinners and shared special moments! However, I can’t help but still desire more. He no longer says I love and we see each other every two weeks or once a month. He once stated that I will never again meet his family. He also claims to have no one else in his life and allows me to leave stuff at his home. I’ve tried to moved on but I always find myself back in his arm. Should I continue to hold on to the only love I’ve know? Is it time to let go?


  • I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s been going through this kind of life experience! Just a sharing from me, it’s true people will judge you from your relationship status and I’ve learned how to ignore that. I’m currently dating a guy who is 21 years older than me. I’m turning 23 this year and he is now 44 years old. We met when I was doing my training in a hotel where he was staying. I knew I had a crush on him from the very first time I saw him (at that I had a boyfriend at the same age). One day he gave me his e-mail (he is Japanese, it’s a common thing to switch e-mails in Japan rather than phone number) and we started to talk to each other until I finally decided to broke up with my same age boyfriend and go with him. There is a reason why I broke up with my same age boyfriend, simply he cheated on me nd he even physically abused me while this Japanese guy treated me very gently. We are now having a 1 year and 4 months of long distance relationship and we hope on going to get married next year.

    I kept this relationship for almost 9 months and finally I decided to tell my father about this. I mean, he is the kind of person that I could talk to about this thing. His reaction wasn’t so bad, it’s just a religious matter (I’m Christian and boyfriend is Buddhist). So I asked, not forcing, if my boyfriend willing to change his religion into Christian and he said yes. That was a relieve for me. I haven’t let my mom knows about this. I’m afraid of her reaction.

    Boyfriend is now currently working in my country for awhile. By that opportunity, I will introduce him to my parents and take him to church. I hope everything goes well.

  • Hi I recently started dating a man who is 61 and I am 27. It was kind of weird but in a good way. I told only my best friend and he is more than happy for me. I feel like if I tell my parents or others they would judge me and I don’t have time for that. I have 2 children and he of course he has children older than me and he has grandchildren. That, does not bother me one bit. I feel like love is love regardless. I am African American and he is Caucasian. He was working in a car dealer ship when we met and after that it was history. I am also military and he is willing to move wherever I go. He treats me with the utmost respect and like I am his Queen. He loves the fact that I am independent but he loves to do for me as well. He wants me to be his wife someday and I am truly nervous. Only because I never knew or had someone to love me the way he has. I feel like it’s too good to be true. We think of each other every day and send each other little messages throughout the day. And what amazes me, he told me he loves me first!! I am so in love and I don’t want to miss out on something so good thinking about what other people think or say. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks -Tiffany

  • Reading this made me more comfortable telling my parents about my boyfriend who is 26 years older than me. I’m 19 and he is 45. We weren’t looking for each other we met through my friend and his girlfriend taking me with them to dinner with his boss whom is now my boyfriend. Its the best relationship of my life. We don’t see age as a problem or see it looking at each other. We just each other for who we are. Love is love, it isn’t set standards everyone should approve of, it just finds you even in the oddest of ways. Its a miracle. Love doesn’t have a rule book telling you who you should be with. My friends and family love me and love how happy I am with Tod. They even like him for himself and not just because I do. People judge our relationship all the time and it doesn’t phase me because their judgement doesn’t effect my happiness.

  • Hello Rachel, thank you for sharing your story. I happened to find this today… I am not sure if you could read this comment now (as this article is dated January 2014…) I’ve been dating 20 years older than I am right now – I am 41 and he is 61. Things started going so incredibly well from the beginning, and in fact my dog and I had just moved in his house last month to his house. Yesterday, my boyfriend came to me and told me that his oldest daughter (who is 5 years younger than I am) was not happy about him because he was dating quite similar age as she was (which was myself). When I heard about it, I felt so sad and got hurt. She even doesn’t know about me well yet, and I was looking forward to building relationship with she and myself. To me, it even sounded like she was rejecting myself and wanted my boyfriend run away from me. When I first met him I knew he was way older than I was and knew he had children from his previous marriage. I have never married and no human kids – I assumed things probably could have been challenging at some point. I worried, but rather, I have been able to build strong bond and incredibly chemistry between us. When I read your article here, I was able to realize that I have people who are supportive to me no matter what – my mom (who first heard about us, she freaked out but after heart-to-heart conversation she is now supporting my decision – she always is.), few great friends of mine. By knowing someone whom my boyfriend treasures is not happy about the relationship between he and his girlfriend (me) really hurt me, but I really have to believe in him and myself – and hope his daughter some day would not be judgmental (to me, she is now judging me and him just based on my age) just because we have 20 years old apart each other. I just wanted you to listen to me – thank you for your time in reading my comment here. Hope you and Tim have been still happily together.

    • Thank you for sharing your story also. I have that worry of staying with a man older than me for the rest of his life. 60 years and 80 years of age has a big difference in body mobility, living the rest of my life after he passes away scares me.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and for the kind words. At the end of the day, you have to be happy with your decisions. If you leave someone you love because of other people, you will never forgive yourself. Give her time, all things that are meant to be, will be. Best of luck, love.

  • Wow, Thank you Rachel! This really helped me feel more comfortable about my situation which is similar to yours. I am 27 years old and I have started to date a 52 year old, but I did not choose him or pick him out in a crowd or meet him on an online dating site… it just happened! I can talk to him, laugh so hard with him, I smile every time I’m in his presence, I feel like a queen around him… and of course he treats me like I was the best thing since creation. :) He looks at me with adoration and compassion and I melt every time. I feel this burst of energy, life, and security that I have not gotten with past relationships and marriage. Unlike you Rachel, I did not grow up with my father. I was mistreated and violated by my mother’s boyfriends. So when I spoke to a couple of my friends about him, I was told that I need counseling and that I DO have “daddy issues”. I was very depressed after hearing negative comments and opinions such as that because I felt some truth underlining those statements. As I am writing this, I still feel like being with him is mistake just because of his age… but I like him too much. He has even been open to listen to me about my past traumas (if it does come up). He’s comforting regardless if he knows what to say. Additionally, we think alike and we bring up subjects that the other was thinking about. To be honest I have just started engaging a relationship with him for a 1 week and half now, but it feels like forever! I have been feeling really hesitant with continuing a relationship with him or making it exclusive or public, but Rachel your experience and perspective about this situation has helped me TREMENDOUSLY! Thank you for you insight. God Bless.

  • I am happy from what I read in your story, well I’m one of them… I’m dating a 24 year older boyfriend than me. I found my comfort o, affection and care. I don’t love him from what he can give me by material things…I don’t need them, cause I can earn them by my own… but I love him simply because of his maturity to be responsible in our relationship. He help me a lot in making myself a better woman of my age.. to be independent enough, stand on what I knew is right… he’s the person who makes my heart beats and skips fast, he’s the only guy who fullfil my imaginations in dates… flowers chocolates that snow ball bear, he’s a man with tons of sense of humor…I am just praying to have this kind of relationship till we grow older

  • Hi Rachel, I’m so glad to see you writing these out with such boldness and courage. Being someone who’s dating a man 20 years older than I am (I’m 22, him 42), I find so much comfort in reading your article. We have been dating for almost a year now, my parents are totally against it, and only a few of my friends are supportive and comfortable with it. Currently, our relationship is sort of hidden (from my parents) as my parents just simply cannot accept it and we have had massive arguments about it since the the start of the relationship. They think we’ve broken up now, I feel very bad about hiding it but also I don’t know how to bring it up to them anymore that we are still together fearing that my family will be turned upside down again. And unfortunately, on the other side of the story, my partner has jealousy and trust issues which I believe is the cause of his previous relationships where he has been cheated on before, and being in an unopened relationship like this makes him anxious about other younger guys and me going out with my friends even, like he just wants everyone to know I have a boyfriend basically (although I have assured him many times). He said that he wants to to change but he doesn’t know how to :( This looks messed up and it probably is, but me and him, we have a lot in common, we get along very comfortably and we have lots of fun together and are happy in each other’s company.

  • I wis that there was more articles like this. My 20 year ol girlfriend who is 19 years younger than me is terrified to tell her parents that she’s even hanging out with me.

    I really bothers her to lie to them about where she lives who she’s hanging out with and even that she doesn’t have a boyfriend at all. She’s lies to them about hanging out with and staying with so many different people it’s getting hard for her to keep her story straight. Her biggest fear is that they will want to drive her home after she goes there for dinner.

    While I don’t love that she hides our relationship from the I’m more concerned that when they eventually figure out how long she’s been lying to them the lie will hurt them more than the truth itself.

    I’ve offered to meet them with her for dinner, suck up any lectures or snappy comments and just be polite and respectful and I’ve given her advice on different ways she could approach telling them but she’s paralyzed with fear of how they’re going to react when they find out.

    Honestly I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, she’s 20, they do know I got her a good job in wealth management with no experience. IMO she’s an adult and she’s not living with them (she’s living with me), I say tell them let them flip out and they’ll eventually get over it.

  • When I was growing up, we had these family friends, the kids were my age and the parents fit right into this discussion. The dad was 20 years older than the mum. My mum is gossipy and there was never any hint of any relationship issues at all. When the dad passed away in his late 70s ,she was very unhappy and she also passed away a few years after that.

    Bottom line is – yes age difference relationships can work.

    As an aside, I got this idea…. because the older person will need caring for much sooner, to give the younger person am idea of the reality of growing old together, the younger person could volunteer for 1-2 weeks full on at an old folks home. If they can handle that, them they’re set!

  • The woman who came up to you and said that clearly had psychological problems. Chances are her psyche was damaged by her father leaving her mother for a much younger woman, or her own husband/partner leaving her for a much younger woman.

    • Your statement is biased with lack of evidences. How many people actually you know at such situation in real life? Yes, People prefer so-called “appropriate age gap in marriage” like you and it’s considered as “normal” in society. Yet, such “normal” marriage doesn’t always reflect one’s ideal marriage and happiness. There are many people in similar ages get often fight, divorce and unhappy with their own differences and problems which is beyond the age number -Money, Belief, Religion, Relatives, Infidelity, etc.

  • I’m in a similar situation I’m In a relationship with someone 26 years Der then me. Unlike you I do not really have support from most of my family. My sister says it’s gross and I’m disgusting. Other people have also made comments that have made me feel like I’m doing something wrong or I’m a bad person. I’m happy with my man so why does the age matter. He treat me with respect and has his life together. Very similar to you situation. How can you get people to see that?

  • This is so beautiful and have helped me extremely on making my decision. Me and my boyfriend is also 27 years age difference, I am 23 and he’s 51. When I first met him I only wanted to be friends nothing more, the oldest guy I dated was 35 so I was totally not interested, I guess because my dad is 56; 5 years older than him. Anyways, every time he would see me he say; hey beautiful how are you today? We would most time start our conversations out like that, then after weeks of talking he asked me out and we went to see a movie, I was still uneasy about being seen with him. But after I started to see that this man really cared about me and only me, it wasn’t about sex or nothing he told me he loved my mind and heart, also how I am very mature for my age which is what he loved most about me. My entire life I was hurt by boys and guys till I started to believe only thing I was good for was sex when I finally did it a year ago, but he showed me that I was so much more than that, his sister called him an old pervert and people on my side called him names too, at that point I started to make up excuses not to see him again because I was scared of what people might think and awesome scared because I have never experienced what love and happiness really feels like, its like I was more happy sleep than awake because I dreamed of moments like that but never have it happen in reality. Then one day he finally knocked on my door and said; I know you are afraid to love, but just let someone love you, let me love you and show you that you are so precious and valuable and you can’t even see it. I began to cry because at that moment I have never had a man to make me feel the way he did, we also love to wrestle, go to church and talk about what our kids would look like since neither of us have any yet. So yes age doesn’t define you, I have done something that I thought I would never do and that’s find happiness in a man just 5 years younger than my father. My father can’t wait to meet him and I do have older and younger women mad at me lol older women always say; you could have dated me, I’m closer to your age then this child. He is very blunt and speak his mind so he always defended me. And when we make love its like he knows everything my body likes which is AWESOME!! Hope this helps someone as happy for you because nobody can live your life but you!!!

  • Wow I just have to say that reading this helped me a lot. I am beginning a wonderful journey with my soul mate and he is 24 years older me. Your article helped me feel less alone and your right if we are happy together then that’s all that matters and age is just a number. I’m sure people are going to stare and say what the hell. I don’t have daddy issues or anything I have just always been attracted to older men. Love has no boundaries and isn’t determined by how far apart in age we are. The hardest part will be telling our families but in time they will understand and see the love we have for one another.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. My boyfriend and I have currently been together 5 months and there is a 26 year age difference; he’s 47 and im 21. We are very much in love and Ive learned that no matter how judgemental people are, you have to follow what is going to make you happiest. I grew up similar to you, no real abnormal family issues, we were close knit, and I had just gotten out of a relationship with someone my age before meeting him. He had previously been married and divorced and then ended a 7yr relationship before me, both with women close to his age. When we first met it was at a fundraiser for work, I of course thought he was much younger. In short, its not as if I sought after an older man, just turned out he had so many qualities I admired. Family and friends feel like theyre trying to protect me when giving their discouraging opinion, but in reality it only causes more pain. He and I have even broken up a few times due to it because he doesnt want to come between my family and I. Only now have I come to tell them I hear and respect their opinion, but am going to be with who makes me happy. He makes me a better person in so many ways and although he is older, we each have things to teach one another. Thank you for writing what you have about placing judgement upon a relationship like this, I couldnt agree more and only hope that my own family can come to be as understanding and respectful of my decision.

    Lots of love, S.

  • Hey Rachel I just read your story and I cannot tell you how much it means to me that you wrote this. It couldn’t have come at a better time in my life, because my boyfriend is 35 years older than me and I am literally feel like it’s us vs. the world. I cannot understand how I feel so meant to be with him yet the world is screaming at us to split up. It’s so hard being surrounded with people who don’t understand our love and your story spoke to me. It gives me passion and hope that Mark and I will work out, and you gave me all the answers I needed to keep going! We are very healthy for each other and I’ve never felt like anything is more meant to be in my life. Thank you, and I would love to talk anytime about age-gap relationships, seriously you changed my life!

  • Can I ask you, don’t you ever fear he will die before you do, as in WAY before? I too have fallen in love with an older man! I think we are a really good match. But I’m always afraid that he will die around the same time my parents die, then I will be alone with nobody. (I have no siblings, no other close relatives). If he is still alive when my parents die it might be ok, because I would have someone (him). But then he would die sooner rather than later. I’m afraid of being alone. And than, when I’m 40 or 50 and alone…I heard that its harder to find anyone who will date you when you are 40 or 50?

    • I had the exact same questions like you. I married a man who older than me almost like my dad’s age. I and my husband’s conclusion about the questions is that we never know how ‘life’ goes. There are many young people who died or dying in their early ages, or older people who live longer than expected. I had a peer who died from illness when I was 13 yrs old and a classmate who died from an unexpected car accident in high school. I also read many news almost everyday who got killed who died by bad happenings in different ages. Whoever goes to heaven first, I and my husband will bless each other’s happiness with no offense towards remain one’s future with someone or things. My only unhappiness in my marriage so far is the people’s negative judgement and looks in public. Yet, I also met some mature cool people, who realized true life, soul, love.. regardless of their age and background.. truly wishing our happiness.

      • Thanks, thats a good way to look at it. As far as people’s comments, if people seem to care I tell them “I look way younger than my actual age” which is true, I look about 10 years younger than my actual age. But they don’t know how much older I really am, so it throws them into confusion. Because, you know, my mom looks about 20 years younger than her actual age. It really helps saying that, because then people begin to realize that they really don’t know how old I am. It makes them doubt their assumptions. I don’t say what my age is, not usually, but when I do people’s jaw usually drops, sometimes they won’t even believe it with a driver’s license. However just saying that about my age, makes people doubt their assumptions.

        You might want to try it, even if its not true for you. If he is 20 years your senior, if you get people thinking, that they don’t really know your age, they might just as well assume that you are only 10 years apart after all. It works great so far for me. It also works the other way around, you could say, “I look way younger than my age and he looks older than his age”. Though ever since my boyfriend grew a beard and started coloring it, he looks maybe a few years younger so all I have to do is say that I look way younger than my actual age and people stop being so judgmental. Won’t work on close family or friends though, but they should know better. So I haven’t really had much trouble with other people’s judgements because of that.

    • I worry about this in my current relationship. I am 30 and he is 55. I am very close with my family and I feel anxious thinking about being middle aged and losing everyone I’m closest to. I also worry about how we will connect when I am still vital and he is in his final years. We are very in love but as things start to get very serious and we are talking about marriage and buying a home I am not sure if I can sign up for our future.

      We’ve been dating for 2 years and I’ve always been of the opinion that all you can do is live for the now and you never know what the future will bring even if you are the same age, but now the reality of the life we are more than likely to have is feeling pretty real

  • So I just met someone who is older I’m not sure his age I’m guessing 50s I’m kinda scared to ask. I’m 24 I wasn’t initially attracted plus I feel mixed signals, but we laugh alot together. Previously when I was 21 I dated a 39 year old but I felt the age gap but with him even though he’s older I feel good around him I’m just a little nervous about how to approach the situation or if I even should. He does little thoughtful things for me and just recently offered to ride to class together just not sure if he sees me the same way I do cause he also called me “champ” which I feel is something an old grandpa would say lol advice?

  • Wonderful story, love happens in mysterious ways, I so enjoyed reading that, may you both have many happy years together, god bless.

  • I contacted manifest spell because i was so heartbroken and don’t know what to do with myself but after few years of contacting Dr. Todd, my lover came back to me.

  • Man I fell in love with is 26 years older … I’m scared to do any steps because I’m sensitive and judgemental people will put me down… I don’t look at him as at my father i see a perfect man, He works at he same place I do, it’s not the money I want, I want to be with him, never felt so comfortable with someone, my exes in my age were so immature, and acting stupid… can’t stand that. I will say more … not only 26 years older but he is DEAF. I don’t want him because I feel sorry for him, im so happy when I see him .. I was never that happy before I can feel this chemistry in my body, butterflies in my stomach. We work in a very noisy place, He reads from lips and I didn’t know he’s deaf at first. I wish I would just do what my heart tells me to!!! He treats me with love and respect and I feel so bad stopping myself !

  • I just want to share with everyone the beautiful love story between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall…she was merely 19 (and he 44) when they met and fell in love on the set of To Have and Have Not. They shared their first kiss on-screen and in a quirky line by Bacall in that scene, she tells Bogie to “put your lips together and blow”. She was referencing his ability to whistle so that if he ever needed to call her, he’d only have to whistle and she’d be there. When Bogie eventually succumbed to cancer twelve years after marrying Bacall, she walked up to his casket and slipped a silver whistle into the breast pocket of his coat before saying goodbye. While it sounds like a sad ending, it’s one of the most romantic and fulfilling affairs of Bacall’s life and although they had their trials and tribulations like any couple, they were able to conceive two children and live a beautiful life together, despite their age difference. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s one of my favorites, as it’s an actual account of Bogie and Bacall’s love forming on-screen.

  • I think it is disgusting when people come and judge without knowing the full story, or without them even bother to ask how you feel…
    I fell in love with a woman 27 years older than me, I am a woman too, but every time I ask someone (I mean friends as well), that what would you think if I started to date someone in their early 50’s, and they tell me that probably I would do it because I am a gold-digger…
    I do not care about money and I do not ever want anyone to buy me anything… it hurts that people don’t think before they give their opinion..
    I am not in a relationship with this woman, but it hurts me to think that if I ever were that people would think of me as a money chaser…
    She is beautiful and has better looks than most women my age, I love her humour.. Stop judging a book by its cover.

  • I am 20 and I am in love with a 47 year old I don’t know how to tell my parents or how they will react one thing I do now is I am in love

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