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The Age Gap

Community Member
I’m 56 with two children, I separated from my wife over 10 years ago and have been single ever since.
Both of my children are in their 20’s, one no longer living with me and the other about to move out next month.
I was born and raised a long way from where I currently live and over the years the friends I had have just faded away to the point where I now have no really close friends. I know that's my own fault, after my marriage broke down I totally dedicated myself to my children at the expense of everything else and I locked everyone out because I just didn’t want to feel that sort of pain again.
Several years ago I met this woman and we formed a very close friendship, even though she’s 20 years younger than me, we got on really well, similar mind set and such.
I have always had feelings for her, but she’s always made it clear that we would never get together because of the age thing, even though she has said several things that that made me believe that she had feelings for me.
I was always happy to just be friends, but several months ago that changed and my feelings just got stronger, before Christmas we were seeing each other 3 to 4 times a week and talking every day, but something has changed, since Christmas she doesn’t seem to want to be around me and it’s breaking my heart. We still talk and see each other on occasions but nowhere near as much.
I think about her every minute of every day (good and bad) and I’m so frightened that I’m going to lose her, but I can’t tell her how I feel, the reality is that I always knew that eventually I would lose her, but it doesn’t change the feeling.
I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate on my work, it’s affecting everything in my life and the worst of it is that I know that if she goes, for the first time in my life I’m facing the prospect of being totally alone.
And there’s the crux of the matter, I’m trapped in a world of my own making, this is not what I wanted for my life, this is not where I wanted to be, I feel like I’ve built a house with no escape, no doors that lead to a better place and I’m just constantly feeling sad and alone.
I don’t want to be alone, I don’t want this anymore, but I can’t find a way out.
2 Replies 2

Community Member

Hi JJ56,

I'm sorry to hear that your friend backed away, you must be a very nice person for her to have come to rely on you for company. It just sounds like she knew she ultimately wanted something different for her later life.

I was wondering , what kind of hobbies are you into JJ56? I'll bet someone with your experience has some interests and some knowledge about a lot of things. They are good way to connect to people, have you tried to meet people through those? I'd be so lost without the connections I make through the things that I love, and I'm always amazed at how many good people are out there, needing a connection just as much as I do.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey there JJ

Quite obviously.. you're in love

The age thing.

The appropriate age gap is less than: half your age + 7 1/2 years
So for 56, she'd need to be 30 1/2 years of age or older

For me I always looked at is as: if she is younger than my parents and older than my children, then it's within reach.

For yourself, I would recommend that you do tell her how you feel. I would much rather express how I feel and lose her than not tell her and still lose her. But who knows, she may come around. Also, she may be distancing herself from you because she's afraid of falling in love too. The age thing may be too much for her, but really, what is too much.

Also, to have a loving relationship doesn't require sex. You can be best of friends, and have a platonic love affair. There are so many ways to define a relationship these days. You just need to help her find one that works for both of you.

Hope that helps