The topic of this blog comes from a message I received on Facebook from a woman in her late-20s who is getting to know a guy four years younger. They’ve had a casual conversation about the possibility of a romantic relationship in the future but are friends for now. She writes:
I wonder if my being older might freak him out or make him think that I want to rush into marriage. I have a lot of friends who are older than I am and comment a lot about wanting to be married; and I just don’t want him to think I’m rushing. It’s not that I don’t value marriage, I do. I actually think that if we do end up going out soon — and things work out — those questions will be answered in time anyway.
Most of us would agree it’s not a great idea to put undue pressure on a relationship — particularly in the “getting to know you” phase — by talking incessantly about how you would like to be married. Regardless of any age difference, people generally do not respond to someone who comes across as desperate. At the same time, if you desire marriage and you are getting to know someone, your feelings on the subject are bound to come out. And they should.
As I was getting to know my now-husband, Kevin (who is quite a bit younger than I am), I talked freely about my desires to be married and be a mom. That was (and is) a big part of who I am. To him, this was a plus, since he also desired a family. Nobody wins when you mask your true self. The fact is, the person you are interested in may be put off by your desire to get married, but if that is the case, he or she may not be the marriage-minded individual you are looking for.
That said, there is wisdom in reserving your heart in the early stages of a relationship. For example, the guy who has caught your eye at church does not need to know that your desire would be to get married within the year and start having kids (if that is the case). It’s best to not have a heavy agenda — or “latch on” — at the start of a relationship, as that can stifle the friendship-building phase.
My advice is to set aside the worry that a younger man will automatically be turned off by your marriage-mindedness and, at the same time, commit to let the relationship unfold in God’s timing. In the meantime, pray about the relationship, seek the counsel of trusted friends and just enjoy what God is doing in both of your lives.