He’s Gorgeous, Single, and Rich…Is This Shallow?

He’s Gorgeous, Single, and Rich…Is This ShallowQUESTION: I’ve been dat­ing Mr. Won­der­ful for almost a year now. He’s gor­geous, sin­gle, and rich. At 42, he’s 18 years older than me, has never been mar­ried, has no kids, and looks like he’s no older than 30. I want to be able to love him, but know­ing that he’s that much older than me keeps get­ting in the way—am I being shallow?

CHELSEA SAYS: There’s noth­ing shal­low about it. It’s per­fectly nor­mal to have reser­va­tions about get­ting seri­ous with a man who’s 18 years older. A May-December rela­tion­ship comes with bag­gage that you don’t usu­ally get when you’re dat­ing some­one who’s around the same age as you. What is shal­low, how­ever, is let­ting the rela­tion­ship per­sist with­out address­ing that there’s some­thing wrong—he may be falling harder and harder for you, but you’re still sit­ting on the fence.

Maybe his age isn’t the real prob­lem that’s hold­ing you back—otherwise you wouldn’t have started dat­ing him in the first place. There’s some­thing else that’s keep­ing you from really com­mit­ting and you need to iden­tify what that is in order for you to fix it.

One way to fig­ure it out is by mak­ing sure that you’re both on track when it comes to big deci­sions. For exam­ple, if you want to even­tu­ally get mar­ried and have kids, but you’re dat­ing a guy who’s in his mid-40s, sin­gle, and child­less, you need to reeval­u­ate why you’re in this rela­tion­ship. He may not be inter­ested in mar­riage, but has no idea that you are—if it isn’t some­thing you agree on, it can cause seri­ous prob­lems down the line.

Are you wor­ried about the age dif­fer­ence affect­ing your sex life? Money? His abil­ity to com­mit? Like I said, his actual age isn’t the issue here—your reser­va­tions are about a big­ger issue that stems from the age dif­fer­ence. I’ll be the first one to tell you that dat­ing an older man isn’t easy. He’s basi­cally in a dif­fer­ent stage of life, and unless you’re both on the same page, the rela­tion­ship will never work.

If you can’t pin­point what the real prob­lem is, then maybe you need to just accept that a May-December rela­tion­ship isn’t for you and it’s time to get out. If your older man is more com­mit­ted than you are, it’s not fair to string him along until you sort out your feelings.

Here’s what it boils down to: if you can’t han­dle the bag­gage of a May-December rela­tion­ship, then you should stick to dat­ing men who are closer to your age. You gave it a shot and it didn’t work; cut your losses and stick to what makes you comfortable.