small age gap--unsure whether to pursue--and dating mentality issues...

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male

A year and a half ago, an ex of mine broke off a long 3-and-a-half-year relationship which ended in misery. Ever since then, I've tended to be overly analytical about relationships. I constantly desire them, but once I'm on a date with someone, I immediately notice a flaw or two and my head immediately says "eh, she's got that flaw--you could probably date her, but it wouldn't last because of your differences and you'd end up throwing away three years of your life you could've spent with your future wife." I.e., I'm not satisfied unless someone fits a certain profile and I'm madly in love like I was when I first met my ex.

My problem now is that there is a young woman who is showing affection towards me and to whom I find very pleasant to talk to. However, she's 19 and just off to college (but still living at home) and I'm 22 going 23 and graduated last year from college. So there are two voices in my head: one says, "she likes you, you get warm talking to her--go ahead and give it a try" and the other says "she's really young and going through changes...if you start dating her the relationship will eventually just end up like the last one. There's no way she's mature enough to stay put in the long run. she'll either get bored and want out, or YOU will, and then you'll have to break her heart. you should be dating women your own age or older, women you might consider marrying at some point." (as you can see, voice #2 is the more detailed of the two)

Is that voice of doubt (voice #2, that is) the voice of reason, or is it just me being afraid (in an unhealthy way)? Should I pursue her, or should I wait for the next one? And what, if anything, can I do about this scarred dating mentality I'm in? Advice
You shouldn't let something that happened 1 1/2 years ago sour you on love.

If this thinking persists, you really need to see a professional counsellor. After all, a lifetime of loneliness is a high price to pay over a relationship gone bad. A counsellor can help you make your way through this minefield of heartbreak.

If, however, you can reach out to a new woman and make an effort to become close to her you may find yourself sailing free. My advice is to keep trying and put the other woman behind you. It is difficult to do but well worth it.

Listen to the voice of companionship and one day you will have it.

Good luck! George

-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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