Dear Wayne and Wanda!
I dated “Jess” for a few months. The relationship was short but intense. We moved in almost immediately. He is much younger than me. I’m 40 and he’s in his mid-20s. But he felt it didn’t matter. We had a lot in common. We work together in catering.
Despite the shortness and the age difference, I really liked him. The chemistry was crazy. We had a very good time. I adored him. Then a few weeks ago he came home and said not only did he want to break up, but he had already met someone who was moving in. This new guy is closer to his age. Apparently he didn’t even know I existed when they started hanging out. It’s all shady and lame.
The bottom line is, I’m stuck, I don’t know where to go next. I slept on a friend’s couch last night. I really liked this girl. I definitely feel like I relate better to younger women, but all my friends say it’s my fault for dating someone in their 20s. It’s like they’re blaming me and I feel like it takes away from the fact that I totally played it here and I’m honestly bummed about the ending. I guess I’m asking for advice on how to proceed and what to learn from this.
Heartbreak is heartbreak at any age or under any circumstances, so I’m sorry you’re going through this and that it’s so messy and overlapping. It’s never a good feeling when we find out that someone we were committed to and all-in was just kind of committed while we’re already moving on to other options. The best thing you can do is take the high road—and by “high road” I mean take the expressway out of the common living space and into a better and brighter future.
You might be dating the wrong girls. You may be too young. Maybe you shouldn’t move in with someone so quickly. All thought-provoking – but a self-reflective buffet for a later date. It’s time to figure out your next move and get out of this toxic household.
Whether it’s with a friend or co-worker for a few weeks, or even going to a hotel or Airbnb, you’ll be happier and healthier if you’re not sharing living space with the woman you dropped and the guy who replaced you. Finding a new place where you feel safe and open about your frustrations is the first step to moving on.
All I can say is accept that this situation is pretty messy and the fallout will sting for a while, or at least until the next flirty thing. But I can’t give you advice that will make it hurt less or promise it won’t happen again.
Because even the advice of those who only want the best for you doesn’t count, right? You want what you want: living like a 20-year-old and dating 20-year-olds. He falls headlong into short but intense love affairs fueled by crazy chemistry. They impulsively move in together after a short period of dating, even less knowing each other. Let’s stay in an industry full of late nights and wild surprises, a few ride-or-die companions and a never-ending line of mysterious strangers. And the ever-available friend couch from which you can beg for the pain of yet another romantic disaster to magically disappear and pray that heartbreak will never break again.
Well, this is the life you chose, cowboy. The highs are Cloud 9 high and the lows are below a dusty moat. Do you want to tame the stallion? The dream rides off into the sunset, but reality increasingly strays and tramples on. You can’t take it, you might as well hang up the saddle.
Vaya con dios, my friend.
[My girlfriend is on her phone constantly. It’s killing our relationship.]
[Dear Annie: My boyfriend just hangs out in his man cave watching TV and he refuses to help with the bills. Help!]
[Ask Amy: Should I tell the guy I recently started dating that I’m facing online harassment?]