Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Shortcuts: “Should I Move in With My Much Older Boyfriend?”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I’m 20 years old and my boyfriend is 33 years old. He brings all the happiness and motivates me everyday to be a better person and strive to reach my goals. He’s always there for me and never fails to remind me and show me how much he loves me. I’ve met his side of the family, get along with all of them, and occasionally bond with them. My parents pay my rent right now along with school tuition. However, I’m ready to branch off and do it on my own. My boyfriend and I are thinking of moving in together. We know each other’s habits and dislikes, and we have seen the “dark” side of each other in our laziest of times.

One problem: I’ve been scared to tell my parents — not only about moving in together but the fact that I have a boyfriend who’s 33. My parents are very old school and strict. I know they’ll judge him and that’s what scares me every time I’m about to let them know. Help! I potentially found the man I want to be with but don’t know how to tell my parents. — May, December

 
Tell your parents you’ve been dating someone you really like, but don’t move in with this guy. Let your parents finish paying for your school and THEN, and only then, if you’re still together, think about living together. You’re only 20 — you have a long, long time to spend the rest of your life with this person if that’s what you choose, so why not take advantage of your parents’ generosity long enough to at least finish school?

I met a guy who is 12 years older then me and we went on a date. I’m just wondering if it’s bad if I end up dating him or “doing” stuff with him. I told my mother that I was going to his house again to see the cats that we gave to him but she feels strongly uncomfortable with it (she worried he might kill me or something like that). I’ve already been to his house and I’m sure he could have killed me then if he wanted to since we were far away from my house and alone. When he came to my house for the first time, I was nervous and got a feeling that is unexplainable; it wasn’t a bad feeling, but a good feeling. Can you please let me know what to do? — The Younger One

 
Considering that this man’s house is far from yours and your mother doesn’t want you to go there, why not just let him come to your house, since the “unexplainable” feeling you had when he was there was a “good” one? And if your mother won’t let him come spend time with you at your house, I suggest you cease dating someone 12 years older until you are old enough and mature enough to live on your own and make your own decisions about whom to date and whose house to visit.

I am so unhappy with our marriage. I go to stand in line and my husband tells me to stand back — now, mind you, I’m still within the ropes. I get cussed and yelled at first thing in the morning, and you know that sets the tone for the whole day. I get to where I don’t even care if I get up in the mornings anymore. I get called a whore and told that I’m fat. I know I should leave but I keep staying. WHY?????? — Unhappily Married

 
Why, indeed. I think you’re scared of what you don’t know and you believe the devil you do know is less scary. It’s not. Please find the support you need — friends, family, a counselor, a lawyer, a nonprofit group that helps women in situations like yours — and get yourself out of your marriage and MOA. It’s only going to get worse.

***************

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

98 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Nadine September 27, 2013, 9:12 am

    Ok these just made me sad (except the first one, LW, WWS).
    Good advice though.
    Don’t go places your mother thinks you might get killed.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki September 27, 2013, 9:57 am

      “Don’t go places your mother thinks you might get killed.” That’s excellent advice. Of course, my mother thinks I’m going to get killed if I start playing roller derby, so I won’t be following it 🙂

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      • avatar

        Nadine September 27, 2013, 10:32 am

        Yes well, its not blanket advice for most people……… 🙂

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      • othy

        othy September 27, 2013, 11:08 am

        WNS 🙂

        My husband’s cousin moved to Alaska. Her mother warned her not to do it, fearing for her life. Her biggest concern? “Don’t move to Alaska, you might be eaten by a bear.” She lived there for 3 years and was never once eaten by a bear.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki September 27, 2013, 11:10 am

        Hey, you never know. She very well could have been eaten by a bear but because her mom was worried about it, she was more cognizant when bears were around 🙂

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      • othy

        othy September 27, 2013, 11:15 am

        It’s true. Never mind that she lived in Anchorage. I think her mom had a better chance of seeing a bear living in rural northern Utah then the cousin did in a proper city in Alaska. However, the cousin *did* find a fiance, which is what I think the mother was truly worried about.

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      • othy

        othy September 27, 2013, 11:16 am

        And he’s a very furry man, so he’s kinda like a bear, right?

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      • Imsostartled

        Imsostartled September 27, 2013, 2:11 pm

        So you’re saying so did get eaten by a bear?

        I”M SORRY IT WAS RIGHT THERE! I couldn’t help it. 😛

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      • Imsostartled

        Imsostartled September 27, 2013, 2:11 pm

        *”So you’re saying she did get eaten by a bear” … yeesh

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      • othy

        othy September 27, 2013, 3:32 pm

        I would have gone there, but she’s technically family, so that’s just strange 🙂

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      • avatar

        Nadine September 27, 2013, 3:49 pm

        I love mum advice. My favourite was actually my friends mum, who, upon looking at our outfit choices for a concert as teenagers, said ‘someone might grab your legs!’ I was like, ‘And what, not let me walk??’

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  • Miel

    Miel September 27, 2013, 9:16 am

    LW1 makes me wonder how long she has been with the boyfriend, and LW2 makes me wonder how old she is herself.

    Rule of thumb : Once you’re grown up, once you’re mature enough to live by yourself, pay your own rent, plan your own future, and define your own life goals, then you might meet someone (or realize that your current SO) is also as mature, as grown up, as independent and as serious than you are about your shared life goals and about your relationship. Then age won’t matter so much, and you won’t feel the need to write to an advice columnist.

    If the reason you don’t know what to do is because your mom is still taking decisions for you, then you’re too young for that.

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  • avatar

    Joanna September 27, 2013, 9:20 am

    I don’t understand the big deal about dating an older guy. It’s not like the LWs are still in high school and the relationship has potential for legal problems. I started dating a 34 year old when I was 24 and my mom thought he was wonderful. Sometimes a boyfriend being older and having his life together (more so than a college student) impresses parents.

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    • avatar

      ktfran September 27, 2013, 9:28 am

      I actually wouldn’t be surprised if LW 2 was still in high school. The way the letter was written, she sounds super young.

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      • avatar

        Joanna September 27, 2013, 9:30 am

        I was basing my comment more on LW1 I believe. Now that I read LW2 more closely, I think you’re right.

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady September 27, 2013, 8:10 pm

        But even LW1 is still in school and has never really lived on her own. I think there’s definitely something to be said for making it on your own for awhile before settling down with someone.

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    • avatar

      Morgan September 27, 2013, 9:53 am

      Yeah, I’m pretty sure the only people who say “doing stuff” are under 15.

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      • avatar

        zombeyonce September 27, 2013, 12:43 pm

        I thought her word choice and confusion about what she was feeling made her seem like a young teenager, too (maybe even a tween). The whole letter made me feel like this girl is being courted by some super creepy guy that’s way too old for her (12 years may not be a big deal age difference if you’re 25, but if you’re 15…that’s huge). I would stay away from this dude if she really is that young.

        If she’s not that young, she needs to do some serious maturing before dating someone 12 years her senior. We all mature at our own pace and there’s no need to try and rush into being with someone more mature if you aren’t ready.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest September 27, 2013, 10:05 am

      24 is still generally quite a bit older than even 21. 21 is still in college, yet to experience real adulthood. 24 you’re usually working, etc.

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    • Imsostartled

      Imsostartled September 27, 2013, 2:16 pm

      My husband’s 6.5 years older then me. It seemed like a lot at the time since I was 21 and still in college and he had been out of college for 6 years. I know that most people change A LOT between the ages of 21 – 24.

      Now I’m the same age as he was when we first started dating and I’m like “holy crap you dated a 21 year old when you were 28! You are creepy!” “But I’m you’re husband now” “Doesn’t matter bucko!”

      When I imagine dating a 21 year old I cringe.

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  • avatar

    bethany September 27, 2013, 9:21 am

    LW2 sounds like a minor to me. If that’s the case, stay away from this guy until you’re over the age of 18.

    I don’t’ even understand the 3rd letter, but whatever’s happening there isn’t good.

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh September 27, 2013, 9:24 am

      I thought that LW2 was a minor or at least sounds very young as well. Even if age wise it was legal, doesn’t really sound ‘mature’ enough.

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      • theattack

        theattack September 27, 2013, 9:32 am

        Yeah, I thought she sounded about 14, which would make this guy 26 and way creepy to say the least.

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    • LM

      LM September 27, 2013, 12:00 pm

      I nearly did a face palm while reading #2 and #3. #2 is too young and doesn’t need to e thinking about dating anyone, especially in she has to ask her mother, but it seems she would go against common sense anyway.

      #3… I don’t get it. If you’re that unhappy, leave. Just go.

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      • avatar

        rachel September 27, 2013, 12:24 pm

        lw3 is clearly in an abusive relationship, it’s not as easy as “just leave”

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      • LM

        LM September 27, 2013, 1:44 pm

        Maybe I shouldn’t have typed it in such an insensitive way. No, it’s not. I’ve been there. She needs to find whatever confidence she needs to in order to leave and I do very much hope she does.

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  • avatar

    bethany September 27, 2013, 9:26 am

    LW1- WWS. Finish out school before you move in with this guy. Trust me, if your parents are paying for college, you’ve got a good thing going. You really don’t want to rock that boat. Once you’re done with school, and financially independent, do what you want. When I knew I was going to move in with my boyfriend (now husband), I told my parents WAY in advance- like 8 months in advance. That showed them that we had really thought it through and it wasn’t an impulse decision, and that also allowed them to have some time to get used to the idea.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle September 27, 2013, 9:28 am

    LW1: If you’re scared to tell your parents something, it’s probably a sign you shouldn’t do it. Not in a “always listen to what your parents tell you!” kind of way, but in a “if you were mature enough to be confident in your decisions, you wouldn’t ~have~ to be scared informing your parents of something you plan to do that they disapprove of” kind of way. Which is a mouthful, oops. But basically: you are too young for this. Sorry, you just are. Enjoy school, & enjoy dating this guy if you want to, but don’t let him be the be-all, end-all of your life.

    LW2: Uhhhh this letter doesn’t really sound right to me— how old are you, LW? You are young enough to have to abide by your mother’s rules, so I’m guessing under 18? Also you are wondering if it’s bad to “do stuff” with this guy, who is 12 years older, so I’m guessing you’re underage? I dunno, I feel like this is a crush situation that you’d better just stay away from before everybody gets in trouble.

    P.S. if you gave this guy your cats, I’m sure your mother is less worried about him “killing” you & more worried about something untoward & possibly illegal happening while you’re under his roof? Another reason I have the impression you’re like, 15 years old or something.

    (Jeez, I sound like a grandma with these first two responses— I mean, I know the appeal of older guys, used to drink with them at age 16, 17 (mayyybe hook up with them also ::cough cough::) but now I look back, & am like, “Wow, that 25-year-old guy was a total weirdo creep for inviting his 16-year-old coworker & her 17-year-old friend over to his apartment—where he lived with his mother—& handing them whiskey & Smironoff Ices. Damn!”)

    LW3: LOL at Wendy’s “Why, indeed”

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    • avatar

      ktfran September 27, 2013, 9:32 am

      You’re spot on for LW1 and LW2.

      And forget older guys. I’m apparently into younger guys at the moment. One in particular. Another night out. Another make out session in front of an El stop. No big deal.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle September 27, 2013, 9:40 am

        hahaha NICE

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest September 27, 2013, 10:10 am

      is it less creepy if he’s giving out Zimas?

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      • avatar

        bethany September 27, 2013, 10:30 am

        With Jolley Ranchers in them?

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary September 27, 2013, 9:46 am

    And I feel like LW2 is a case of statutory rape…or close to it. Maybe your mom is onto something, or maybe she’s just be overprotective. Either way it doesn’t sound like the LW is old enough, or mature enough, to make her own decisions.

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  • katie

    katie September 27, 2013, 9:48 am

    yea, basically WFS.

    if you are too scared to tell your parents something, you arent ready to be on your own, making your own decisions. so slow your roll, grow, mature, and find your backbone where you will be ok telling your parents your life choices with conviction.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest September 27, 2013, 9:57 am

    lw1 – “My parents pay my rent right now along with school tuition. However, I’m ready to branch off and do it on my own. My boyfriend and I are thinking of moving in together.” Do you even have a job??? Anyway, WWS.

    lw2 – any time I say to myself ‘gee, he didn’t kill me the first time i went to his house’ i realize that he’s clearly boyfriend material and by not killing me the absolute first chance he got, he’s definitely someone i feel safe around. wtf. w t f

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    • katie

      katie September 27, 2013, 10:04 am

      ha, yea, how exactly are you going to “do it on your own”?? do you understand how much it costs to live, much less how much it costs to go to college?

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      • theattack

        theattack September 27, 2013, 10:33 am

        Or how hard it is to earn that kind of money.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki September 27, 2013, 11:12 am

      I generally assume if someone didn’t kill me the first time I go to their house that they’re completely safe.

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    • kare

      kare September 27, 2013, 9:57 pm

      LW2’s comment freaked me out. Just because he didn’t kill you when you were at his house once doesn’t mean he’s safe to be around. She sounds super young and naive. I’m just picturing her being like 15 and the guy is 27. Of course he’s being nice to her to create a false sense of security. Okay, not all older guys are creeps but my first thought (and honestly based on experience) is that sexual predators lure you in.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra September 27, 2013, 9:58 am

    I may catch some flak for this but big age gaps in relationships creep me out. Once you’re both over 30 it’s not quite so weird, but if either party is younger than 30, it seems to make a big difference. Your teenage years and 20’s are so formative and younger people are just in such different places in their lives. If a guy in his 30’s is going after a girl in her early 20’s, it makes me suspicious as to what he’s REALLY after. I’m not saying it can’t work because I’ve SEEN it work, but it’s just kind of creepy to me.

    I’m going to thread jack a bit here to tell y’all about my first ex because it makes me SO GLAD he’s no longer my boyfriend. He is now dating a 20 year old (he’s 26). She’s in college, he’s a teacher. It’s a decent age gap, but maturity wise they’re at about the same level so I guess it makes sense. Here’s the kicker…in August they went on a double date…with two kids who were CAMPERS at our camp this summer. Like, they just graduated from high school and are 18. These kids also stayed OVERNIGHT at his apartment that weekend. He’s a teacher. And what 26 year old would WANT to hang out with 18 year old kids??? I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future he has a lawsuit filed against him because he crossed a line with a female student…

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl September 27, 2013, 10:20 am

      The overnight bit is creeeeeeeepy. What 18 year old would want to do that? I don’t how ever find their age gap that weird. My SIL’s husband is 7 years older than her (she is 26 he is 31) and they get along just fine. I think after college (or 21 if you don’t go to college) the age gap becomes less relevant.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary September 27, 2013, 10:30 am

        Yeh I think after 21 or after college. Like it would be hard for me to date someone who couldn’t go to a bar or buy alcohol. When I was 21 I dated guys who were like 26 and 28, it wasn’t really a big deal. But maybe I was mature for my age as I had pretty set life plans? (that I’ve followed through with).

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl September 27, 2013, 10:38 am

        Whoops, she is turning 26 and he is turning 32 in November. I think. Maybe it’s only 6 years.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle September 27, 2013, 10:28 am

      I’m with you on the age gap thing— I dunno, I’m weirdly conservative about that? I mean, if both parties are over 18 & wanna just bang it out, I’m cool with that. But when a 33 year old is trying to have an actual ~relationship~ with a 20 year old? I tend to think something is off with the older one’s maturity/place in life. I know it CAN & DOES work, but just seeing it on paper (or, internet) I always get a little skeptical. Again, casual flings with a big age gap I don’t blink an eye at, but relationships are a different story.

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      • avatar

        SasLinna September 27, 2013, 11:02 am

        I think it’s only really relevant when one party is below… maybe 26 or so?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle September 27, 2013, 11:05 am

        Oh no, yeah. I agree with that!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki September 27, 2013, 11:15 am

        Oddly enough, I find age gaps a little weird too. And it’s odd because my husband and I are nearly 10 years apart in age. And I was very young when we first started dating (19 to his 29). We’ve been together for 7 1/2 years now and I know that we’re the odd balls as far as that kind of age gap go with relationships that young.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow September 27, 2013, 12:14 pm

        I agree. I’ve dated older men (31 to my 21 and 35 to my 22) and they were all losers that had nothing to offer to someone their own age. Of course at the time I believed they were with me because I was So!Special! and So!Much!More!Fun!Than!Old!Nags! And I still didn’t know that “you are wise beyond your years” is usually code for “I haven’t kept up with people my age and now I can’t understand them and/or they don’t like me”. So it’s basically like grade retention but in relationships.
        Some of them even had trouble keeping up with my level of maturity and responsibility, and that’s saying a lot, considering how traumatized and mentally ill was at the time.
        I guess it could work (the men my age or younger I picked at the time weren’t great either), but I’m also skeptical.

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    • avatar

      AliceInDairyland September 27, 2013, 11:19 am

      My Benjamin and I started dating when he was 25 and I was 20. We couldn’t go out to bars the whole first year of our relationship. I was in college applying to professional programs a year early, and he was starting his own business. Yeah was some stuff kind of weird (he made jungle juice for one of our house parties). But both of us had enough long term interests/passions/life goals in common that we could see through the age gap. Now I’m 23 and he is 28 and it seems a lot less weird.

      I’ve told his story 1 billion times already, but I was outside his age range for contacting people on OkCupid because he normally dated women older than him (his gf before me at the time was turning 30!! Which is so weird for me to imagine). Good thing I was a brash 20 year old woman who contacted me. I tease him all the time about robbing the cradle…

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki September 27, 2013, 12:11 pm

        I call my husband the creepy old man to get to him sometimes 🙂

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      • mylaray

        mylaray September 27, 2013, 12:22 pm

        Haha I was also 20 and my fiancé was 25 when we started dating, and now I’m 23 and he’s 28 as well. It was never weird for us because people think I act a lot older and he is about as emotionally mature as me.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle September 27, 2013, 12:26 pm

        Yeah, my boyfriend & I are almost exactly 3 years apart— his birthday is earlier than mine by like 4 days— so during those 4 days, I’m all like, “hahaha YOU’RE OLD” (like this upcoming year, he will be 30 while I’m still 26 for 4 whole days 😉 )

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl September 27, 2013, 12:28 pm

        I tease GGuy too about being old and he’s only 6 months older than me. But he graduated a class above me so that makes him OLDDDDDD.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra September 27, 2013, 2:27 pm

        My ex is suuuuuuuuper immature for his age, so I can see *why* it could work between the two of them. It’s more of I would never ever date someone who was still in college. They’re in such different places than I am right now.

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    • avatar

      Sara September 27, 2013, 11:51 am

      Have you guys heard of the “Standard Creepiness Rule for Dating”? It says: don’t date anyone younger than the result of this formula: ((your age/2) + 7) (h/t , which, interestingly, works for these creepy-ish scenarios.

      A number of my family members have age gaps of about 10 years, but no relationship started before the youngest was 21 (except my grandparents’ relationship).

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      • theattack

        theattack September 27, 2013, 11:55 am

        Ehh, I don’t know. I’m 24, and I think it would be creepy for me to date a 19 year old. It’s probably true for a lot of scenarios though.

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      • katie

        katie September 27, 2013, 12:00 pm

        do you think that has anything to do with the fact that you are a woman? i always notice that women act so much weirder about dating a man younger then them, but its always not weird to date a man older.

        a 24 year old guy and a 19 year old girl? totally normal, right?

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl September 27, 2013, 12:12 pm

        I’d be weirded out by a 24 guy and 19 girl.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle September 27, 2013, 12:17 pm

        I agree that the whole “girls mature faster than boys” thing we always hear contributes to a more weirded-out reaction when the dude in the relationship is younger, but in this example, yeah, I would *also* be weirded out by a 24-year-old guy with 19-year-old girl. Maybe 24 & 21?

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      • theattack

        theattack September 27, 2013, 12:54 pm

        No, I’m equally weirded out by that. 24 can date down to a late 20, but not 19 at all for either gender. Maybe the difference is more pronounced since it crosses the teen threshold.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra September 27, 2013, 2:46 pm

        I refuse to date more than a year younger simply because of the maturity thing. I dated younger with my most recent ex — he was 23, I was 25 when we started dating — never again.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow September 27, 2013, 12:18 pm

        I dated a 18 year old when I was 23 and it was a terrible idea.

        I was out of uni, starting to work full time, and he came over to my place to complain about how his mom, who let him live with her and paid for everything including his education, was oh so terrible and didn’t understand him.

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      • avatar

        Sara September 27, 2013, 2:54 pm

        Hmm. 24 and 19. I knew a couple like that… and I didn’t think it was weird at the time… but I was also 17 myself at the time, and thought *I* was grown up at the time (haha- little did I know!), so, of course, a 19 year old seemed very old to me. I have to think more on how I feel about it now. But, I guess I’m re-realizing how grown up I felt as a late teen. (BTW, their marriage ended after 7 years in divorce.)

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      • LM

        LM September 27, 2013, 12:06 pm

        I personally would find it creepy if I dated someone who was 20 or 21. We wouldn’t even be on the same page. I think, though, that age gaps are really only relevant to the people. My husband is 15 years older than I am. When I was in my early 20s, yes, it was odd because I had some growing up to do (still do, just less now), but where the difference lies is in the maturity. He and I are on the same page with things and I’ve experienced life in a way that most people my age have not. So really, it’s all relative. But the 20 year old and the 33 year old is a no go in my book. She just doesn’t sound mature in any fashion. I get wanting to move on with life, but if you can’t pay for your own bills and are terrified of telling your parents about a relationship, you probably should be doing it. Or shoot, living with them and STILL being scared about it.

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    • kare

      kare September 27, 2013, 10:07 pm

      I dated a guy that was 13 years older than me. It didn’t seem like that big of a deal. But for me it’s less about years and more about where you are in life. I graduated college at a young age, moved out on my own, have a typical 20-something entry level job, etc. Most guys in my age group are still in school, live at home, don’t have any independence, etc.

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  • avatar

    Morgan September 27, 2013, 9:58 am

    LW1: Keep dating him, tell your parents about him, wait to move in until after graduation.

    LW2: I’m pretty sure you are a) in high school and b) Not even old enough to drive. It’s fine to have harmless crushes on older guys. Don’t be alone with him.

    LW3: Leave.

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  • avatar

    Lily in NYC September 27, 2013, 10:32 am

    LW1 – If you aren’t mature enough to have a difficult conversation with your parents, then you aren’t mature to move in with someone. What’s the rush? I don’t have a problem with the age difference, but you should learn to live on your own first without having someone support you.

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  • avatar

    rachel September 27, 2013, 10:32 am

    LW1 – Please be patient, and strike out on your own once you’ve already graduated college. I wish I hadn’t lived with a boyfriend so soon into college, that I had stayed in the dorms and been young for a bit longer, because I was NOT ready or realistic about how much money it took to survive, and I got a lot of debt to show for it. I know this guy is awesome and you want to do everything NOW, but really, if he’s awesome, he’ll still be around in a couple years, and your parents will get the chance to know him before you just up and move in with this guy.

    LW2 – I think if you have to put quotes around “doing stuff” than you are probably too young to be doing it, ESPECIALLY with an older man. Try to forget about this guy and find people your own age to hang out with.

    Also, I’m totally with Fabelle. When I was 17 I always hung around with my older coworkers, and I definitely dated/hooked up with a couple of guys that were in their lower-mid 20’s, and now I’m like…really dudes? a 17 year old? Creepers.

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    • JK

      JK September 27, 2013, 11:23 am

      You beat me to what I wanted to say to LW2!

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    • landygirl

      landygirl September 27, 2013, 11:41 am

      Amen to all of what you said. When you’re in your late teens and early 20s you think you’re so mature and know everything and then you get older and realize what a damn fool you were and that you knew nothing.

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  • theattack

    theattack September 27, 2013, 10:40 am

    LW1 and LW2: It’s hard to see now because you view yourselves as mature. And maybe you are for your age. You see yourselves as being a good fit for older men because of how mature you are. But grown men who like much younger girls/women are not safe people. When you get a little older you will learn that the only 33 year olds wanting to date 20 year olds are either assholes who want a constantly perfect body, too immature to get a woman their own age, or creepy in a statutory rape kind of way. If you’re mature for your age, consider the fact that they are IMmature for their age. Is immaturity really appealing to you? It shouldn’t be. Really.

    LW1: What if one of your 20 year old peers started dating someone 6 years younger than them? A 14 year old. You would find that disgusting, reprehensible, and scary no doubt, because it is. This is a similar age difference you’re verging on with this 33 year old.

    LW2: If you’re wondering if it’s bad for you to “do stuff” with someone, you’re not ready to do anything with them.

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ September 27, 2013, 10:06 am

    LW 1 – WWS

    LW 2 – If you are under 18, stay away. If you are over 18, you don’t sound like it and need to mature.

    LW 3 – WWS. You CAN do it. Many of us here have done it. It’s scary, it can be hard, but it is so worth it. I promise you, it’s worth it.

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    • Lady_Red

      Red_Lady September 27, 2013, 8:38 pm

      Love the LW2 advice!

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  • Stonegypsy

    stonegypsy September 27, 2013, 11:40 am

    LW1: WWS. There is absolutely no reason not to take advantage of your parents being willing to pay for rent and tuition, and as someone who moved in with my first serious boyfriend way too early, take my word for it – try and live alone, all by yourself, no roommates, for a full year before you move in with the person you think you might end up with. It is such a fantastic feeling to have a space that is all your own.

    LW2: You sound really, really young. Like freshman in highschool young. And I have been there, I really have. All of the guys I was attracted to when I was 15 were 5-10 years older than I was. Go ahead and have a crush, it won’t hurt anyone, but listen to your mom on this one and don’t be alone with the guy. He sounds like kind of a creep.

    LW3: I just… I mean, you already know what you need to do. Pack your shit and leave. Yes, it’s hard. Just do it.

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  • avatar

    Lo September 27, 2013, 11:46 am

    “she worried he might kill me or something like that” – uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what?

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  • mylaray

    mylaray September 27, 2013, 12:01 pm

    LW2: As many others have said, you definitely sound underage. It may seem exciting or bad to be going out with an older guy, but it’s not worth it. You may *think* you’re really mature, but you’re not. You act your age, and that’s okay. When I was underage I dated a guy much older, and it took me years to figure out how abusive that relationship and how creepy he was. The laws of consent are there to protect you; you may be able to legally consent at 14-16, but not to just anyone you want to be with. A young teen may say she is okay being with an older man, but she’s not emotionally developed enough to truly make that decision most of the time, hence the laws. And any man that is interested in a much younger and underage girl (and will risk getting caught) has serious issues you don’t want to mess with.

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  • rainbow

    rainbow September 27, 2013, 12:27 pm

    Did anyone else wonder if “motivates me everyday to be a better person and strive to reach my goals” is denial-code for “is so fucking controlling I can’t tell if he’s dating me or parenting me”?

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    • landygirl

      landygirl September 27, 2013, 12:55 pm

      It would seem to reason that an older guy goes after young women because they are easier to control.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny September 27, 2013, 12:57 pm

      Yeah, I thought that was maybe a “nice” way of putting it that he’s possibly controlling and/or more of a teacher/parent role, as you said. I mean, I think it’s a good thing in any relationship to be supportive and motivating for your partner, but if there’s an imbalance in some form (age, experience, etc) then it’s an imbalanced partnership and to me, that’s not really a good thing!

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest September 27, 2013, 1:01 pm

      It really could be either.

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  • avatar

    Daisy September 27, 2013, 1:10 pm

    Why are we not focusing on how LW gave the older guy cats?! I am so confused!

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    • katie

      katie September 27, 2013, 1:14 pm

      thats actually all i have been wondering this morning. what the fuck is with that? how does that situation even come about? so confused!!

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    • JK

      JK September 27, 2013, 1:17 pm

      Yeah I dont get it. I mean at 1st I thought maybe he was a family friend. But then why would LW2s mother think he was going to kill her?

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    • avatar

      rachel September 27, 2013, 1:17 pm

      My guess was the mom was giving away cats on craigslist or something, this guy came to take them, and THAT’S how the lw met him?

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl September 27, 2013, 1:18 pm

      We had a little of kittens we raised, and then gave them away (to family friends and people who knew our vet). I visited two shortly after giving the kittens up, and I was like 19. But the date thing is weird.

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  • avatar

    Daisy September 27, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Ooh Rachel, that’s a possibility. Making up back stories for some of the unclear LWs is a good hobby 🙂

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark September 27, 2013, 1:43 pm

    LW1) Dear Wendy. I feel I am old enough to stand on my own and have my boyfriend pay for everything…

    LW2) Dear Wendy. I’ve met a creepy crazy cat man. Can I waste my youth?

    LW3) Dear Wendy. I am a deliberately helpless victim. HELP! No, wait. Please don’t…

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  • avatar

    Guy Friday September 27, 2013, 1:45 pm

    I’m not saying I don’t see the logic in Wendy’s response to LW1, but something about “Let your parents finish paying for your school and THEN, and only then, if you’re still together, think about living together” rubs me the wrong way, I guess. I get that it was intended as a “you’re not mature enough to make this leap yet” way, but the idea that she should hold off on moving in with a guy simply so she can get her tuition paid . . . I mean, we wouldn’t suggest it was a good idea TO move in with someone if they offered to pay her tuition, so why are we saying it’s a good idea NOT to move in for that same reason?

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest September 27, 2013, 1:49 pm

      Because one is a boyfriend and the others are parents?

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh September 27, 2013, 1:56 pm

        You wouldn’t tell someone to keep living with their parents if they were offering to pay their tuition for school? Although in this case all she has to do is keep the status quo, sounds like she just wants to play house. Not worth potentially having to go in thousands of dollars worth of debt for. I guess it would be a good wake up call for her, when she had to start supporting herself. Since at the moment her rent and tuition are paid by someone else. I mean someone at least needs to tell her to think that through before she jumps and then realizes she can’t afford life right now without her parents assistance.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh September 27, 2013, 1:57 pm

        weird that was obviously a response to Guy Friday, apparently I can’t follow the lines.

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      • avatar

        Guy Friday September 27, 2013, 4:54 pm

        I’m not saying I wouldn’t advise the same thing, and I’m not saying I didn’t get what Wendy was saying (i.e., what AP said below: “no rush in growing up.”) To be fair, though, we don’t know that she can’t afford life without her parents’ assistance. I mean, I get why there’s that conclusion; her parents are paying for her rent and tuition. That being said, I know a lot of people in my generation who COULD have paid for their own rent and tuition but had parents offer to do it and simply said, “OK” so they could focus on classes or (more often) “the college experience.” Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like there’s been a societal shift toward that kind of thing happening more frequently than it did even 10 years ago. I don’t know that I’d feel comfortable doing that, but I guess a lot of people do. And we don’t know that she doesn’t have a job or hasn’t come up with a plan to split expenses with this older boyfriend; as many have stated here, it doesn’t have to be 50/50 to be fair. She may very well simply be concerned about the reactions of her parents when she brings home a man who doesn’t fit what they want for their daughter; frankly, I was terrified of the same thing when they first met my Catholic now-wife.

        Anyway, I agree that the LW shouldn’t jump into anything, and I know that’s what Wendy meant. I was just saying that if the only reason not to move in with her boyfriend is because her parents are paying her tuition, it’s still valid to break away and pay for it yourself, even if it does put you in debt. Speaking as someone who put himself through college on scholarships and long working hours, I’m kind of proud of doing that, you know?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 27, 2013, 4:58 pm

        “it’s still valid to break away and pay for it yourself, even if it does put you in debt.”

        It might be valid, but is it wise? I can’t think of too many times I’d advise someone to go into debt, and this certainly isn’t one of those times. I hear ya on it being something to be proud of, but its also a bite your nose to spite your face thing if your parents are willing to pay.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh September 27, 2013, 5:39 pm

        And that’s fine, but if the LW wasn’t comfortable with it, then she probably wouldn’t have accepted in the first place?

        And it’s understandable to be worried about your parents reaction to a new bf. Completely valid. But, that is a completely separate situation from having parents pay for tuition.

        We’re from the same generation I believe (either the same age or I’m slightly older at 32) and yeah, many of my peers could have and did pay for everything. But, my stance is it’s just plain easier down the road if you don’t have loans. I mean sure it’s valid to break away and pay for school on your own, but in this economy I just don’t think it’s very smart.

        And yeah I paid my way through school with scholarships, loans, and working full time. But, I mean I don’t feel like any better of a person than people who didn’t have to do the same.

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    • JK

      JK September 27, 2013, 1:52 pm

      I remember reading on here a person whose parents had said they would pay for college as long as this person lived at home. She decided to move in with her BF, at which point her parents (obviously) stopped paying for college. But then the same person moaned about how mean her parents were for not paying for her college.
      Maybe Wendy wants to avoid that type of situation?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson September 27, 2013, 1:59 pm

        Anna?

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      • kare

        kare September 27, 2013, 10:12 pm

        What happened to Anna?

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray September 27, 2013, 1:58 pm

      I read it more like “just continue being a kid” – ie, continue going to school, continue to be supported by your parents (not in a “use your parents for money” way but in a “you’re a kid, no rush in growing up – there’s plenty of time to be on your own”) and just… yea, don’t rush it.

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