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Old 12-26-2017, 07:57 AM
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PurpleSun PurpleSun is offline
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Default Just Seeking Some Insight - Dating A Much Younger Mono Woman

So, I haven't been here in awhile, but it's for a good reason. I went back to school for another degree. I'm 36, so that means having to interact with a lot of traditional age college students. However, I am an unmarried, childfree lesbian, so I tend to fit in better than say, someone my age who has settled down and had kids. I joined a couple of student organizations. I've really gotten into my groove, and even made the Dean's List.

Anyway, in late October, someone from one of those orgs messaged me the following: "I know this is super straight forward and probably totally inappropriate, but I find you super attractive." I messaged her back, since it would be awkward at the next org meeting if I didn't. We started talking, and eventually sort of casually dating - starting with just making out and the like, then it kind of escalated. Before I know it, we're exchanging Christmas presents and she's hanging out at my apartment with my cat. Now, I told her right away that I am poly, and that for me, this is as much an orientation as my being gay, and that it won't change.

It turns out, she seems to be one of those mono people who came into all of this thinking she could change me, even though I've repeatedly said that I won't. She's shifted to wanting to learn more about poly, but anytime I mention older women or my poly friends, she gets defensive. She's only 20, so I know that a lot of these shortcomings are simply her age and lack of maturity. But I can't even talk to her about that, or even MENTION the age difference without her getting defensive. Anytime the subject comes up, she pretty much insinuates that she's attempting to hang on to this "just the two of us" scenario as long as possible. Most recently, a week ago, she said, " I hope you aren't looking at this being a problem anytime soon."

The problem here is not breaking up; I am one of those people who believes that when something isn't working, it just isn't working, and that we don't owe people a relationship. However, I could see this girl being the type to get all bitter and go trashing me in the org and around campus if I dump her. She's already explicitly said she'd be really hurt if I broke up with her over "assumptions" rather than giving her a chance. The thing is, I HAVE given her a chance. It's been 2 months, and I already see a million blinking red stop lights here. But, I also don't want her making my life miserable if I dump her. I have to be at this school for another 2 years to get my degree. Luckily, she only has 3 semesters left, but still, in college life, that can be a lifetime.

So, should I string this out? After all, the sex is great, I don't have anyone else in the wings, and it's not like I'm miserable or anything. However, I don't want it to blow up in my face, either. I like her as a person, but deep down I know she isn't going to be a long term partner, and she truly is not okay with the whole polyamory thing, and certainly doesn't really fully understand it.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:19 AM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
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Oooh... wow.

Well, offhand, it sounds like problems, from any viewpoint. Let's say that you were to "set aside" your poly orientation, & settle happily into a closed dyad, one-to-one. Even if you fit happily into that role, it sounds as though you'd still have the risks that she might "get all bitter and go trashing me in the org and around campus" if she gets dissatisfied with you for anything.

Her apparent defensiveness about the age difference has nothing to do with your polyness. You cannot "mention older women or my poly friends," meaning that you must be guarded with her. You could not even ignore her initial (& IMO rather heavy-handed) initial flirtation out of concern that "it would be awkward at the next org meeting"; did the same apprehension play a role in not deflecting her interest?

It appears that you have ceded a lot of control to her in barely two months. Though you may be able to find stasis at the moment, my concern would be that she could seek more control over you, & more after that, increasing the enmeshment & strengthening the eventual accusations that you've been "leading her on."

Even if she tires of you & moves along, it's not unlikely that you'll still be painted as the bully here, & every day you remain with her encourages that rationalization.

Though relatively young, she's not a child, nor somehow impaired, & she detests the age differential probably because she sees herself as just as mature as you. It seems (to me at least) that your choice is between sweeping everything under the rug & enjoying the sex & cutting her off from big pieces of your inner life & hoping the eventual explosion is tolerable, or addressing your doubts/concerns to her in a calm adult-to-adult fashion.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:32 AM
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Default Thank you for this.

It's honestly the kind of blunt assessment I was looking for. What I'm doing right now is just doing my thing. She's a pretty dominating personality in a lot of different directions, but I know how to assert myself as well. She's away for break right now, so I've really had time to assess the situation and see a lot of red flags that perhaps I wasn't seeing in the moment, and I am thinking, "wow, this is fucked up," about a lot of stuff.

I don't plan to sweep things under the rug. I'm not good at doing that, even though it is an option - like I said, I'm not miserable or anything. I just see this going in a bad direction - even more so than it already is.

And you're right, she sees herself as just as mature as I am, and she sees mentions of the experience/age gap as my somehow infantalizing her. I'm not, I'm just being realistic. There's no substitute for years.

I think when she comes back I'm just going to have a face to face sit down and be like, "I really like you, and I hope we can remain friends, but this simply is not working for me. This relationship isn't what I am looking for. I am poly, and monogamy makes me feel stifled and controlled. Plus, it's and affront to the personal ethics and health of the romantic relationships I have. I am poly, by both orientation and philosophy. That will not change."
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:44 AM
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Oh and re: did the initial reticence to not reject her outright play a role re: the org? Yeah, it did. She's an officer there, and I'm a just a member - and a new one at that. And because these are both political orgs, there's crossover between the two. If this is a fucked up blow up...yeah. It won't be pretty at all.
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Old 12-26-2017, 04:53 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Have the break up conversation after winter break. My only suggestion? Stop here:

"I really like you, and I hope we can remain friends, but this simply is not working for me."

All the rest? Is JADE to me -- justify, argue, defend, explain. Not necessary.

Quote:
I am poly, and monogamy makes me feel stifled and controlled. Plus, it's and affront to the personal ethics and health of the romantic relationships I have. I am poly, by both orientation and philosophy. That will not change."
She knows all that poly stuff already. You told it to her before. Why repeat?

If she gets humphy about "not giving it a chance" cite how much time dating has happened.

"I gave it a chance. It was a lovely 2 months getting to know you."

Because she cannot argue about time. Two months did pass. That's a chance.

If you start saying things like

Quote:
Plus, it's and affront to the personal ethics and health of the romantic relationships I have.
Your personal ethics are not for her to follow or maintain. Why are you dating a mono person like this if you are poly and it goes against your ethics?

Plus... that's too east to hear defensively and flip it around on you. Like... "What? Are you saying *I* have no ethics? I'm an affront? Well, you are blahblahblah!"

You are already worried about her flipping things around on you. Why give her ammo?

Quote:
But, I also don't want her making my life miserable if I dump her. I have to be at this school for another 2 years to get my degree. Luckily, she only has 3 semesters left, but still, in college life, that can be a lifetime.
What do you think she's gonna do? Conduct unbecoming an officer?

IME, semesters were a life time. A change in course load or work hours could change how available I was back then to dating someone with opposite-ish schedule even if the previous semester we synced up ok. Perhaps it will solve itself that way -- as you each enter the spring term.

Break up with her, and lose yourself in your studies for a bit in spring term.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-26-2017 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:16 PM
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Thanks for this. I do tend to go overboard with the explaining part, so, yeah, I should kind of just break it off. She knows everything else, you're right.

As for what I think she's gonna do? People can be really petty and awful when they are hurt. She could try and block my own officer positions or smear my character in ways that could jeopardize my ability to beef up my resume, get rec letters, etc. So, it could be serious.

And I only dated her because she messaged me. I never had any intention of this being any sort of relationship, but these things happen, and now I want out.
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:47 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
She could try and block my own officer positions or smear my character in ways that could jeopardize my ability to beef up my resume, get rec letters, etc. So, it could be serious.
To me it sounds like you chose to date a person who could mess up your developing career path. A "messy person."

If she behaves in ways unbecoming an officer, doesn't the organization have steps for removal of an officer in cases like that?

If she's doing a smear job, you don't believe the other organization people will be able to see that?

Quote:
And I only dated her because she messaged me. I never had any intention of this being any sort of relationship, but these things happen, and now I want out.
You had the ability to say "Thanks! I'm flattered! I don't think we should date at this time though." You could take personal responsibility for your choices rather than shift responsibility on to her.

It's ok to have chosen to date her and then later changed your mind.

If at this time, you value studies and developing career path the most? Then you may have to make a boundary for yourself that you cannot date anyone else who might place unnecessary obstacles in your path. Date people from other schools/departments at the college, but not from inside your major/school/organizations.

Avoid dating the "messy" people in future even if they do message you. Turn it down sooner.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-26-2017 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 12-26-2017, 06:59 PM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
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The "age thing" has for me been a source of mildly irritated amusement.

When I was 37 & freshly divorced, I was actively courted by a 19-year-old who was generally one of the more mature lovers I had at the time.

Three years later, she left town, & I somehow wound up involved with her 20-year-old girlfriend, who was more emotionally mature than the 44-year-old I'd just broken up with.

The numbers themselves weren't determinant at all.
_______________

To drift a bit from the OP:

I'm one of those people who believes in dating as an advisable precursor to becoming at all intimately involved with someone, & I prefer to continue dates after the sex & sleepovers begin.

For me, dates are a great way to get to know someone. So often, stuff like sex seems to short-circuit developing & strengthening the intellectual/psychic connection I find very fulfilling. If I enjoy someone's company, I can happily go on one date after another without giving much thought to getting her naked; I've therefore been described as "thick" (& various synonyms) for not making overt gestures in that direction to clarify that I am indeed interested.

There's certainly nothing "wrong" with people being sex-obsessed for each other, but it DOES consume resources (time, sleep, nutrition, reasoning ).

But I've long noted that many people see dating as the bait & sex as the hook, so "date night" stops as soon as you can drag a lunker toward the gaffe. (Some dodge around this by stretching out "dating" to mean "constantly f*cking like weasels." )

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying, PurpleSun, is that your relationship with your friend might have been much more manageable if it'd been kept at the dating level, developing a basis for actual friendship. It doesn't sound like you're friends, & maybe never have been; chances you ever will become so are slim at best.

Last edited by Ravenscroft; 12-26-2017 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:12 PM
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Not to be flip, but if you start dating someone else, and tell her that you are, that may make her realize that she can't dominate you, and that you meant everything you said previously. She can accept that you're dating and be okay with that, or she'll decide that she can't change you. Still, she may be nasty about it, but she'll look just as bad if she makes an issue of it. You can take the high ground, still tell everyone the truth about yourself and this relationship in response, and come out looking like the wronged party.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:22 PM
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PurpleSun PurpleSun is offline
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You're right, I did have the ability to say "I'm flattered," etc. At the time, I didn't know her well at all, beyond the campus org we're in together. I think you misunderstood - yes, it was my choice to go out with her. It's my fault for not saying no at the outset. I take full responsibility for that. Sorry if it came off otherwise.


And re: the smear job - that's just hypothetical right now. As for the other members seeing - remember, these are traditional college age kids. Their loyalties are not to me, but to their peer who they elevated to this position. I have no idea how we'd remove an officer for acting up; it's all hypothetical at this point.

You're right, I am dating a messy person. Big mistake on my part. I wish I had known at the outset.
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