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What Happens When You're Older Than Your Parents' Dates? . Psychology Today

RED FLAGS OF SCOTT DISICK & SOFIA RICHIE: Age Gaps in Dating—Why Older Men Can Be Toxic!

A little while ago, my father called me from the opposite side of the world to tell me he had a new girlfriend. My dad has never been a typical parental figure. He has friends all over the globe and from all sorts of places. He'll fly overseas at a moment's notice, calling from the airport to say a quick goodbye. He flutters from job to job, never really explaining his reasons for leaving, constantly finding himself in unlikely circumstances.

Although it was years after his divorce from her mother, Kari was still shock when her father began dating younger women. What can you do? Though at times you may be feeling like more of the adult in the relationship, the fact is that your parents cannot be grounded.

The best thing you can do is talk to them. Let them know how you feel, but also try to approach with some understanding. Re-entering the dating scene may be frightening, and many men and women turn to younger partners because they see them less threatening—and less risky.

Peggy Drexler, Ph. Follow Peggy on Twitter and Facebook and learn more about Peggy at www. This whole column is devoted to the gut feelings of "not right-ness" of a parent's May-December romance, until you suddenly do an about-face and tell adult kids to essentially suck it up and give blessing to the folly they see unfolding.

This seems odd, since we are told often enough in these columns that ignoring one's intuition carries its own risks. When a parent has brought home a sweet young thing, is the situation an exploitative one? Does it put the adult child in a no-win double bind? I have the authority to say this because I was one of these sweet young things, that married a man twenty-nine years older than me. It has been 24 years. The May-December relationship, if it lasts and I was foolish enough to move heaven and earth to make this work over the years is only half a life.

Mariella Frostrup says a father's anger at his daughter's relationship is understandable – but may be to do with his own unresolved past. He's old enough to be your dad and you would never be able to Dating a much older man can be great - here's why Men your age haven't got a clue. A man with experience knows not to remind you of all the effort he. What It's Really Like to Date a Guy Who's Old Enough to Be Your Dad every name in the book: I must be a gold digger and have daddy issues. His daughters, whom he had young and are around my age, have a strong.

In return for being dazzled by a "mature" lover, May will find herself begging for crumbs - of respect, of the prospect of parenthood, of a partner taking their best interest at heart by adequate planning for eventual decline and death. Hair dye and Viagra do not transform a parent back into a carefree teenager. History gets in the way. What politicians aren't saying about mental health. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today.

Peggy Drexler Ph. May to December romances were scandalous now more common. Submitted by Anonymous on December 25, - pm. Post Comment Your name.

E-mail The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. Notify me when new comments are posted. I'm banging some young chick! If you want some advice on how my husband's family reacted, my email is in my profile. They were not so kind as my family initially. Your dad will do as he damn well pleases regardless of your approval or disapproval, I'm guessing-- because he's gone through plenty of his own personal turmoil over his marriage, his divorce, and his infidelity, and probably doesn't need someone else telling him how he ought to feel and how he should act upon those feelings.

You, too, will do as you damn well please, but it really sounds to me like your father's infidelity shook your faith in him and shit, something like that would do that to any child and you're still not entirely certain how much you trust him to do the ethical and appropriate thing. The age difference between your dad and his SO maybe isn't the actual issue-- how you're coping with his previous follies and the eventual collapse of your parents' marriage, though, that might be the issue.

I'd be showering eight times a day for the rest of my life if I found out my father was screwing my underage babysitter, honestly, all other issues you've discussed aside.

Denoucing this woman as "trying on the step-mommy role" is kind of silly for a person your age, isn't it? I've said this in other threads but I know whereof I speak -- the gods of irony dump a lot of never-saw-it-coming stunning shit on one's head over the course of a lifetime. Quit looking for trouble. Be gracious, raise your glass, give a Thanksgiving toast that your dad is here in the flesh, yours to love, and someone else recognizes that he is worth loving.

The ONLY thing is that she's 36? I could see if she was in her 20s, and even then - you know, some people have old souls.

She's It's a perfectly respectable age, and 60 is not what we thought 60 was when we were 12 and looking at our grandparents. If you said that you thought she only wanted his money, if you said she was unkind to him, if you said she was stupid and butt-ugly People are people. They are odd and delightful. You haven't even met this woman, so what makes you think she's not a great match for him?

My daughter is dating a man more than twice her age

No seriously. And when you add to the picture that you only see him twice a year.

My father says that she's incredibly mature for her age, they are "somewhat Don't let anyone tell you what kind of relationship you should have with your father.

No really. Giving Christmas present advice is not being a stepmom. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe your dad hasn't liked your past few gifts and so he was hoping to use her as an intermediary?

Maybe her emailing you was HIS idea? If you spend a week with them and come back and tell us she's turned him into her sex slave, then we'll talk. And, kindly, I think you have had a lot of things stirred up by this - not that it's your father's fault, it's just happened - and you might benefit with some short-term talk therapy. Just to get it all out.

This is frankly absurd. The OP might have some say if she were still living at home or if the younger partner in this "May"-December romance weren't approaching middle agebut Anonymous lives far from her father and everyone involved is well into adulthood so whatever this relationship may have looked like 25 years ago is moot. It's happening now, wish him well now, and--if you need to--keep your distance from now on. I think people are being very harsh with you and devaluing your feelings.

You can feel whatever you want people! How you behave with your father or his girlfriend is another matter. As someone who is going through a VERY similar situation at the moment, I have developed the following strategy. I turn to my partner and other close friends to process his new relationship. In these relationships I can be myself, vent my feelings and frustrations and have a sympathetic ear.

But I am supportive of my dad's new relationship in all of my conversations with him. He actually started a new relationship in the midst of breaking up with his partner of 24 years. His friends are judging him and he is feeling very alone right now. I need to be there for him and part of that is being supportive of his new relationship, no matter how Jerry Springer-esque it is. The plus, is that I'm actually getting closer to my father. I too am equally far away from him and see him twice a year, but the whole situation has gotten me to be much more regularly in touch with him.

And he seems to be very appreciative of it right now. Now I haven't met the new woman but I am really trying to think positively, try to see that she is bringing him happiness, and to be as genuine as I can. Here you sound like you're 24, if that. Would you pass up a wonderful loving relationship with someone because they were, say, 22?

Why, exactly? Because of what other people might say? Or think? Or is there some other reason that we're all missing here? To me it sounds like you never did really forgive your father for his original fuckup. There was some healing, but now he's ripped the wound open again without actually doing anything wrong. Otherwise, you'd be happy for him now, not creeped out. I think you'll have to deal with that old wound before you can deal with this.

In the meantime, try not to burn any bridges. I understand being creeped out. I don't blame you. But it's not a horrible thing that he's doing, it's just a thing that's making you uncomfortable. I think if you got to know her, and went ahead and met her, it would help to do away with the creep factor. Right now, she's an abstract idea of your former classmates, but she's an actual person with a job and likes and dislikes and a history like the rest of us.

She's also probably as uncomfortable with the situation as you are. The only thing you can really do with situations like that is dive in and get used to the water. Yes and yes. If you were 17 and she were 19, sure. She's 36! So no, it isn't all that creepy. It's probably a little uncomfortable.

Nothing wrong with feeling a little weird. But "totally creepy" is not a good way to look at it, and in any case it's no reason to act poorly. And yes, you're not acting in a mature fashion. Why not? You might have your assumptions positively challenged. Yes, but understandably.

You are mostly projecting your expectations on her. You would have been fine if he were dating a "fun, free-spirited woman, probably a widow". One would think that could have been a somewhat reassuring thing, with rules and roles clearly defined, and for you an easier transition between step-mothers.

Now, you are feeling threatened in your daughter role instead, and I think this is what irks you the most. Living on different sides of the country should make that easier. Good luck to both of you. I think your feelings are completely natural. It's awkard! There's nothing wrong with you. Anyone would understand why you would feel this way.

It's not complicated - you've explained perfectly why this feels icky. But I also agree with those who say you should do your best to get over it. You don't have to fall all over anyone with loving embraces, but it would be best for everyone if you can be gracious and polite and Maybe this is the biggest mistake your dad will ever make in his entire life -- but it's his mistake to make.

Maybe it's a fine relationship - I know of two similar age-difference relationships that worked out well - one ended in permanent marriage, and one lasted a few years before an amicable parting - and neither was really about an older guy chasing a younger woman. In both cases it was just something that worked. I have no doubt that it was no less weird for the families of the men in those relationships than this is for you, but the good thing is that it doesn't appear to have caused a serious rift.

Be forgiving! You want freedom to choose your own mates, I'm sure, and if this is not a good relationship, your dad will find that out. You really don't have to approve to accept. But it's better to accept than build a wall. And at some later date you might genuinely approve. You're going to, to a certain degree, have right of refusal on his mates if they get serious Uh what? Do your parents get "right of refusal" on your partner? The "younger woman" is This is not some 50 year old banging a 17 year old.

This is a woman who has been a legal adult for 18 years. I think she has enough life experience to be making reasonable decisions about the age of the men she wishes to see. Absent any evidence your father is in a relationship which is harmful to anything other than your sense of proprietry, you need to get over yourself.

There's a lot of talking about you in this post. How his girlfriend makes you feel, what you pictured his new relationship would be like. As much as this may affect your innermost world: it's not about you. You can feel however you want, and have that right, but you risk alienating your dad forever if you are a butt about this relationship.

I would do everything possible to deal with your feelings yourself to avoid further discomfort and potential alienation. Anon, I can imagine an interior monologue going something like, cringe Ignore festering resentment!

I shouldn't be hung up on the past. My brain knows, okay? Why can't I feel better?! People would say, "See a doctor" if something were bothering you physically. Sounds like this deserves professional help, too.

Thus ends advice-giving segment; here follows my experience: a my mom was stuck giving me the theoretical sex ed talk, but we agreed verbally to stay silent on the topic once the practical application became much more interesting to me: even as adults, we have a parent-child relationship.

Maybe just pointing that out without getting into specific issues would be a relief. A child doesn't have to approve or give advice: you're not their parent. My dad, brother and sister do you have siblings? I was adult enough to watch it with glee. If your dad wants you to meet the S. You can feel squicked all you want. Can't say I totally blame you given the past history. In my family, they find new SO's before the old ones die, so that's my weirdout.

Though at least this one's legal. However, you are going to have to suck it up, make nice, and pretend you are okay with it to your dad's face. Eventually you will probably have to meet her and make nice if you want to see your dad, because they will be coming as a package deal, and as others have pointed out, he'll probably pick her over you if you throw a hissy. Happily, you don't live near him, so you shouldn't have to put on the Happy Face too often.

Let your dad enjoy himself. I think if you get to know and, possibly, like this woman, you'll get at least somewhat used to the age discrepancy.

I mean, you wouldn't do it, I wouldn't do it and anyway my dad has told me I am NOT to bring home anyone older than himbut Love and companionship can be found in unlikely places sometimes. That's not to devalue your feelings, which are natural, but you need to get over them and support your dad. Or as usual what Miko said.

My best friend is 42 and he just broke up with his boyfriend who is the same age. He's now dating a 25 year old guy and it's awful. They have. He is, quite literally, old enough to be her father. My dad and I . If my dad was dating someone my age, that would be kind of creepy to me, too. When a man her father's age wanted to date girls younger than she, what did it mean for her own prospects? Was she already an 'outdated.

You're going to, to a certain degree, have right of refusal on his mates if they get serious Are you fucking kidding me? Since it's so visceral to you, I'd spend a while trying to figure out why. The babysitter thing is a very likely candidate -- I'm sure the divorce was really hard on you, and for something like that to happen during a time in your life when you were figuring out who you were romantically and sexually and what relationships were like, I can't imagine that was easy.

I could see how his desire to date younger women could end up feeling somehow personal to you. You seem to be getting flashbacks of sorts hence, the high school locker analogy instead of "sharing the jungle gym" or an analogy from a different period of childhood. Even apart from questions of your own identity, I could see that if his desire for younger women once caused a period of chaos in your own life, you might understandably if unfortunately feel more bitterness and less compassion about it than you would otherwise.

If it helps at all, I know two couples with vast age differences, and their relationships are strong, warm, and loving. I wonder if his desire for this woman is essentially the same thing that made him cheat on your mom, or if, although the woman is still younger, since he's not cheating, this is coming from a more mature and stable place. My parents are recently separated and my dad has been in a relationship I'm not all that psyched about either for different reasons.

I deal by focusing on him. Put another way, after spending a bunch of time with yourself trying to understand and comfort the deeper parts of yourself that are getting stirred up by this, sorry that sounded all New AgeI'd try to shift your energies from "this is weird for me" to a feeling of concern for him.

Talk to him about their relationship from that perspective and see where you end up. Maybe you'll be happy for him, and maybe you'll end up wondering why he once again wants someone so [whatever], but in any case, you'll be seeing the situation more through the lens of "what does this mean to him and in the narrative of his life? How does he feel dating someone so much younger?

Does he think this is similar to the babysitter situation maybe he now associates divorce with younger women so he got the urge to date someone young? I'd try to see it from his point of view and get a conversation going, once you can do it with concern and interest. Anyway, if you want to bond over "my dad is dating someone new and this is weird," feel free to email me. I'll be meeting this woman over Christmas holiday. I don't think you should be creeped out by his current relationship, but I think you should certainly be creeped out by his relationship with your babysitter.

I don't read it as a mere "additional layer," I see it as core. Talking out of my backside, natch. The French say half your age plus seven. Grace is ia good idea here I think. I also just found this Wikipedia article. In my experience, anonymouspeople I've known in your situation were actually hung up on closeness in age to the paramour of a loved one for a fairly specific if often subconscious reason: " If they find people my age sexy, how are they looking at me?

That would bother a lot of people. Many consider peers as being in one's same "pool" for socialising, networking, and relationships. Being in the same age group as the person a parent is dating brings all kinds of weird issues to the forefront. Therapy or counseling may well be the best choice to deal with the strange thoughts and itchy emotions this situation can inspire.

After a difficult break-up, lots of people will go for their shallowest thrill or greatest comfort and many other permutations besides, including their deepest fears and a non-typical relationship may be just the thing to shake them out of their funk. If they're self-aware and fortunate in their selections, they may even pick out someone who works well as a continuing partner, no drama or trauma other than whatever the kids have to work out for themselves, of course.

There are less positive reasons and outcomes, certainly, but you'd notice other signs, like avoiding responsibility or behaving generally recklessly or feeling evicted from a prior social group, and you'd bring up those things instead, since they're more specifically and compassionately addressed for all parties. Why would they choose to behave in that way? But I wouldn't, because it really is none of my business. Instead, I'd ask how they were feeling, if they were being treated well by this new person in their life but no overly personal details, pleasewhat kind of plans they have coming up or recently completed Checking in, making sure they're still circulating and staying engaged.

Not being harmed if they ever are, call the authorities. Then attend to your own emotions and role model your own, healthy future for yourself. And that's really all you can do, as far as that other person's relationship is concerned and your response to it. I'm not sure if those things apply to you or not, but I hope they're worth thinking about as jumping off points for discovering how to deal with this development in your relationship with your father.

I think it's fine to have the feelings you are having as long as you at least try to keep an open mind about this woman. Hopefully she'll have some awareness as to the delicateness of the situation. Admittedly, that email strikes me as tone deaf, but evidence that she is at least trying. Having observed something like this from a slight distance, I'm guessing that you are not the only one in your father's life who feels weird about the situation.

In the situation I observed, the much younger woman was overly sensitive to any reference to the age difference.

Even if it was in the context of discussing something that happened before she was born. You can imagine how well this went over with people who had known him for much of his life. It was also hard to see the older man's daughter deal with her father dating a woman her age. It didn't help that this woman lacked the daughter's intelligence and maturity.

As far as I know, she never said anything, but it was evident that the situation was stressing her out. Give this new woman a chance, try to keep an open mind, but don't beat yourself up if you meet her and still feel uncomfortable. In the situation I mention above, people dealt with their reactions by trying to focus on the positive effects the woman had on the man's life, so maybe you can try to keep that in mind. I also don't understand why people are being so freakin' judgmental of you.

I guess everyone else would have no problem with this kind of age disparity, but I can tell you all the people I know would be weirded out by this. She intellectually knows she shouldn't be bothered--she's trying to figure out how to deal with that visceral, instinctual feeling!

And damn, have you guys never been confronted with trying to reason away feelings you know you shouldn't have? I think you are dealing with this incredibly gracefully, actually. I think there are a number of things going on here, so maybe if you tried to break them down they would help.

You are probably not ready to replace your step-mom, not inside anyway. You want your dad to be happy, but you also want things to be going at a pace you're comfortable with, and six months into a relationship is not something you're comfortable with.

The fact that she is so young only exacerbates it because you start worrying she expects to be your "elder" when she's your age. Remember, this is probably not her reasoning. She knows how weird this all is, and she wants to try to be helpful. It is unfortunate it provoked the exact opposite reaction. Try to assume the best of her before believing the worst. I understand why this would bother you. You keep thinking "This girl and I could have shared a locker! But please, look in the mirror--do you look like a teenager?

Do you look like you were in middle school, or high school, or the babysitter's age? Of course not, you look like a grown woman. The girlfriend looks like a grown woman too. If you should pull any comparison between this and the babysitter situation, it's that your dad may key word here is may desire his youth and innocence back when he feels in a time of crisis. Whatever led him to think cheating on your mom was a good idea was clearly a time of crisis; and breaking up after twenty years of marriage and being thrust into the dating pool at the age of 60 is also a time of crisis.

Perhaps this woman reminds him of simpler, happier, more energetic times, and he wants to recapture it through her. Is it possible you are then ashamed of him?

Is it possible you are worried that your dad, your amazing dad, is proving himself again to be like that stereotypical old man who just wants the younger, prettier girl, who can't be happy with a woman his own age because he's buying into this idea of what women "should" be?

That this is severely shaking your admiration of him? The person you describe as his ideal dating partner is someone anyone would be proud to be related to. But the kind of relationship your dad is now in is usually stereotyped where the old guy is immature and weak and shallow, and you hate to have anyone--including yourself--looking at your dad that way.

Would you ever go on a date with someone half your age? Make sure your relationship is not like a sugar daddy, because it is not a healthy. Will it be awkward to date somebody your parents' age? While it If you are seeing a guy your dad's age, it's likely he already has kids himself. My father's new girlfriend is 30 years his junior—she's my age—and it's taught me a lot about dating.

You recovered from realizing your father was human, and flawed like all other humans, and here you feel you may be forced to face that again. But understand that this relationship could be a wonderful one, one between a woman like your ideal who happens to have an old soul, a woman who does not want to try to parent you because she knows it would be inappropriate, a woman who just wants your dad happy and who instills in him new energy and life at a time when other people his age start winding down.

Or it could be terrible. But you don't know yet, because it's only six months in and you've never met his girlfriend. It is OK to have those feelings of ickiness.

I Became A Father At 16. I Was So Naive!

Write them down, get it all out, analyze them and break it down. Just don't let it affect how you treat your dad and his girlfriend. Don't make assumptions before you know what the deal really is. Remind yourself every time you are going to communicate with him or his girlfriend that you know nothing about her or how the relationship is working, so you cannot be in a position to judge it.

This may sound weird, but I'm going to reference the Bible here, specifically the prohibition about sleeping with "your father's wife. I only bring it up because the Bible, written thousands of years ago in a culture that was arguably far more sexually conservative than ours is, assumed that fathers would be marrying women that could under other circumstances be sexual partners for their children.

So how does this apply in your situation? First to recognize that this is something that happens. This particular issue is old. But second, just because a woman marries your father does not mean you have to think of her as a step-mother.

Dating someone my dads age

Sure, that's now what we call all people so situated, but thinking of her as "your father's wife" is probably far more palatable, as it conjures up none of the authority relationships that might otherwise be there. Just because she's married to your father doesn't mean that she's your mother. I would think a relationship of camaraderie would be more natural than one of deference. I think what is called for here is more good humor than anything else.

If you love your dad, as you seem to, you might want to consider giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming he has decent tastes. You have the opportunity to get to meet and be close to someone who might well be a pretty cool person who also just happens to be involved with your father.

And you know what?

Though we now think of people as becoming adults older than we used to, once a woman hits 30 there isn't anyone that's "too old for her. At that point she's been an adult almost as long as she hasn't. Yeah, the babysitter thing matters. It's creepy. This whole thing is creepy.

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