'I'm 38 and I'm dating a 19-year-old'

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Silhouette of a couple embracing
My secret is that my boyfriend is nearly 20 years younger than me. My family thinks I've stopped seeing him, but I haven't

Ben joined as a temp in the company where I work and I was his supervisor. We hit it off immediately and then on a boozy night out one thing led to another and we ended up in bed together.

I regretted it immediately because of his age but it was one of the best nights I'd had in years!

We soon started sleeping with each other quite regularly and it became quite serious. We had genuine feelings for each other so I felt it was time I introduced him to my family.

I told my mum before I introduced him to my 16-year-old son and she was horrified.

She told me that I had to end it and that I was disgusting - calling me a paedophile and all sorts which is completely ridiculous because Ben's hardly a child! She said there was no way I should tell my son, but I went against what she said because I felt that he had to know.

I could tell my son wasn't happy when I told him and was very quiet when he met Ben for the first time. He kept quiet for a few weeks until one night he really lost it and started screaming at me, saying he hated me, I was a whore and other horrible things. I was devastated and so hurt by everyone's reaction.

So I decided to tell everyone I've ended it with Ben. I love my son so much and would never want to hurt him but I am also completely in love with Ben. He makes me feel like I've never felt before and I truly believe that he loves me too.

I've still been seeing him secretly since the row with my son, staying late at work just to be together, but I just don't know what to do. The thought of not seeing Ben anymore makes me feel so depressed but I can't upset my family. Please help.

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i think that you should try to talk to your son once again because if he loves you then he would want you to be happy and eventually live with the fact that you are in love with some one around his age. But you cant blame him there basically the same age.. just hear him out...


I have just read one comment and I just want to clarify....... YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just have to make them understand. If you think he is THE ONE then stuff everyone else. If they do not want to see you happy then I guess they don't deserve to have you in their lives. Surely your happiness is more important than some irrelevant age gap and some idiot notion of propriety. You cannot help who you fall in love with, accepting that love is "just one of those things" is the best way to embrace life.


Jackie..All i can say is will your son live at home for ever?? no is the answer!! then you will be left by yourself doing what??? no partner sat alone!!! Erm i don't think partner is 20yrs older than me too!!!! i asure you when he is 30 let's say no one will even comment on the age difference, i have been there!!! YOU GO FOR IT!!!!!!


Its very hard to date when u have kids, But if ur son reacted in the way u say. I would have smaked him right in the mouth, that was most disrespectful. With that said i have a great Aunt who married a man who was 20 years younger, he has loved and provided 4 her ever since, going on 40 years. your just going to have to assert ur self and tell every one that its ur life and u will live it in what ever way makes u happy not them.

helen Sydenham

hi, I can understand how you are feeling because I am dating someone who is fifteen years younger than me. At first I had alot of reservations but the more time passed I realised that age is just a number!! Im not saying its easy and at times it can be difficult but please remember its the person that counts and not his age. As for your son it is understandable that he will be upset because there is only three years age difference, however this could be an advantage as at least they share some common ground, ultimately the decision is between you and your friend, I wish you the best of luck.

Jessica (dermatoly student)

i am reading your story and its quite interesting. I am a 20 year old. i can understand your son and i can understand you as well. you have the right to love whoever you wants but your child might feel a little bit uncomfortable because your boyfreind is his age. It is not my intension to make you feel sad but you have to decide who's the best either your boy freind or your kid. btw whoever called yuo a pedophile is wrong. you're not forcing this boy. you both want this so its not bad but be very careful. goodluck


hiya jackie, i kinda have a situation similar to 19 and my boyfriend is 36, we have been together for the last nearly 2 years and now have a baby on the way and he is the best thing that ever happened to me! when we first got together i was hiding it from my family but they found out a couple of months into the relationship so i had to admit it to them. at first my mother confronted me and she didnt take it to bad atal and is actually happy for me now thank god but my oldest sister put me through hell and did everything in her power to try and destroy what we have, she made up stories saying that my boyfriend beats me up and sent my older brothers down to where he was living to kill him and none of this is true and she had half of my family not talking to me for ages. but now everything is fine, all my family seen her true colours and saw that she just couldnt bear to see me happy-at least my mother saw through her aswell, but i was so angry with her for doing what she did and she is still doing it her own little sneaky way now but we just all ignore her because everyone can see how happy i am! i think you should go for it despite what your family think, i know its hard but trust me they will get over it in time because they will see how happy u are girl. go with your heart, its not a crime your commiting remember that and it will pay off in time.. ive learned that some people just cant bear to see people with happinness or some family members may be ashamed of what outsisders think, dont mind them im sure they have enough problems of their own behind it all. so i hope you make the right decision girl and best of luck with the future x x

ash k

jackie, you have a right to be happy, you carnt help who you fall in love with these things just happen, i understand that you dont want to hurt your familly but dont you need to be happy. your son will grow up and leave home in time and that will leave you home alone, i say if he makes you happy then stick with him, if you dont you will regret it for the rest of you life. tell your familly that you didnt mean to upset them and you hope they will be happy for you.


its great your feeling happy as this young man is making you feel young again too. you say you love him but remember his 19 and sewing his wild oats. i doubt very much it will last he will probably get bored or you wont be able to keep up.i dont mean that nasty. your son has reacted in a very natural way regardless of who you start a relationship with he will possibly feel jelouse,a little threatend,very cautious and protective of you. after all what teenager thinks there parents should be at it at would be unfair of him to deprive you of any happiness as he is growing up and venturing into adulthood himself neither should you allow any 1 to stand in your way of that happiness.however this fella seems alittle bit to young and i think your kidding yourself if you think there is any future in it.i think you should set out to enjoy it while it lasts and keep it to yourself.and try to keep an mature head on your shoulders dont get to atached or you will end up getting hurt as well as hurting those around of luck.


Well what age he is shouldn't matter Jackie age is just a number an love knows no restrictions


I'm 20 my boyfriend is 36, let's call him J. We met last Halloween, through mutual friends. Because of problems with a former girlfriend he ended up living in Illinois with his best friend, who's my best friend's older sister. We moved in around the same tim. I moved in because my best friend and I go to the same college and she's my ride so it's easier to live together and their house is gigantic. Anyroad, Since everyone was really busy with their lives- I found myself alone most of the time aside from college classes, J was between jobs, looking for work was taking him a bit. So we often found ourselves alone together often. It was nice we chatted about literally everything. I was and still am a social butterfly but at the same time very socially awkward. I have never met a boy that I was romantically interested in that didn't bore me, or a boy in general that I could talk to for a long time. But he was different. I thought maybe I had romantic feelings for him as the time passed, but I shook it off after all he must see me as a little girl and I'm incredibly whimsical so it would fade. One time he left for the weekend to his friend's house and I didn't know he was back I was just planning on putting a load of laundry into the washer before one more episode of "Save me Lollypop" then bed. However, when I poured the laundry soap in he spoked me by appearing in the doorway (His room is in the basement mine is on the 2nd floor) and we just ended up talking. It was ten when I went down, but when I checked my phone it was 2:30 am. It had only felt like a half in hour at most. We had several nights like that. (Thank god I can focus at school while still sleepy.) More than a couple times he joked that he would be willing to marry me because I cook, clean, fun to talk to, and would kidnap someone to propose to them to make it interesting. One night we and our group of friends were playing cards against humanity and when the game ended everyone retired to their respective bedrooms, besides Jerry and I. He went to the gas station for a few things, and I stayed to finish the dishes. When he returned he invited me to his room, I had only been in there a few times, it still felt awkward for me- Being in a man's room with no one else. I kind of just wanted to go upstairs and watch "Fushigi Yugi" But I didn't want to be rude. So, we ended up talking, and I complained about my best friend never letting me use her as a human pillow. I didn't have any purpose in mind with that statement. I was just talking to fill the silence. He offered to let me use him as a pillow. We stayed talking before he asked me if he could kiss me. I had one date before this with a random boy who was kind of dull and my only kiss had been with one of my friends because we played the pocky game, and a few other experiences like that. So here I was this awkward, young, virgin with an older man she had a mild crush on asking her to kiss her. He taught me how to make out then it quickly progressed into having sex. At first I was nervous, we were just fooling around and I thought it was his fingers still until I noticed that he had his hand now by my waist. He was working in his penis. But, before he penetrated fully he asked if I was okay with this. I wasn't sure how I felt- I have always wanted to wait for marriage. I grew up reading victorian fantasy books, and I was raised by older people. So I had/ have a few old fashioned views. But I didn't want him to think I was silly, or a tease. So I consented. I haven't regretted that night it's been almost 3 months but we've started dating the next day. A few people have some concerns bout our age gap but most are okay with it. As two consenting adults, I think you two should just say "Fudge what the world thinks" and go for it if it makes you happy. I don't have any kinds, nor do I plan to until I finish my degree. So I can't completely understand how you feel about your son not approving, and as a foster kid I can tell you a few things of what I think about women who put a man first in their lives. But, this is not one of those situations and I think your son needs to understand that as long as he treats you right then its not his concern.So keep going about your relationship :)


I just want to say thank you for putting this up! I am not dating a 19 year old, but we started to chat a lot online cause we met on a online game. What started off very innocent has some how led to something very intense. I'm a 38 yr old woman with two kids (8 &14). I have been torturing myself wondering if I am wrong in having this text relationship (he lives 20 hours away). He makes me smile with every text! We share so many thoughts and love so many of the same things! I doubt it will ever go anywhere, but I am just trying to justify that it's ok for me to continue this relationship, especially if it does end up leading to something. I can't imagine ending it.. he's become such an enjoyable part of my day! Anyways, not to steal your story. I'm just so glad to read these reassuring thoughts on age gaps, and I feel better knowing I"m not alone in falling for someone so much younger than myself. Good luck in all your decisions!! I think your son will come around, but I understand how upsetting that would be for him and you! best of luck!

Stacy Phillips

I have veen with my husband for 7years. We have 3 beautiful daughters and he has two sons. Well I am 15 years younger than him and when we first started dating his and my family were against it. So we told both of our families that we were over 18 and that we liked eachother and maybe even loved, but they had no day do over what we did or wanted!!! Wetold his two sons and they wereok about Iit and knew that I was going to be with their dad for along time. So I say get both families together and tell them its ur lives and ur hearts in this. So no one but u two have a say in your relationship!!

Are lea

He's just a child. Likely, almost the same age as your son. The two of you should not be anywhere near the same place in your lives. This will disturb your son. You have sexual and romantic feelings for a kid, close to his age. Is it worth feeling good about yourself? No. Not unless this is "the one". If you're thinking marriage, or a future, perhaps you should keep it secret until your son is 18. Then, do what makes you happy.


My boyfriend is older than me, but I have never met anyone like him my age. He actually cares for me, not just my body, or the physical side of the relationship. He is considerate, funny, smart and an amazing man. If I had listened to 99% of people telling me that that what we have is wrong and that we shouldn't love each other, then we wouldn't have gotten together. But, neither of us care about people's opinions. They are entitled to them, but if we were unhappy with that age gap, then we wouldn't be together, simple.


i have being married to my wife for 15 years and there is 18 yrs between us so what is the problem my wife is the older one then that is just a number


Hi Jackie. I'm in the same position as your son. I am 19 years old, my mum is 42 and her boyfriend is 20. I feel the same as your son (have also called my mum horrible things through anger and rage), but I felt as if my opinion didn't count, and I didn't want my mum seeing a 20 year old - due to embarrasment (as my family felt the same way as your mum!). In the end, my mum chose to have a relationship in secret with him, however I am 19 and can see the signs (staying late at work etc), and soon your son will also realise. She chose to continue the relationship with the person her child didn't like. We don't really talk now, lost our bond and relationship and she ended up having her bit of fun with a younger bloke and loosing her daughter. I really don't think loosing your child's respect is worth a fling with a guy - no man should be more important than your childs happiness. I am only saying this as I am in the situation and of course its only my opinion, hope you sort things out xXx


well. keep everything like this hidden and passionate... he is young and his mind will change in time... as i think all of us loved someone when we were 20... when he changes his mind i think it will be easier for you to finish this... as you do not need to tell anything to your son and mom...


Think of it like this. You are the one you wake up with everyday, and have to sleep with every night. Do what you can face.

Tracy Jack

Hi Jackie, I know u must be worried about your son and family but at the end of the day you should follow your heart, we cant help who we fall in love with and at the end of the day its just a number. Good luck to you and Ben for the future. xx

Betty Boop :)

Heyyyy :) To be honest don't worry about it. If you think he's the right one, then why not go for it! i don't see the problem with age gaps he's over 18 so he's an adult he can do what he wants. GOOD ON YOU GIRL! :) Love...Betty x x


jackie i think that you should end it completely with ben because he's young and nearly the same age as your son PS: i don't think it will last long, can you honestly say that you can keep on lying to your family, how long will you be able to do it for with out the constant doupt in your head that they know when they really don't and then you may accidentally let it slip, then, only then will they really hate you for lying o them so long


i am with the most amazing man i have ever met in my entire life, he is everything to me. He is 22 years my senior but that stops nothing the sex is the best either of us have ever had, the connection we have is amazing he is my best friend and we have planned a future together. My point is it can work for us, it could definitely work for you as long as you are right for each other which it sounds like you are. Couples with large age gaps are bound to be victim of prejudice and the odd star but at the end of the day its your life and if those that say they love you cannot accept your feelings and decisions you have to tell them that if they feel the way they do about you they would at least be civil with your decision. The best of luck to you and your partner.


GO FOR IT! It probly wont last mega long, and by that time u can find someone to settle down with that will die ruffly around the same time you do! haha.. What ever dont listen to people that think its sick, people have there opinions, if i cared about everyone (including my dad) who thinks being gay is "wrong"... I just wouldnt be me! LOVE AND LET LIVE!!


I read Jason's comment above and giggled a little bit. I am a 19 year old female, and my boyfriend is 38 years old. Relationship wise, everything is awesome between us. Our personalities are similar yet different enough to get along. He loves fun enough to be with me and I am mature enough to support him with whatever he is going through emotionally. Sometimes people who know me like to joke and say that I have an old soul. Monetary support, not quite yet, but we both know one day I will be able to. We've talked about what I'd miss out on if I stayed with him, and the public disgrace i would be to my parents and what not. It's all something we're willing to face together because we love each other that much. At first, I was so nervous about doing anything with him because of his age, but he let me do everything at my own pace. We've been dating for 8 months, and the only time we only think about age is when we think about how I'm going to tell my parents. We are so compatible that age rarely becomes an issue. Sure, there are times when he thinks I'm too young to understand certain things, or experiences that I cannot relate to yet, but, it is a relationship, and it requires communication, and patience. The best advice I am able to give you is that, you're the only one that can judge how well you and your boyfriend connect and determine where your future leads, if you truly believe years down the road that he will love you when you are older, and he'll be in his prime, then go for it.


No offense, and I don't mean to burst your bubble, but Ben doesn't see himself with you in 15 or 20 years. When he's 35, you'll be 55 and he'll be seeking out the girls who are 25. He's enjoying the sex with someone more experienced where real commitment isn't really possible. What's more, if you were honest with yourself, you and Ben wouldn't be together at all if it weren't for the sex. You are in a midlife crisis that typically hits men in this way. I'm sure you've heard this, but women hit their highest sex drives at 34 and men at 19, which is how your paths crossed. Unfortunately, if you fall completely in love, you are going to wake up when he dumps you, leaving you with emptiness in terms of real intimacy, and having severely damaged your son's respect for you from this point forward. What's more, your son will probably look differently on his own relationships with women in the future as a result of all of this. Get out of this fantasy or at least keep it a total secret. Ben will probably be more than happy with the secret arrangement if you talk to him about it. He's more than likely just experimenting anyway, whether he admits it to himself or not at this stage.


Great now, you wait when your old and he's not, and then you'll be saying if only if i fell in love with someone my age then he would'nt have left me, and i my son would still be in contact, the one thing all these people lack is forthsight, save your self the pain when it too late for anything else, find someone your age, not because of what other people think, do it for the right reasons, your future, your children, your pain, your future happyness. At your age you should know that love is blind and it can take you down the wrong ally way and all you'll find is a dead end and its all too late to turn around, turn around now.


I believe that if your happy you should stay with Ben. the happiness you find with him no one will take it from you. never stop from doing what makes you happy for others specially your son he will get to an age when he will want to do things his way and it wont matter to him what you have to say.


I think its fine if your having the time of your life then,its worth it, you only live once.Im dating someone who is 22 years older than me, I love every moment and second of it. the sex is great the connection is great. I couldnt be any happier so you, keep it up and stay happy.


jackie you should just get on with your relationship,as long as your happy ur son will come round to the idea,no body lives your life but you,only you can decide who to share it happy darling and do whats best 4 you,ur son is 16, grown up enough to act mature about this and accept the situation and as for your mother she has no right telling you who to be with,have fun and enjoy life dispite others thoughts and opinions its sounds selfish but no body can go through life un-happy to please others it un-healthy,go for it hun wish you all the best.xx

Khanh Pham

Dear Jack Firstly i would like t apology to you. because I am not good at English. So please sympathize for me. Secondly. This is my own Idea. I know when someone love it is really terrific. But I think You should not have told your son. Because maybe your son would be devastated and maybe he would look you with differrent eye. I have a query. Have your son ever met Ben yet? If not maybe. You would introduce Ben to your son, But don't tell your son this is Ben. just Think up something maybe This is my friend's son. I think maybe Ben wouldnot agree with you.But if He love so much. I think he will be willing to do. During the meeting time Ben and Your son maybe could know together, But Please Don't tell your son, just ask him about something such as ask him if you remarried, what would you like your stepfather is and suggest something that relate to Ben's character. And When You realize that your son like Ben. I think You know what to do. I hope I am not to disturb you and what lol. Yes That is all my word would like to recommend you. Finally maybe this thing would make you unhappy. I think you should be out Be more and more, Because in the future he would become your son's father Regards Jackie


I whole-heartedly agree with most of these responses, but I can't help to wonder about what the responses would be from the same people if the 38 year old here was a male and the 19 year old was a female. I have a feeling that they would not only be a lot less compassionate and supportive, but they quite possibly would be down-right judgmental and nasty attacking the much older males character and maybe even automatically pigeon-hoile him as a pedophile. People, I know I'm assuming but I think it's a safer bet than not that my assumptions here are probably right and true at least for the most part. If that IS the case, we really need to stop with the double-standards. Every individual and their situation is different. Not every relationship that has a significant age gap means there's something sinister or immoral going on, regardless of which sex is the older and which is the younger. Please people, we really need to question more and put a stop to these double standards, as well as our narrow-minded perceptions that has been molded and formed by the media that only talk about 1-2% of the population that are sinister and immoral causing us to be wronglfully overally paraniod.


Hey Jackie, I think it's a great thing that you're with this Guy. Who cares what the age difference is? You only live your life once, so make the most of it. :) Hope the future is great for both of you xx


hey J keep on the secret for a bit longer. give ur son a litte more time to understand that u have ur life to live and enjoy, a Life to feel love and be loved. dont throw it on him to accept forcefully. with time he will see sense in what u feel. go have some fun sister

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