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E-4 Dating a Woman 20 Years Older

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I'm twice divorced with adult children. I entered the dating scene again, and guess what happened? I met a man more than 20 years my junior!

It gets worse. Well, the relationship is great, but the worst part is that he told his mother about me. She is having a tizzy that her son is dating a woman in her mid- to late-40s. She wants him to leave me alone like yesterday's old news.

Her behavior has taught me a lot about my own son. I realize my son is a grown man who is very capable of making his own decisions. My boyfriend's mother should know that her son is 26 years old and he is not a baby. Babies don't know how to do the things that he knows how to do, if you get my drift.

Older men date younger women all of the time. It's a fact that society dealt with a long time ago. Now it's time for us to realize that younger men are infatuated with older women too, and nothing is wrong with that.

My boyfriend's mother doesn't have to worry about a lot of things. For one, she doesn't have to worry that I'm trying to trap her son with a pregnancy or because he is a Marine. She doesn't have to worry that I'm trying to get him to marry me so I can get a brown ID card.

I don't need him to take care of me because I have a great career and I help take care of him financially. He is an E-4, about to make E-5. He doesn't make a lot of money, period.

So here's my question. Do you think my boyfriend told his mother about me because he has to have "Mommy's permission and Mommy's approval" for every decision he makes?

If it's true, I don't think I can deal with him in a long-term relationship because there's nothing his mother can tell me. I'm not her child.

Yes, I love her son and I would love to see where this relationship goes. Hopefully, it can become something more permanent in the future.

Sincerely,
Don't Need Permission

Dear Permission,

I think you are asking questions when you already know the answer. You said it yourself, you are a grown woman, twice divorced with adult children. Your children may be the same age as your boyfriend.

Now, think about your young adult children. Do they call you and ask for advice? Do they let you know what's going on in their life just to see what you think about their decisions?

This is probably what your boyfriend did with his mother. He let his mother know that he was dating an older woman.

OK, his mother didn't take it too well. She's wondering if he has some "momma-unresolved-issues" with her and now he's with an older woman to try and work them out.

You have to believe me when I say that mothers know their children. This woman has history with her son, through ups and downs, good and bad decisions. She has heard all of it and went through the hell with him. She could be thinking he has lost his mind and now he has made a careless, impulsive decision in hooking up with you.

For this reason, you should show some class, grace and a professional deportment so his mother won't get the wrong impression about you. It sounds like you are ready to pull out the boxing gloves and get in the ring with his mother and duke it out.

Stop and think, OK? You are older and you should behave in a matter congruent to your age. That's all I'm saying.

I know that younger men like dating older women. It happens all of the time, so your relationship with your little chicklet is not the first. Go easy with your boyfriend and don't confront his mother.

As a matter of fact, you don't have to meet her or plan to attend their next Thanksgiving dinner. This could become a long-term relationship. Don't have a knee-jerk reaction. Just sit back and see if the relationship grows. Let me know how things move forward in the future.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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