Mum asks if she’s being ‘unreasonable’ for dating much younger man – some call it ‘a mess’

They say that the heart wants what it wants, but are there are some relationship age gaps that verge on the “unreasonable” side? A Mumsnet user took to the forum to discuss her new relationship – plus her adult son’s disapproval.

The mum revealed she had been single for two years since getting divorced and wasn’t actively looking for anyone romantically.

However, she found herself gravitating towards someone at work – who happened to be a good few years younger than her.

She explained: “Due to our age difference (I’m 46, he’s 26) it’s been complicated understanding whether a romantic relationship would work, however it’s gotten to a romantic stage.”

The issue – aside from the large age gap – was her son’s unhappiness regarding the pairing – feeling “furious” with his mother.

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At age 22, her son thinks the idea of his mother dating someone “roughly his age” is “humiliating”.

The Mumsnet user added that her son “begged” her to end the blossoming relationship before it could start to “embarrass” him.

She asked the forum: “Am I being unreasonable? I do understand his concerns but it’s not like I’ve purposefully pursued someone much younger it just happened.”

Mums flocked to the comments section to give their views but opinions were mixed.


While some thought the mother should live her life and pursue the new relationship, others sided with the stressed out son.

One user commented: “My friend stopped sleeping with younger blokes because her daughter said it was embarrassing. Similar age difference, she’s a little older and the lovers a little younger.

“I thought that was pretty harsh though, I suppose her daughter can’t help the way she feels but it seems a bit out of place to police someone else.”

Another added: “I would take the view that who you decide to have a relationship with is actually none of your children’s or anyone else’s business.

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“We can form a connection with all sorts of people and age doesn’t have a bearing on this. I think you should do what feels right for you.”

Another told her to “go for it”, stating that “no one would bat an eye” if it was an older man dating a younger woman.

Others thought she was being totally unreasonable, citing the son’s apparent distress as the reason.

A Mumsnet user advised that a “secret fling” would be fine but too “distressing” for her grown-up son to know his mother is sleeping with someone around this age.

A second called it “inappropriate and embarrassing”, explaining that she also wouldn’t be happy if her 20-something son brought home a woman “old enough to be his mother”.

Others thought that aside from the age difference, the fact that they work together could pose a whole host of problems.

A Mumsnet user offered: “This has got ‘huge f*cking mess’ written all over it. You work together (don’t sh*t where you eat). You’re not even in a relationship yet and already both your kids know about him (poor boundaries). He’s a whole uni student younger than you.

“If you go ahead regardless, there’s an oft-quoted ‘campsite rule’ when dating younger; leave them better than you found them.”

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