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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Is the Age Difference Too Much?
Letter #: 387105
Category: Dating/Relationship

Original Letter

I've been talking to a woman and she is considerably older than I am... we both have fun with each other and make each other happy but people notice the age gap instantly. she also has an ex husband and kids. I am only 21 years old...she is 40+. is it okay to continue doing what we are doing? and how do I tell my family, if me and this woman get more serious?

Elder Response

How to put this, CJ. . .this woman is not only “considerably older”, she is a generation older. In other words, old enough to be your mother and is probably about your mother’s age. That means you are probably approximately the same age as her children. While there is nothing “wrong”, in the legal sense, with this match, it is definitely awkward and will continue to be. Assuming you continue, there could be a decade in your combined lifespans when the age difference would not be as noticeable (when you are in your 30s and she in her 50s), but for now you are definitely an “odd couple”. I wonder what her kids (whom you could realistically be dating) think of their mom hooking up with you?  

What I’m saying is, you will both need to be prepared to withstand glances and remarks, and perhaps more, if you commit to being a couple. I can’t imagine that your parents would be thrilled. Bear in mind, also, CJ, that if a baby results from this relationship, you will be financially responsible for the foreseeable future, regardless of what transpires between the two of you. Scary, right?

I can certainly appreciate the thrill factor that works in both directions: for her, knowing that she is attractive and youthful enough to entice a young boy/man like you; for you, knowing that you are man enough to satisfy an older and experienced woman.

I suspect that these thoughts have entered your mind, CJ, or you would never have written for a grandparent-aged person’s opinion! I do recall one very brief such interlude, at approximately the ages you have mentioned. I had one “date” as a 40-year-old divorcee with children with a 20-something young man from my work site. At some point I had to call him on the phone, and his MOM answered. It was so weird, knowing that she and I were age-mates. It was a reality check for me and the attraction fizzled shortly thereafter. ‘Nuff said!

Best Regards,



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