How to Bring Up Money (Or Not) In Your Age Gap Relationship

QUESTION: I just started going on age gap dat­ing web sites and I don’t know how to answer the ques­tion about what my finan­cial expec­ta­tions are. Can you help me out?

CHELSEA SAYS: This is always such an awk­ward ques­tion on age gap dat­ing sites, because it assumes that you’re in it just for the finan­cial gain. While that might be true for some women, it isn’t nec­es­sar­ily the case for all May-December relationships.

The eas­i­est thing to do would be to just put, “Nego­tiable,” or some­thing along those lines, and then take it up with a poten­tial match per­son­ally. But if you’re look­ing for a legit­i­mate May-December rela­tion­ship that’s about more than just money, avoid putting a dol­lar amount, or bet­ter yet, avoid the ques­tion all together. Instead, talk about what kinds of things you enjoy doing or what some of your inter­ests are. That way, you’re giv­ing poten­tial matches a pretty clear idea of what type of lifestyle you enjoy with­out actu­ally putting a dol­lar value on it.

The minute you do put a num­ber in that field, you’re imme­di­ately telling poten­tial matches that money is a major pri­or­ity for you in age gap dat­ing, which prob­a­bly isn’t the mes­sage you want to send if you’re look­ing for a gen­uine May-December relationship.

TRENT SAYS: I always found those age gap dat­ing ques­tions to be really strange and one-sided, not to men­tion the fact that they miss the point entirely. You’re look­ing for a May-December rela­tion­ship that has as many dif­fer­ent dynam­ics as a so-called tra­di­tional relationship.

It isn’t about pay me X amount of money and I’ll hang out with you. It’s about will­fully ful­fill­ing each other’s needs with some­thing you can both freely give. If a man knows his girl­friend likes flow­ers, he might send her a bou­quet every Friday.

You might even­tu­ally go on a date with some­one from that age gap dat­ing site and maybe you tell him you really like Chanel bal­let flats or would love to spend a quiet week­end together in front of a fire at a ski lodge. If it were me, I’d make a men­tal note of every­thing you said. And I’d hope you’d pay atten­tion to things I say too.

Because we’re in a rela­tion­ship, we want to ful­fill each other’s needs.  If some­thing is unrea­son­able, then speak up. If you don’t like where the rela­tion­ship is or where it’s going, you are free to end it with­out deal­ing with any emo­tional baggage.