This is Life, Based on a True Story  

He said, she said

So that went well. The Dear Abby format I introduced in my last column generated more readers' questions to my inbox.

In the words of my writer mentor, “always write about what people want to read about.”  

I’m going to do that, but I’m also going to get another opinion on these questions – that of a guy. It’s the whole she-said, he-said concept.

With that said, please read on for the answers to a few questions sent to me …

Question: What is considered an appropriate age span between men and women? Why is it OK, or even applauded, for a man to be much older than a woman, but if the situation is reversed, it’s weird and the woman is called a “cougar.” So unfair.

Old-ish but still legit

She said:

Dear Old-ish,

It is unfair. A double-standard to be sure. To answer your question, there is no appropriate age span – unless you're feeling like you should stick to the old formula of half your age plus seven.

Ultimately, if you’re happy and your partner’s happy, then who cares? I don’t know why society deems it OK to label an older woman dating a younger man in a negative connotation. Yet a guy is labelled a stud if he can pick up a much younger woman.

What it comes down to is if the two of you have common interests and goals in life, then it can be a fantastic match.

Here’s another thought … it’s well-known that men typically die sooner than women, so it makes sense for an older woman and younger man to pair up, as their life span together would be about equal, if they actually make it till death do they part.

Don’t worry about the naysayers. People’s negativity in instances like this is often just due to ignorance and even jealousy. Go with your own flow – not society’s.

He said:

Hi Old-ish and Legit,

If you guys love each other and can stand each other even when one of you is being unreasonable (probably him), then I say just do it. Especially if one of you likes to cook and the other likes to eat. If you ask me, that’s match made in heaven kinda stuff.

Question: My boyfriend and I have been together for 16 months. We’ve exchanged I love you’s and have meshed our two lives together in every possible way – except for moving in together. He says he’s not ready and we should just take it slowly. How much slower can we take it? I know couples who moved in together after three months. Help!

Tired of Sleepovers

She said:

Dear Tired,

That’s a tough spot to be in – I know this personally. Have you guys had that heartfelt talk where you try to figure out what’s blocking him from wanting to make the move?

If he’s anything like me, he’s likely worried that moving in together will cost him his independence. It’s tough to go from all your own stuff in your own place, to all your own stuff and someone else’s stuff – some of which you don’t like – sharing space. Plus, you’re also seeing little quirks and habits you never knew existed in your partner.

Moving in together is more than just sharing dishes and deciding whose couch goes upstairs. It’s sharing bank accounts and bills and personal space. It’s knowing that if he has friends over, they’re in your space too and vice versa.

It really boils down to respect and an understanding that you’ll each need some time alone once in a while. In the beginning, it’s a lot like playing house. You’ll have fun grocery shopping and divvying up the housework, but that stage will end, and you’ll move into the “real life” stage.

Real life stage can be tricky for many couples who’ve established their own independence. In my opinion, your boyfriend knows himself well enough to know that right now this isn’t right for him. But it doesn’t mean it won’t be one day.

Maybe set a timeline for yourself, and re-visit the idea at certain points. You’ll both know whether its something you should continue to pursue or not. Good luck.

He said:

Hey, Tired of Sleepovers,

What’s the rush? Are you guys wanting to start a family or are you past that? If you love each other and being around each other, then just roll with it for a bit. At least he’s being honest about not being ready. Not all dudes are like that … neither are all ladies.

Check back in a few more months, but in the meantime, don’t bring it up again. Sometimes, us guys can be stubborn and just say no because it’s not our idea. We can’t help it.

Feel free to email with your questions. Thanks for reading.


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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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