Question: Dear Luise: I am 31 and have been dating a guy 11 years younger than me for a little more than 6 months. He reassured me that our ages did not matter and that he was “in it for the long haul”. We fell in love pretty quickly and got serious. Talking about the future he told me that he saw us getting married after he went to college and got his life in order. Everything was fine. One day after visiting his mother in another state, he came to me and said that he was not ready for our relationship and he was moving there to help his mom out. He told me that his family said that I was “just a phase” and he wanted to find out for himself. This was the beginning of January. Ever since then it’s been an “on-again-off-again” thing. What should I do? I love him so much and I know he loves me, too. He hasn’t moved as of yet and he has not returned my things from his house. How much time should I wait before talking with him? I’m at a loss right now. Kristen
Answer: Dear Kristen: What a difficult time you have had of it. It’s obviously no fun being the mature, stable one with a twenty-year-old. Did you notice that you described him as eleven years younger…not a twenty year old? It sounds better.
That’s what’s wrong, you know. You have your feet under you and know what you want and your guy isn’t even old enough to vote, (where I live.) He has let you know by his inconsistent behavior over the last two months that he doesn’t have a clue what he wants to do with his life. He obviously likes the sex and playing house, but think back…what did you know about yourself and life at that age? And, at that, females often mature ahead of males.
If he was sixty and you were seventy-one, it wouldn’t be so glaring. The older we get, the less age discrepancy seems to matter in many cases.
However, that’s not the case and he’s letting you know that he doesn’t know what he wants or will want in the future. That’s the “off-again-on-again” stuff. Give him credit for that. His feelings for you make it hard for him to stick to his guns, but he’s trying.
You have a very short history. Six months, of which he has been all over the map for a third of that time. You have no foundation to build on.
Give him a hand. Let him know that you see the problem and respect his issues. Get your stuff out of his house, don’t wait for him to do it…and wish him well. Blessings, Luise