I’m a 20-year-old girl and I’ve been dating a man who is 40 for the past two months. I’m in school studying Political Science and he’s a doctor and things are going really well between us. Recently he proposed, I was really nervous, but I accepted.
We have a date planned for the wedding, but my family does not approve of the relationship nor the idea of us getting married. Not only because of age but also race, he’s white and I’m black. And I’m not sure how to feel or what to think about the whole situation.
Congratulations on the engagement! But something that stood out to me was that you never mentioned loving this man or your feelings towards him. Maybe you were just caught up in explaining the situation, but it does seem a little odd. You only said that things were going really well between you too. And something else that popped out at me was your first sentence. You called yourself a girl and him a man, that does raise some red flags.
In relationships and marriage, the two individuals grow together and evolve together. Your significant other has, hopefully, grown and evolved since being the 20-year-old man that he was. Now, you’re 20 and you may be mature for your age, but I do know for a fact that you are still finding yourself and learning to love all of yourself, even the parts that are hidden. And it’s harder to do that when you’re attached, let alone married. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it does take a lot of effort to focus on the relationship as well as focus on yourself, your self-worth, your individuality, and who you are as a person. And that might be hard for you to juggle as a 20-year-old.
In regard to the time span of the relationship I do believe in knowing when you’ve found the one, and do acknowledge that there are couples that were together for a month that have been married for 50 years and that there are couples that were together for 2 years that were married for 2 minutes, but I just want you to be secure in who you’re marrying and the relationship. Have you talked about what life you both wish to build with each other? How do you all plan to raise your kids? How many kids do you want? Who’s going to do the cooking?
What roll does he see his wife taking in the marriage and relationship? What roll do you see your husband taking in the marriage and the relationship? What does he want out of life? What do you want out of life? What are his fears? What are your fears? What does he dislike about himself? What do you dislike about yourself? And I know that last question may seem weird, but I do believe in knowing EVERYTHING about the person you’ll be spending your life with but also because you love them, so you want to know what makes the tick, why they are the way they are, everything.
But also, is your relationship based on equality? Because he’s older, in certain situations, does he believe that his opinion and what he thinks is best? And when it comes to money, he’s significantly older than you and he’s most likely more financially stable than you, is he controlling with money or do you think he would be controlling when it comes to household expenses and other things? I pose these questions because when there’s inequality in a relationship there’s no respect, and do you really want a relationship where you feel as if you’re the child instead of the partner?
And in regard to your family, it’s okay for them to dislike them. I believe their feelings are coming from a place of trying to protect you, but they do have to understand that your life is your life and that it’s your journey and your decision to decide what to do in your life. And their feelings are their feelings, I know you may want to change them, but sometimes it’s better to accept how they feel and that their truth is there truth and that your truth is your truth. In regard to them not liking the relationship because you’re Black and he’s White is a little off putting, but again we can’t change people or their ideologies. We just always have to choose that which is in our heart of hearts.
So, I hope I’ve given you some food for thought. And I’m not trying to talk you out of anything, but I just want you to have a game plan, have a map for your life and be open to pivoting and changing that game plan if need be. But you have my support. I support you and your path to happiness, but you have to be prepared for the consequences, whether they are good or bad, when it comes to the outcome of this relationship and this experience. Once again, congratulations on the engagement and I wish you well!