The real rules about how old and young you can date. According to this rule, society should accept a 50 year old man dating a 32 year old woman. A quick poll of my friends says otherwise. This made me wonder, does the creepiness rule actually reflect what is socially acceptable when it comes to age differences in dating? In other words, does the creepiness rule actually reflect what society finds…creepy?
So I decided to find the answers myself. I tackled this paradigm-shifting research the only way I knew how: I created a survey. Although I could have hit the streets of New York and surveyed people in-person Buunk style, I decided to mTurk my survey. I try to avoid as much social interaction in my daily life as possible.
This can vary from transcribing a movie, to identifying an item on a receipt, to taking a survey about hypothetical romantic relationships. Within a few days I got responses: As John and Lauren got older, however, the creepiness rule differed from how people actually responded.
Yet according to the survey, 37 was well outside the age range of what is socially acceptable. The results also showed that the creepiness rule is too restrictive about how old you can date when you are young, but becomes too lenient as you get older.
Yet, people surveyed were fine with John and Lauren seeing someone in their early 30's. When John and Lauren are 60, the creepiness rule allows them to date anyone older than themselves the official cap is However, society places more restrictive age limits of 71 and 75 respectively.
Overall, the creepiness rule does not accurately represent what people find socially acceptable; people are more judgmental than what the creepiness rule implies.
If the creepiness rule is wrong, then I needed a new rule to guide my non-existent love life. As I reviewed the data, I realized that one rule was not enough. When it comes to dating older, women have the advantage. According to the survey, a 20 year-old John can date someone who is However, when Lauren is 30, she is supposed to date someone who is at least I not only created separate rules for men and women but also created different rules to determine how old and how young each gender can date.
The charts below compares the outputs of the revised rules with the predictions of the original creepiness rule. Haven't you a choice and a responsibility in the matter too? Why would you inevitably end up hating him? Not only bad, say I. That said, frequent mini-breakups are a bit of a reddish mini-flag nevertheless. I don't think this guy necessarily has to be the huge manipulator and a Bad Person, as some commenters suggest, but might just be really torn in the way he describes.
Because none of us is perfect, we don't always display full maturity at all times; so, despite realizing that he shouldn't be dating you for all the reasons he says, he's quite right in those and it looks like he has a realistic view of the situation , he's still attracted to you, and those continued meetings just fuel the fire. So it's hard to let go of this possibility of a relationship, even if he knows that it's a really bad idea.
I'm a 34 year old myself, and I tend to date women years younger than myself - in my experience, I'm had the best relationships from that age bracket. Occasionally I may break the unofficial "rule" and go out with somebody 10 years younger when we really "click" but at the back of my mind, there's always this concern that maybe I'm taking advantage of her.
I tend not to vocalize these feelings because dating is complicated enough without creating drama by saying every silly thought that crosses one's mind, but it's there. So on the one hand, I want to reassure you that most of this guy's concerns and feelings are perfectly normal.
On the other hand, the fact that he hasn't successfully resolved his inner conflict and continues to express it to you even though you have absolutely no ability to fix it it's not like you can snap your fingers and magically become older suggests that he's a drama llama. I recommend telling him it's time to man up and decide what he wants, then stop agonizing about it. This just sounds like a complete mess. Before he preached about "strong feelings" and "love down the line" is crazy manipulative all by itself.
At 34 years old, this guy has been alive long enough to know that frequent meet-ups at coffee shops and other "safe" locations "just fuel the fire," as Ender's Friend put it. Whether the guy is playing with his own emotions, or playing with the OP's, this is not the trusting and honest relationship which leads to lifetime commitment the OP is looking for. This is a guy who thinks relationships top out at 4 to 5 years, max. The OP doesn't need to stick around to try and change someone who holds a stunted view on intimate relationships.
And by the way OP, I think you are totally correct - after dating somone for two years, both parties have enough data to decide if the relationship will lead to marriage or not. OP, if you are going to date someone 14 years older than you, date a Man. Don't date a Peter Pan-type with commitment issues. Being a player or an immature commitment-phobe with stunted views on intimate relationships does not make this guy a "Bad Person.
Is he a poor choice for mentor or friendship material? OP, the mini break-ups and chaste coffee shop lust isn't romantic because it is not leading anywhere solid.
Upon Preview, wolfdreams01 really nails what I'm trying to say: I wonder if this is in part what's behind the meeting in public places requirement?
That would make him an "MF" in my book if he was keeping secrets and playing with people's hearts. However, I can back off on that point and still say that in all my years of experience, I've learned this: Relationships that feature obstacles and lots of mini break-ups never turn into what either person involved wants or needs.
Thanks for all the quick replies. Sorry I may have painted him in the wrong light: In fact, the one time I suggested that to him he said we weren't ready to go there yet.
He's been meticulously careful about building up to it, the issue is more that I don't like oral and he thinks I should experience that before actual sex. He's never made blunt advances, just made it clear that he wants to fuck me eventually.
I genuinely don't think he has a girlfriend, albeit a serious one.
He hates cheating and honestly working hours a week I don't think one would have time for that. Going into the line of work he is in, I know personally maintaining one relationship is difficult enough, having two with that while working 80 hours a week is unreal. We also talk regularly on the phone late at night which I imagine is not very likely to happen if a girlfriend is a reality.
He's also definitely not a "losing loser" as some people have described. One of the reasons I like him is because he is very inspiring in his work ethic and charity work. He didn't grow up in the best of circumstances but has really built a great life for himself. Just some more comments - dont know if it will change people's perceptions. He may be very good at dealing with his work life but make incredibly poor choices regarding his emotional attachments to people.
From what you have shared here, he sounds like he likes you but cannot get past the age gap. This can create an unintentional power struggle, especially if you are not as experienced.
I would step back from all of this, especially because of the history of mini breakups. That is just manipulating and drama-Rama. You should be having this discussion together; he shouldn't be telling you what you want out of a relationship. As many, many others have said, it's really not an issue of the age difference; it's an issue of the nature of the relationship.
It doesn't really sound like a healthy relationship to me; he sounds as if he's taken on something of a paternalistic role, which is almost guaranteed to lead to a messed-up dynamic.
Have you ever had a Facebook friend who is slightly nuts and full of drama, and you keep looking at her posts and feeling irritated, and like you want to engage, and tell her to stop being so dramatic and fighty about everything, and it's this tiny thorn in your paw whenever you notice?
And then eventually you just hide her posts, and oh my God, it's like night and day, the annoyance totally evaporates, and you can't believe you put up with it for so long? In my experience, that's what this type of relationship is like. The drama is both annoying and sort of addictive, but as soon as you walk away, you're like - OH. I didn't actually like that very much. I don't know if the age difference is necessarily a problem, but does this relationship really feel fun and supportive to you?
Or do you spend a lot of time with an anxious knot in your gut, wondering if he's going to call, or what he'll say when you see him, if he'll smile when you walk in or frown dramatically and then tell you you definitely have to break up this time, etc? Like many people, I had a few mildly dramatic relationships when I was your age. Why did I put up with that? Why did I engage with those people? I wasn't even having a very good time! They weren't fun, I wasn't learning anything very useful about how adults behave in relationships, and they were so full of mild drama and I felt anxious all the time.
The only thing they had going for them was that the very drama they generated was mildly exciting and made me think "I guess this is what the beginning of a relationship is like! Maybe this is how you know this is going to be an important one!
That's how you know that the relationship will be ridiculous and full of drama. I mean, look, you're young and you're figuring things out. Will it ruin your life if you remain involved with this guy? Probably not use birth control , but on the other hand You are a young, happening lady, and there are definitely other fellows out there who would love to date you without weird flip-flopping drama about everything.
I personally think those guys are the ones you want. Just because dating without a knot of tension in your stomach is more fun! BlahLaLa is 13 years older than I am, and we met when I was We've been together for more than 20 years, so yeah, I don't think the age difference alone is a deal breaker.
But the difference between our relationship and yours is that ours was drama-free and fairly healthy right from the get-go. Drop it and move along. He's not the right guy for you, and the age difference is just a tiny part if why. You have multiple people with much more experience telling you he's sleeping with someone else based on your last paragraph.
Let me bold the parts that stand out: How could someone who talks about that completely flip flop to " I can't see you anymore because if I do I know I won't let you go"?
I wish that when I was 20 someone with more experience had shown me the things to look for. I'm showing you now. Run away from this guy. At best he's a muddled mess and a horrible mismatch for you. It's more likely, though, that he's a liar. I would highly recommend rephrasing this question in your mind as "a 20 year old dating a 34 year old. Too much drama, yet all of it backstage. Find a guy who isn't so squirrelly about his intentions and his life.
It seems pretty fucking far. It is also really not a good sign how much you've focused on what he wants instead of what you want.
From the distance of the internet, that you are at least under the impression that he works 80 hours a week is not actually a good sign, at least from where we sit.
Working 80 hours a week is not something you can really do and date one person, I've done it before and it is really really non-trivial; that is 12 hours a day every day, which minus 8 hours for sleeping and leaves 4 hours total for everything else from shitting to laundry to commuting to eating. It sounds an awful lot like the kind of thing someone who spends a normal amount of time with their girlfriend would say to explain their naturally sporadic amount of time to the girl being groomed on the side.
This guy is taking advantage of the many subtle and non-intuitive things you don't yet know to look for but are freaking the fuck out of the many older women in this thread who have literally been there and are trying to point them out. He is both fully defining the relationship, hell you even phrased your question as if from his perspective, and using that power to craft a really unhealthy one. You don't need to deal with this bullshit. Breaking up and getting back together multiple times is something that teenagers or other 20 year olds do, not mature grown men in their 30s.
I don't think the issue here is this man's age, but rather his maturity or rather, lack thereof. He seems to want to control the level of contact you guys have, the amount and type of physical contact, and the length of your relationship.
OP, is that what you want from a boyfriend? Late night conversations makes this worse, not better. He's keeping you from being intimate with anyone else, any one who is not him. Yet, he doesn't believe in relationships that last more than 5 years? And he doesn't want to be your boyfriend, anyway? Please don't let someone like this have that kind of power over your present or future. Your first statements about him pressuring you for sex were very clear. Also, your statements were very familiar to me, so therefore, much more believable than your backtracking.
Please don't make excuses for this guy. It is NOT your fault that he came on so strong and inappropriately, so don't take on his burden by now downplaying what happened. You're better than that. Please understand that men will be propositioning you in ways that reflect poorly on them not you for many many years to come. No one here is slut-shaming you, so don't you do start doing that to yourself!! Telling you what kind of sex you should engage in?
That he has weighed in with his opinion on what type of sexual intimacies you should try, and in what order, despite the fact that he's rejected you as too young, yet he texts and phone calls you like you are his girlfriend Every second you spend talking to or thinking about this guy puts you further away from appreciating how valuable your time and energy is, and further away from being in the relationship you really want.
I have a weird feeling that this guy is an investment banker, or at least that type. In that culture, a pretty 20 year old virgin is a trophy. I suspect he can't bear to give the trophy up to anyone else, but is aware of how using you would harm you; thus, his conflict. You can do better. Your follow-up response has made it abundantly clear to me that 1 you like and admire the man, and 2 you're going to become increasingly uncomfortable with the responses on this thread.
So, my practical answer for you is No - he's not robbing the cradle. Age gaps are not the critical issue alone. Rather, continue seeing him as long as you are fulfilled and enjoying the relationship with him. When that changes, move on. OP, of the things wrong with this relationship, the age difference is not one of them. I do like him but I also do really appreciate all the advice that everyone has given here.
I believe there is cause to question the relationship I wouldn't have posted if I didn't. In the follow up comment, I was just trying to make sure I was portraying it the right way which might not have been the case when I posted late last night posted by avenue at Ugh this guy is way too immature and gross for a 34 year old guy. He wants to have sex with you and then put in caveats and pretend he has a deep emotional life. He's gross and immature and wants to have sex with you and will say whatever it takes.
What I'm getting is that he doesn't love or care about you. He isn't even respectful but is trying to seem like it. I tend to agree that 20 is quite a different stage of life then a few years later, such as 24, and that in that sense 24 is much "closer" to 34 than 20 is.
It's a different stage of life in terms of maturity and in terms of life experience, and the reason is because there's usually a long process of transitioning, rather than an overnight one, from being a dependent child of parents to being an independent adult who is a mature grown up person, and for many people that transition is still a work in progress when they are 20 but is much more completed when they are I think what this guy is experiencing is a struggle between being attracted to you personality, etc.
And I agree with everyone saying he has a girlfriend. He's regularly having sex with someone who doesn't know he's saying these things to you.
When I was in my early 20's I dated a lot of people in their 30's. I didn't feel that it was inappropriate, or that anyone was "robbing the cradle" or that I was being taken advantage of in any way. In fact, quite the opposite -- in most of those situations I felt like a mooch because I had less money than my partner and in general less ability to be the "giver" rather than the "taker".
I also felt like I was holding those partners back, that they should be off building a life for themselves, not running around with a 22 year old. That said, there were some really big drawbacks to the age difference. For one thing, the power differential of always being the needy one in the relationship and never being able to give generously of myself really bummed me out. I also felt like my partners were experiencing pressures about dating someone so young, while if anything I was getting approval from my friends about my choice of awesome partners who, like, had jobs and were good at sex and stuff.
Also, in every case, we were in very different places in our lives. This meant that the relationships were ultimately doomed. In almost all cases, these people broke up with me to date someone closer to their own age. In most cases, a specific person closer to their own age. It really sucks to hear "I met someone else" or "I'm going to start seeing [Katie] exclusively" rather than the general "this isn't working out" breakup script.
The constant threat of there being someone else who was more appropriate for my partner to be dating and thus who would always win out in the end kind of messed me up for a while. I'm also a little concerned that you are still in college, while presumably your boyfriend is not.
College is really a time to be in the headspace of school, and it's hard to do that if your primary social interactions are with people who are not in school, or worse, people who left school behind 10 years ago. As a 31 year old, I absolutely would never consider dating a traditionally-aged college student. Not because the year age difference is too much, but because of the college kid thing.
How Young is Too Young to Date?
I'd consider dating someone who was 21 or 22 but out of school. I would not consider someone the same age who still had a year or more of college.
I also somehow missed the whole virginity thing in your question. As a virgin, you are basically incompatible with someone in their 30's. You are sexually on different planets. Go date someone who is around your age, who will see the whole "losing my virginity" thing from the same level you do.
Hell, a 20 or even 23 year old guy has a decent shot at being a virgin himself, or at least being sexually inexperienced enough that this won't really be a thing. Someone who is 34 and became sexually active around the typical age range has been having sex for close to half their life now. It's like the difference between community theatre and Broadway. Go find someone your age to experiment with. I also feel like this guy has a girlfriend and doesn't want to "take your virginity" because he doesn't want to be the kind if immoral asshole who cheats on his girlfriend with a 20 year old virgin.
Or he doesn't care about morality and doesn't want the drama that is inevitably going to accompany you having sex for the first time. I think you are asking the wrong questions, frankly -- or at least, of the wrong people. This guy is trying to dump you without actually doing the dirty work.
Further, he's the only person who can really tell you why that is, but he probably won't, because he seems pretty concerned with not being a "bad guy. But what it sounds like is that there are some real incompatibilities here, only some of which have to do with the age gap. Brief breakups that are common are NOT normal, under any circumstances.Dating: 20s Vs. 30s
I'm also with those who think that there's someone else in his life. It also occurred to me to ask you what your family and friends think. If, as I'm going to guess, you haven't told them, or many of them, think about why that is the case.
One hallmark of a worthwhile relationship is that it isn't secret. I understand why alot of people may think he has a girlfriend at least not a serious one but here's just some reasons why I think he doesn't: Of course, you all could be right and he could very well be fucking someone else.
He's telling you what steps you should do what sexual activities in. He's an adult professional dating a college student aspiring to that profession, which is a big power imbalance.
He has all kinds of bullshit rhetoric about how relationships "should" be. He makes decisions about the relationship without your input. You deserve better than this. And he probably is fucking someone and either it's someone who's not that into him and doesn't mind his head games because she's just looking for a fuckbuddy, or he's running his head games on her, too, and called her after he got off the phone with you on Thanksgiving and laid the same script on her.
And why is he doing this? Because he clearly thinks of himself as some kind of romance guru. Because he gets off on having a young, bright, attractive woman be pining after him. Because he honestly likes you. But the last reason is so posted by Sidhedevil at Avenue, I can't say whether he's seeing someone else, but those aren't convincing reasons.
Everybody say hi to my girl avenue! We wish you could be here sweetheart! And 2 is just a promise about the future, and those aren't real things happening now. Again, he may not be seeing anyone else, but these behaviors aren't substantive evidence for that. They can be and have been entirely consistent with seeing someone else, as those of us with relevant life experience can attest.
Every time I dated someone in their thirties when I was in my early twenties, they were seeing other people in addition to me. None of them had serious girlfriends they were trying to hide from me, but in each instance I was not the only person in their life.
We were not dating exclusively. If nothing else, there was a lot of competition between me and other women they were potentially also seeing. It just seems completely bizarre to me that this dude in his mid thirties is carrying on an exclusive and serious relationship with a 20 year old college virgin who he has no interest in sleeping with. Frankly, if that's the case, I would be a lot more worried about his overall fitness as a partner.
If nothing else, he's playing the field and has eggs in different baskets. Maybe he doesn't have a Serious Girlfriend of the sort he'd spend holidays with, but you are not the only woman he is involved with. I'm also wondering if you guys don't have different and incompatible views of the nature of your relationship. Like maybe you see this as an exclusive Boyfriend-Girlfriend relationship leading towards marriage, and he sees this as a casual open thing where, because he's not having sex with you, he is free to see other people.
I don't see him as "the one" I am not leaning towards marriage. HE is the one who makes it seem like that's what he wants. He's hinted at it multiple times.
He has expressed multiple times that we are exclusive bc I asked him if he was seeing someone else. It seems bizarre to me too! I don't want that because at that point I would be looking for a husband. I'm not at this point in my life. Also thanks for everyone's insight on possible other girlfriend.
I don't know if he's trying to backpedal on the relationship, or if he's trying to manipulate you, but the line about what you "should" experience sexually and in what order is not good.
You get to decide what you want to do sexually, and when, and with whom--and if the person you want to do those things with doesn't feel the same, that's totally fine and totally the person's right to express it, but that's different from telling you that your desires and preferences are wrong and instead they should be X.
The level of teaching here's how to do sex , controlling relationships work best if you take my view of relationships , and self-doubt-complaining you're so young, you're going to hate me in 5 years he seems to want to do with you is not worth your time. He doesn't have to be a totally awful person for this to be true. He can be nice and fun and smart and still not be worth having a relationship with because the two of you just don't seem compatible, and he doesn't seem like a good relationship prospect for you.
I am about to share with you the root of all relationship wisdom, If something about someone else's behavior feels weird to you, it probably should, and investigating why will lead you to the wisdom behind why it felt like something weird and not something known. This dude's behavior seemed weird to you, and you've gotten a lot of excellent advice to this question from folks who have followed similar threads of weird feelings before. Really I hope we can convince you to not only carefully and calculatedly DTMFA, because honestly there are a bunch of things Like, if he is trying to push exclusivity on you that is really not ok; you get to decide when you don't want to date other people, not anyone else that seem really weird in really not ok ways, but also to trust your instincts and then think through them.
Women in particular are generally socialized to not trust their instincts, to devalue them, and to consider them irrational. This only serves one purpose, to make women more vulnerable and manipulate-able. You seem to know your answer - you're at different places in your life.
You want to date people in a not-heading-right-to-marriage way, maybe be sexual with people you're really close to, but not marry the first person you are with out of the gate.
Meanwhile, if what you say is true, he wants a longer, exclusive relationship, but he wants you to wait for that until you're 25 and will meet his requirments. It's not going to work. You're going to be a different person in 5 years, and so is he. Who knows whether you'll be looking for a husband. You are capable of change. In fact, you are guaranteed to change in ways you can't predict yet. And because of that, relationships really can't be put on hold until a more convenient time.
And it's unfair of him to ask you to pay attention to him in the interim, while he's also saying that he can't date you, openly and uncomplicatedly, and meet your needs right now. It's not wrong of you to feel like this isn't what you want. You are totally correct in diagnosing a disconnect betwen your desires and life stages and perhaps a fundamental attitude toward relationships - what they're for, and who is an appropriate partner. It's really hard to try to force something like this to happen.
You both want different things right now, and you're likely to want different things in the future, so even if you try to be together, it means one or both of you are going to be uncomfortable and unhappy. Why would you want that? It's not going to work out perfectly, as you might wish in fantasies.
He's telling you loud and clear that it can't work now. Listen to folks who say that the simplest things is: He may have many fine qualities, I'm thinking an abundance of emotional maturity All other factors being equal, would you be putting up with this nonsense he were a 22 year old Starbucks barista? I tend to agree with the others that there are substantial power differentials here in terms of age, experience, success and status.
If he is using these advantages to leverage permission to behave like an ass, then yeah, he's an ass. He sounds yukky, first of all. Everything you've described would turn me off like a switch, all the discussions about the technicalities of exactly what sex he intends to dictate to you, ew. Suddenly flipflopping from hot to cold looks like a convenient seduction technique he can use to keep you on the hook while preventing you from colliding with his other girlfriend or whoever else it is he's working on right now.
I think he is what you'd call a "cradle snatcher" probably because he is less mature than the average 20 year old and he is fetishising your Virginity!!!! Which he doesn't want to Take because he might absentmindedly forget to give it back to you and walk around with it in his pocket and then throw those pants in the washing machine by mistake!!!
Thing is, being 20, there are things best learned by experience that you haven't had time to learn yet, and he knows it, and you know it too. Therefore, you decided that the best thing was to come here and ask people about it, because you're sane and intelligent, while he is still over there monkeying around with immature head games that just make me want to soak his head in a bucket on your behalf. Sorry to be so rude about the guy you have the hots for, but I can't really form a positive opinion based on what you've said about him.
It's no reflection on you or your taste, I understand that your loins may be afire here, and the mixed messages are holding your attention, but that's what it's for. Please, please find someone cooler who has no suspicious power dynamics going on therefore probably closer to your age.
Well, I can see how it's flattering that the guy who can't commit and hasn't slept with you yet is promising to change once you turn But it's also weird and creepy and a huge lie. There are people who like saying stuff that makes them appear to have genuine motives. Also, his family doesn't know who he was calling.
I'm sure they don't know and don't ask specifics. Don't get easily impressed and lulled into trusting this guy. The age difference doesn't really matter here. Whether or not he's fucking someone else doesn't really matter here. That, to a lot of us, he sounds really emotionally immature doesn't matter. What matters, in this and in every relationship, is whether you're happy, fulfilled, and joyful as a result of being with this person.
It doesn't sound like you are. He can be a basically nice guy who you like a lot and are very attracted to and still not be a person you should be with You two don't seem to want the same thing. It doesn't sound like you're a team. Everything about being with him seems suffused with drama, uncertainty, unhappiness, and complication. I promise, love doesn't have to be so hard all the time. Eh, and he's hinting at marriage because he assumes that as a year-old virgin you must be saving yourself for marriage on some level whether you admit it or not, and besides you're a chick, don't all chicks want the white dress parade?
At least that would be my guess. He's probably interacting with a stereotype and baiting the hook based on what he thinks the stereotype wants. In my experience, that's usually what's behind it when people talk about future rewards in ways that don't make sense. Just because he was with his family for some amount of time on Thanksgiving doesn't mean he isn't sleeping with someone else.
I think you're making assumptions about what another relationship of his would necessarily look like. Your hearing his family on the phone in no way precludes him from having a sex life that doesn't involve you. Aside from this, it sounds like you're badly mismatched in almost every way but one: He says he really cares about you. But his actions don't match his words, so even that's a mismatch. So ask yourself what it is you like about this guy so much that you're willing to put up with this.
Because you deserve much better. I'm 20 years old too. I haven't had a serious relationship and I haven't ever dated anyone that much older, but I'm your age and I thought I would offer my two cents. I don't know what's going on through his mind. He seems confused and I don't think he even knows what he wants - let alone, what he wants from you.
For that reason, I don't think it's worth your time. I see friends of mine get their pants in a bunch over relationships all the time and I have no idea why. We're 20, we're young and we have so much better things to do than to stress over relationships that clearly are not going to work out.
The drama and the guessing just isn't worth our time and headache. We're only young once and really, there's probably a thousand things you could do that doesn't involve this guy pulling you around in circles. At this age, we deserve relationships that are fun, light and full of enthusiasm. This guy really does not seem to be it and you will have lots of other opportunities to meet fantastic people that do deserve your time.
I can't say for sure what this guy's deal is, but I can say he's fucking with you. Whether it's because he's a horrible manipulative person or whether he's just incapable of sorting out his own emotions is actually kind of beside the point. The point is or should be that happy, healthy relationships that haven't even gotten off the ground yet don't cause this kind of agita and just aren't worth it in the end. Go find someone who makes you happy and enjoy the hell out of your 20's.
I wish I had. There would be no issue with a large age gap, but I would not date this man. He sounds flaky and emotionally immature. I'm sure he's very intelligent and a dedicated hard worker, but experience has taught me that doesn't always lend itself to how someone acts in a relationship.
Dating a 20 year old in your 30s
In the experience of me and most of my friends, men who work hour work weeks are often very bad in relationships. Also, from the perspective of someone closer to his age, I can not see someone in their mid-thirties having this emotional relationship with a woman that involves nothing physical for almost a year, when they are used to physical relationships, without them seeing someone else on the side - unless there is some sort of health or emotional problem he is hiding from you.
This question and your follow-ups start to make a weird sort of sense if he has erectile difficulties. The ability to acknowledge you have feelings for someone who is not suitable and to walk away from it is really really hard. Many people never learn it.