On dating a younger man

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I have learned from these things that the only way -- I now believe -- to build a genuine relationship is to be in the moment and to be fully ourselves, without the constant fear about where it's going to go or if it's going to end.This doesn't mean not to be clear on what you want from a relationship or partner, no way. This is a realization I've been fighting against accepting for years.Because he's only 23, I went into it without any expectations.For the record, a) neither of us had any idea about our big age difference when we first met and liked each other, and b) apparently, I would be considered a puma and not a cougar, thank you very much.

But, ironically, through choosing to get involved with yet another "inappropriate" guy, I came full circle back to my heart.Granted, some endings are more painful than others, but as I've gotten older and been involved in more relationships, I have learned that the ending is for a good reason, and that my life absolutely goes on -- usually with me having learned something about myself and taking with me new memories and experiences.But, most importantly, I realized that I have learned from my life that the rewards of truly connecting with another person -- even if for a limited amount of time -- are always worth it. Don't spend your time worrying about where it's going.I am definitely carrying this with me as I move forward in my dating life.Because the truth is, you can't build an authentic relationship if you're not authentically yourself.

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