For a woman in her 20's and 30's, dating a man in his 40's and 50's can be an intriguing option. Some women, tired of the hustle & bustle and ups & downs of dating men their own age find the contrast of a man who presents a more seasoned, grounded, financially secure, and more emotionally mature profile to be quite enticing. Older men can have a mystique about them that can be very attractive to a younger woman. He can wine and dine you and probably has the ability to lay on a certain kind of charm that is usually simply beyond what a young man can provide. He may even have picked up a trick or two in the bedroom that the young guys haven't discovered yet as well! As with all things romantic though, a woman considering this kind of relationship just needs to go into it with her eyes wide open - being strategic and thoughtful about the relationship - understanding both the benefits and the potential shortcomings.
While a man may have gained a measure of confidence and "smoothness" through the years, in all honesty, he may have also picked up some "baggage" along the way as well. Now to be clear, whatever our age or our circumstances, we all have baggage. It's just that the baggage of an older man may be a new kind of baggage for a younger woman. Of course, front and center, there may be ex-wives and children in his life. These clearly don't have to be deal breakers; in fact, children (both his and those the two of you create) can add enormous joy to your life. It's just something to think about as you consider a relationship with an older man; both how you feel about it and whether you're ok with dealing with it on a day-to-day basis. Similarly, his relationship with the mother of his children may be something new that you've never dealt with before; an "ex" that's still on the scene. Do your best to understand the nature of their relationship (as parents) and determine what makes sense to you. As with all nuances of your relationship, communication is absolutely key. Do your best to understand as much as you can from him about these relationships and where you fit in his life vis-a-vis them. Understand as well that this might introduce a measure of complexity that you hadn't considered. As with most things in life, there's a cost-benefit analysis; do the positives of the relationship outweigh any negatives. For most, if they've found an otherwise loving and devoted mate, the "costs" are well worth it.
Your approach to much of this will likely be determined by your over-all perspective on life; whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person. Do you approach life, basically, from a positive point of view - with your eyes fixed on the opportunities, or are you more worried about minimizing the downside? If "it's all good", then perhaps simply being aware of what's ahead will suffice. If not, then perhaps there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you head down a path with a man with these kind of family entanglements.
1. Will you be able to handle your future husband's communicating with his ex wife on a weekly basis as he is co-parenting his children?
2. Are you clear about what your roll will be as a step-mother?
3. Can you accept the fact that your step children may never say they love you or call you mom?
4. Are you emotionally & spiritually strong enough to share your husband with an ex-wife?
I always encourage singles to "cast a wide net" in search of a mate. Certainly, dating someone older could be a part of this. It's just a matter of being thoughtful and strategic about your love life. As we know, there are happy and healthy couples with significant age differences all around us. Maybe it's something for you as well? On the other hand, perhaps you're the type who wants to singularly co-create your baggage with someone closer to your own age. Know that the love of your life is out there and just be open to whatever package that he might come in. To get more insights on how these tips may apply to you inquire at Karla@NineGPS.com for a private consultation. I wish you well! Stay optimistic!
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