Why Can’t Some People Ever Stay Single?

We met under shady circumstances while we were both in other relationships, but immediately felt a mutual attraction, which we acted on. Now we’re both single and we’re falling in love, but I keep wondering if I’m being fair to her. She’s 20 and I’m 32. – Nerve Confession


There are three glaring issues for me:


1. The age difference. Sorry. Dating a 20 year old? Come on.

2. He appears to have cheated on his last GF with the current GF, and she knows it. Ahhh…to be 20 and not be concerned about stuff like that.

3. He’s going from one relationship to another without, it seems, much time alone between.

Do people like this really know how to love someone in a healthy way? Or do they have their own limited and usually self-serving way of loving someone?





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39 Responses to “Why Can’t Some People Ever Stay Single?”

  1. Phoenix Ember Says:

    He appears to have cheated on his last GF with the current GF, and she knows it.

    Am I misreading this, or did she not do the very same thing? The OP says, “we were both in other relationships.” Or is there more background you chose not to post?

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      That’s all that was posted. I’m focusing on him because he wrote the confession.

      • Phoenix Ember Says:

        I’m focusing on him because he wrote the confession.

        Interesting. Reading this again, don’t you think all your comments and questions above would apply to her equally?

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          Like I said…..HE SUBMITTED THE CONFESSION.

          If you’d like to hold a 20 year old girl equally responsible as a 32 YEAR OLD MAN because it gives you an excuse to complain and talk about how fucked up women are, do feel free. Jesus.

          • Phoenix Ember Says:

            No need to put words in my mouth, Moxie. But it seems obvious now the reason for this post is to give you an excuse to complain and talk about how fucked-up men are.

            Carry on.

            • dimplz Says:

              I down-voted you. Moxie is an equal opportunity snarker – no gender is safe. Can we put a moratorium on commenting on the voting – we’re not in student government.

              • Phoenix Ember Says:

                Now you see, this is why I think my comments aren’t actually being read.

                Moxie is an equal-opportunity snarker. And that’s why it stood out to me that in this, the most clearly symmetrical dating situation I recall seeing on the site, she chose to criticize only the man for his allegedly bad behaviour. Do you not agree there’s a slight contradiction there?

                • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                  I’ve already answered your question. The woman in the sceanario is 20 years old. Not an adult. Long time readers know that the focus of the insight is always on the person who submitted the letter. As long as that person in an adult.

                  • Crotch Rocket Says:

                    The woman in the sceanario is 20 years old. Not an adult.
                    She physically became an adult at 12-14, and she legally became an adult at 18. At 20, she most likely lacks experience, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t an adult.

                    This artificial extension of childhood over the last few decades, i.e. the idea that people don’t really grow up until their twenties, thirties or even forties, is dangerous. Acting like a child doesn’t mean you are a child. People need to learn to grow the fuck up. Aging is not a bad thing. I’m glad I’m in my mid 30s; I don’t need to act like (or pretend I look like) I’m ten-plus years younger.

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      Oh please. Let’s drop the overwrought arguments about what legally constitutes being an adult. Everybody knows what Snowflake was saying.

                • Snowflake Says:

                  Oh for the love of god what do you not understand by the fact of a grown adult man dating a bloody teenager? She is TWENTY ONLY!!!!! Please explain to my daft brain how this is supposedly a “symetrical dating situation”? There is NO contradiction. AGAIN for the umteenth time, the GIRL… GIRL… GIRL is TWENTY YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the love of god… she is merely just months of being NINETEEN! A teenager! This is boardering on creepy.

                  • Crotch Rocket Says:

                    grown adult man dating a bloody teenager? She is TWENTY ONLY!
                    I thought this was self-evident, but she stopped being a teenager when she turned twenty because “teens” only applies to those numbers with “teen” in them, eg. nineteen.

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:


                      Depending on the timeline, the girl actually was a teenager when they met and “acted on their attraction.”

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      And just to get the topic back on track:

                      I think getting involved with a girl that young allowed the guy to be his emotionally immature self. The attraction is her lack of experience and expectations.

                    • Crotch Rocket Says:

                      The attraction is her lack of experience and expectations.
                      You’re projecting. The primary attraction on his side is her twenty-year-old body.

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      At first, sure. O f course. But as they say, show me a hot woman and I’ll show you a man tired of having sex with her. 20 or 40….the newness fades. Even with a 20 year old. What attracted him was the 20 year old body. What keeps him around is her low expectations and inexperience.

  2. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    Yes, I know. I just go so easy on women. There’s never any posts cracking on the entitlement and stupidity of women. You poor thing.

    • Phoenix Ember Says:

      Of course there are, just not this morning.

      While you continue to rail against things I haven’t said, I’m wondering why no one else is either leaving comments or downvoting mine. Doesn’t your traffic usually go _up_ on Fridays? Where is everyone?

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Not here. Especially not after a high comment generating post like we had yesterday. Posts written at night get more traffic than ones written in the morning because the feedburner sends alerts about posts from the night before. Hope that clears things up. Oh, wait…you weren’t really inquiring, were you? I see what you did there.

        Nobody is stopping you from writing your thoughts about the girl. If you have something to say, then say it instead of being passive aggressive.

        • Phoenix Ember Says:

          I see what you did there.

          Nope, that wasn’t an attempt to deflect. I just realized we were alone and it felt weird. Besides, we’re not really having an argument, since you’re not really arguing with me. You’re just tossing out sardonic remarks in an effort to ridicule me without actually addressing anything I’m saying. Actually, I think there’s even a name for that.

          If you have something to say, then say it instead of being passive aggressive.

          Yes, that’s it! Thanks for reminding me.

          Anyway, you seem to think I’m here to unleash a tirade on this young woman, but I’m not. Their story strikes me as a bit uncommon but not particularly exceptional. I more interested in finding out how you arrived at your questions since it doesn’t seem to me either party is more “at fault” than the other. (Yes, I disagree with Moxie and feel the young woman actually _is_ in a position to make her own decisions—downvote button is the one on the right, folks.)

          • Crotch Rocket Says:

            I agree she is equally at fault. However, she is not the one asking the question; he is. So, Moxie’s comments are directed at him. That’s how this blog has always worked.

  3. Snowflake Says:

    God dam must everything be just about the woman? Ok fine…. here it is split Equally!

    He is 32, has 12 years of life experience over the woman (term used loosely as she is ONLY TWENTY, I would still consider her late teens) he cheated with. He was in a long term relationship, cheated on his then girlfriend. Ends relationship and jumps into another relationship – with a girl who is not just twelve years younger than he is but she is also barely out of her teen years. You have to agree that once you reach your thirties, using the excuse that you didnt know or it just happened is just plain lazy. God dammit be accountable, you have had the twenties to eff up all way shape and sizes….

    She is TWENTY years old – ENOUGH SAID!!!! No life experience, no dating experience no relationship experience. She has no clue about life and what she needs to learn, has to learn. Of course she thinks this is ok, she does not know any better – does not excuse her but you have to take that into account. She is not fucked up she is INEXPERIENCED!!!!!!!!

    End of the day he should have more sense to realise that YES he is stringing her along yes he is being unfair to her yes he is fucked up!

    • Angeline Says:

      More time on the planet does not equal more experience. It certainly doesn’t confer more wisdom. That comes from some introspection, and yes, some time alone between events. But that requires the will to actually look and analyze one’s actions and learn from them.

  4. Felemelt Says:

    Oh sure, they’re in love. I totally believe that.

    She’ll dump him once she turns 21. I totally believe that, too.

  5. Lisa Says:

    The woman in this story was his excuse to leave an unhappy or unsatisfying relationship. Now he’s having similar feelings about her and looking for a way out.

    Everybody is so concerned with how much relationship experience people have that they never consider the opposite. Someone who can’t be alone or who always is in a relationship is as much a risk as someone who goes several years between relationships.

  6. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “…which we acted on.”

    Interesting. This should be “upon which we acted.” I’m wondering why you didn’t point out this glaring abuse of the English language? Oh, wait, is it because it’s your blog and you can take whatever perspective on anything you want? Nevermind, I answered my own question. I will file my butthurt complaint with the appropriate authorities.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      Contrary to popular belief, it’s perfectly valid to end a sentence with a preposition. And you well know that if we commented on every grammatical mistake (real or imagined) here, there wouldn’t be time or space for any other discussion.

      The purpose of language is to communicate, so as long as you can understand what the writer meant, which is true in all but the most egregious cases, just let it go.

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Jesus. Seriously? Did you not get the joke?

        We don’t need comments about proper grammar.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        I know, but I wanted Moxie’s blog to be about grammar rather then about grown men cheating on their girlfriends and dating teenagers who don’t know better.

  7. nathan Says:

    Wonder what the reactions would be like if he were 20 and she were 32? Some of the outrage here is pretty over the top. They are both adults, end of story. Stop with the she’s a teenager comments; it’s a defensive stretch.

    She may be naive, or simply unconcerned about hurting others. He may be opportunistic, unable to be alone, and/or simply unconcerned about hurting others as well.

    Is it likely they could have a healthy, long term relationship? I doubt it. Does the guy have more responsibility because of his age/experience? Probably.

    In the end, though, it will probably be her that realizes things aren’t going to work. Many of you are playing the youth card here, but I bet it’s she who makes the wise decision to move on .

    • wishing u well Says:

      Of course she will, but it’ll likely be because she’s 20 and has more options, not from any sense of wisdom. Her definition of “in love” still likely involves doodling names and hearts on notepads and such! Some hot, energetic young guy will remind her of how much fun her own age group can be….and how old 32 is to a 20-year-old, lol.

    • Snowflake Says:

      The reactions would be the same if the genders were reveresed. And she is technically not an adult, she has no life experience. You are right it will be her that moves on first not him. The teenager comment is not a defensive stretch its called a reality check. Calling her naive is defensive. She is inexperienced end of story hence her lack of concern over hurting other people.

      • Nathan Says:

        No, she IS technically an adult. Arguing otherwise is absurd. We can question her level of experience and maturity, but saying she isn’t an adult is flat out wrong.

        • Peter Says:

          Emotionally this woman is not an adult.

          When you have a twenty year old daughter you’ll understand why technicalities don’t matter in situations like this.

          • nathan Says:

            Peter, I know 50 and 60 years olds with the emotional maturity of teenagers. Age and emotional maturity aren’t always linked.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          she is technically not an adult, she has no life experience.
          Age is at best an imperfect measure of experience. (And it says nothing about experience or wisdom). You know next to nothing about this particular gal; you’re just assuming things that allow you to continue to believe that your age somehow makes you superior.

          For instance, one female friend of mine graduated from college with two bachelors degrees at sixteen, was making six figures as a senior manager at a major bank at nineteen and was married with a kid on the way (conceived on the honeymoon; I did the math) at twenty. Another female friend was kicked out of her house at 14 yet still managed to graduate HS and college while supporting herself; she also overcame a major drug addiction and divorced a husband whose abuse left her unable to have kids–all by the time she was twenty. (She’s now doing fine.) OTOH, yet another female friend is in her thirties and has never been married, never had kids, still lives with her parents and has never had a job paying more than minimum wage. Who is the adult? Who has more “life experience”? Who is more “mature”?

  8. Gorbachev Says:

    She’s over 18 and is making adult decisions, so she should be required to be adult.

    The age gap is nothing; the issue is that it’s not 42 and 30, but 32 and 20.

    Still, 20 is still adult.

  9. India Says:

    It is unfortunate that this post has been largely hijacked into a discussion about the legal definition of adult hood. There is a not of value in moxie’s original question: why do some people cycle through one unhealthy relationship and dive right into another one. Sadly, this point has been lost.

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