Ask Michele: Younger Women Contacting Older Men

Michele,I have been contacted by a few much younger women on this site. I’m 53 and they are in the 30’s. I have children younger than the last woman who contacted me. I find this a bit odd and I’m skeptical to establish contact with them.

Unfortunately I’ve been married and divorced… I have received degree of nullity. Obviously I haven’t been the most effective at finding the right person to be my soul mate for life. I don’t believe in divorce … but haven’t found the right person to work through the difficult times together. I’ve been single for about five years now and have not been able to locate someone who is true to the Catholic faith and interested in establishing a relationship that could lead to marriage.

I’m wonder if I’m being too critical or hard on myself but I’m just not sure about the possibility of dating someone who is 20 years younger.

Any advice?

Younger Women Contacting Older Men

Dear Younger Women Contacting Older Men,
Your letter is very timely. Take a look at my last post, the letter was from a woman in your age range who was becoming frustrated with men who are only interested in younger women. I assured her that there are men her age who are interested in an emotionally mature relationship with someone their own age. Your letter was the next email I received.

No, I don’t think you are being too critical on yourself to not want to date someone 20 years younger. As you have experienced, making marriage work is very hard work. Adding a generation gap, and especially with children who are even younger, would simply be an additional strain. I’m also hearing that you are ready to find someone who can work through difficult times and be a true life partner. Chances are, that person will be closer to your age range.

Now if you are being critical on yourself regarding the divorce, then I would suggest that rather than feeling guilty or somehow “less than,” that you focus on evaluating each of your relationships. How did you enter into your relationships that didn’t work out? Is there a common theme, or characteristic in the partners you choose? Are you attracted to something that isn’t good for you? Do you have any fears yourself of being emotionally intimate, responsible, or authentic? If so, you may be attracting dates with the same struggles. I would suggest exploring these topics in prayer, with a trusted clergy, religious, or mentor, or consider a professional counselor/therapist.

I hope this helps! I know your letter has given hope to women in your age range that were beginning to think that all the “good Catholic” men were taken!

God Bless,
Michele Fleming, M.A.