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The lesser discussed problems and issues of dating and going out with an older man- Differences, communication, etc.

Updated on July 18, 2012

You've been told by your friends and family that dating an older man is a bad idea, he doesn't love you, it is wrong, it is not going to work out, etc. Anybody in this type of relationship has most likely heard some comment of this sort from someone, somewhere, some time.

But let's say he loves you, and your relationship is genuine, just like any other relationship. So what are the problems that you can run into?

Every relationship has basic problems like trust, communication, etc. Besides those, here are some of the less discussed relationship problems that are specific to dating an older man:

  • You may be at different phases of your life lives. You may be just off college, starting a new job, looking for an apartment, wanting to live life, explore and enjoy. He may be already settled in his job, already having a home, and ready to settle down. He may be looking forward to marriage and kids, while you are not. Or maybe you want them, but he doesn't.
  • You may want different things from the relationship. Because you are in different phases of your life, there will be some conflicts of interest. He may be in it for comfort and companionship, while you want some fun and PDA, that he may not be willing to provide.
  • There may be a difference in the maturity level. No matter how mature you are, he is older, he has had more experiences with life, he has learned more lessons. While this can be a positive thing- he can guide you through your problems, and you can bring freshness to his life- too much difference in maturity can drive a man away from you.
  • You may settle into a child-guardian relationship without even realizing it. You used to be a young, independent, strong woman. But now you have a man to rely on, and you're starting to relax, be a little less responsible. This is true for any relationship, but in this particular case, if the relationship starts to mimic a child-guardian relationship, it can cause unspoken conflicts.
  • He may be guarded. (Read article on how to take his guard down.) He's older than you, and has probably been with more women, and had his heart broken. It is likely that he may be guarded, he may not open up his heart fully or swiftly to you, afraid to get hurt again.
  • He may be more willing to accept that the relationship may not work out, i.e. he may be willing to give up easily. Having broken up so many times, he may be more used to being single, living alone, and dealing with heart breaks. He may be more accepting of the fact that relationships don't always work out. So if your relationship runs into problems, he may want to part ways.
  • He may talk about things you can't relate to. He may talk about the comic books he grew up reading, the TV shows he would watch as a kid, or the songs he would listen to when he was a teen. You may not even be aware of those, let alone relate to or like them. Of course you can always make the effort to do so, and may find that you genuinely do like them, but there is a chance that at many moments, you'll end up feeling clueless, like he's talking in a foreign language.
  • You can be insecure of the ex-es. This can happen in any relationship, but here it poses extra problems, because he may have dated more than you have, and that's hard to accept for some women. His ex-es may be older, and more accomplished in their lives than you. This can lead to jealousy and insecurity.
  • His family and/or friends may be more important to him. While every person has a separate place in someone's heart, remember that his family and friends have been there in his life longer than you have. He will love you, he will make you his priority, but you may never be at the center of his world.
  • His age may be wearing him down, he may be depressed. He may be going through a mid-life crisis. Age has some physical effects on him too.
  • He may be more set in his way. It may be difficult to change his old habits, and sometimes he may even be unwilling to do so.
  • He is most likely going to die before you. How many years depends on the age difference, general health, and so many other factors. But there is a very high possibility that you will be spending the last few years of your life alone, without the one you love.

Of course every person is different, and you may or may not run into these troubles. But if you are entering a relationship with an older man, keep these things in mind, and work together to sort them out. Communication is the key in any relationship.

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