Forced to break up. How do I know if it’s worth it to wait?

So basically, I have been seeing this guy for a few months. The thing is I am 19 going on 20 in the next month and he is 30. The relationship has been great but I decided I wanted to end the sneaking around and ended up telling my mom about him. She flipped out and told me I had to break up with him for my own good. I won’t go too much into her reasons as that’s not the issue. I do understand her reasons. They make a lot of sense. She told me that maybe in five years if I still loved this guy that then we could try coming out to my family but until then we had to cut all ties.

I don’t want to cut ALL ties but I am feeling like we should break up. I’m not willing to cause that kind of turmoil in my family. I still want to talk to him and be with him because I care very deeply for him. Is it wrong to say we are broken up and to remain friends but generally remain faithful to each other by not dating other people even if we can’t see each other? It feels like we would be treating this like a long distance relationship. How do I know if its worth the five year wait? At this moment, I feel like it would be so worth it! But what happens if that changes?

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6 thoughts on “Forced to break up. How do I know if it’s worth it to wait?

  1. EricaSwagger says:

    [Five years is a long long time. You feel like it’s worth it right now because he’s the person you’re in a relationship with. Give it 5 years and I bet you’ll look back on this feeling a lot differently. In the moment, it’s always worth it, it’s always “but I care about him so much” when you’re talking about right this second. Time gives you perspective. It will give you the perspective you need.

    Take the whole “If you love someone, set them free” thing to heart here. Explain the situation to him, and say that if it’s meant to be, five years from now you’ll reach out again and see how things are. In the meantime, live your life. Chances are that 5 years from now you’ll be with someone else, or he will, or you’ll have forgotten about him completely.

    Let time do its thing. You’re too young to worry about what’s going to happen in 5 years. I wish someone told me that when I was 20.

  2. AKchic says:

    [Excuse me? What exactly is wrong with your family dynamic that allows your mother to control your dating? You are a LEGAL adult, correct? *checks again* Yep, 19. That’s a legal adult. You won’t go into your mother’s reasons, but dammit, those reasons could very well be IMPORTANT to our advice.

    Is he divorced? Kids? A criminal of some sort? A history of “young” women? Abusive but never got caught?

    11 years can be a big age difference for some people. For others, it isn’t. It is an INDIVIDUAL choice. Without knowing your mother’s reasons (and why you’d agree with her on them), I can’t begin to give you advice.
    I can, however, say that I have dated (and married) people well-above my age. The relationships didn’t work out, but it had nothing to do with our age difference. It was other things. Some were casual from the get-go, one was abusive, and one was with a guy who didn’t want kids (yet he decided he liked a mom of 3, what an idiot!).

  3. Dennis Hong says:

    [I myself am close to my family, and I think it’s awesome that you’re willing to put your family before this guy. Not many people would. Even though I do think your mom is being a little bit controlling, she’s still family, ya know?

    Either way, I don’t think you can possibly know at this moment if the five-year wait will be worth it. But, why do you need to know right now? Ultimately, the only question that I think really matters for you right now is whether or not you should break up. It sounds like you’re leaning towards breaking up, but maintaining contact. Personally, I think that’s a good way to do it. You can keep the peace with your family, but still see if this could go anywhere with this guy.

    Then… who knows? Maybe your mom will come around. Or, maybe you’ll get back together in a few years and know with that much more certainty that it’ll be worth it. Or, maybe you’ll decide that you’re not right for each other after all.

    I guess I just don’t see that any permanent decisions need to be made at this very moment. So, I think you should just do what you feel will be best for you.

  4. MargieCharles says:

    [I read this yesterday and was getting ready to email Dennis and ask him if he was using my personal life as LemonVibe fodder. This might be long…

    I was in an almost identical situation about three years ago. I was 19 (almost 20) and met a guy that I clicked fantastically with. The problem was that he was 37.

    Long story short, I was going to wait to tell my mom his actual age. I gave her a vague description of a guy I was dating, but when I told her his name she decided to Google him and she found out his real age. She flipped out and ordered me to break up with him. I was at a complete loss of what to do. I felt like I had hit a brick wall with my mother, and I knew she wasn’t going to budge on her stance at the time.

    We had been dating for three or four months by that time, and I had never gotten along with someone so well. After she found out, I went to his house with the intentions of ending it… but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was devastated at the thought. I felt like I had found my ideal guy and I was going to throw it away because of the choices someone else was making for me.

    So I didn’t end it. I lied to my mom and told her that I did. I’m pretty sure that she knew I was lying, but it almost seemed like if neither of us acknowledged it it was okay. She’d ask every now and again, but I’d just lie and she was happy with the answer. I was two hours away from her at college (and my boyfriend was in the middle of us), so it wasn’t too hard to lie.

    Then about five or six months after that, I got in a minor fender bender by his house. It was nothing major, but I had to come clean about the location of the accident and we had to confront what both of us already knew. Her main threat previously was that she was going to tell my dad, so I beat her to it and told him about my older boyfriend before she had a chance to. Surprisingly….he took it really well and was fine with it after a fifteen minute conversation. She was astonished, and she was left without ammo. She still didn’t like it, but she kind of took the stance of “accepting but not condoning.” I gave her a few more months to get used to the idea, and then when she asked to meet him I introduced the two (about a year after we started dating). After she met him she loved him, but it was a stressful and rocky year with her leading up to that point.

    In the end, we didn’t work out. My mom probably warned me of similar things that your mother brought up, and my mom had been in a similar situation (except she ended up married to the guy for 8 years), so I knew she was talking from experience and had valid points. Even though we didn’t work out, I wouldn’t have changed my decision for anything. If I had broken up with him when my mom told me to, I can almost guarantee I wouldn’t have been happy. I would have spent so many years wondering about the what ifs and what could have been. Now I know.

    I think there are a few things you need to decide and choose the path that you think is best for you. I understand you not wanting a guy to come between you and your family, but that is your mother making that decision. I have a hunch that the main reason my mother was so opposed to it at the beginning was because of what other people (close friends and family) would think. It kind of seems like your mother has similar misgivings, since you mentioned that she mentioned not wanting to tell family.

    Are you comfortable with keeping this a secret for a while longer? I’m a horrible liar, and I’ve always been an obedient child and thought it would tear me up inside to be dishonest for so long. But I found it surprisingly easy. I thought the entire situation was so unfair, I think my indignant anger kept me going and fueled my drive.

    Do you think talking to your mother any more would work? I know the easiest solution might appear to be to talk to her about this, explain that you’re an adult and need to make your own choices (even if she thinks they might be a mistake), and ask her to accept that even if she doesn’t condone it. But I know if I tried that with my mom at the beginning it would not have worked out.

    If you’re not that attached to him yet, it might be worth it to just move on. I can speak from experience when I say that, while not impossible, there are aspects of the age difference that will wear on you. That being said, I think it gets an unfairly bad reputation and stigma attached to it.

    But if you’re already falling for him hard and think that you’d spend the next few years wondering what could have been, I say go for it. Your mother doesn’t have to like your decisions, although she can make it very difficult for you to choose that path. I may be biased because of how my own mother situation fixed itself, but I think it might be a good idea to see him in secret for a bit. You can develop your feelings and see where they go, and maybe your mom can come to terms with the idea in her own way. Perhaps you can try to tell her later when she might be more receptive.

    Sorry that was a novel, hopefully some of it helped.

  5. DavidIsGreat says:

    [I want to put this in perspective of that guy. How would you feel if someone told you they’ll date you again in five years? I can’t speak for him but if it was me I wouldn’t be holding my breath. You need to do what you think is right but I honestly wouldn’t expect him to be on the other end of five years. It happens, but it’s rare.

  6. Solstice says:

    [I agree with EricaSwagger. 5 years is a long time, and people can grow and change alot between 20 and 25, or in 5 years in general. The guy I was in love with 5 years ago…he broke my heart, but well, I’ve learned that there are guys out there that are way more awesome than he is, and I’m sure you’d find the same about this guy.

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