The Hook Up: 1-5-2011

I’m a 20-year-old currently living with my girlfriend of six months. I guess you could definitely say we caught the “Uhaul fever,” since after three months, we started living together.

I love my girlfriend very much, more than anyone I have ever been with, but she is also six years older than me with a seven-year-old, and is still technically married to her ex-wife. They have been separated for about three years and have dated others in that time.

The real issue comes with the fact that she constantly breaks up with me and then comes back, and is always calling me too immature. I told her I was in love with her, but she hasn’t said the same, just that she loves and cares about me, but that she was only ever in love with her ex-wife. She treats me really well and takes care of me, but sometimes when she doesn’t get her way, she has a fit then tries to “teach me a lesson” like I’m her kid by threatening to leave me or cheat.

But now there’s this other girl, who has piqued my curiosity, and is younger than me by almost three years and has wants to be with me, but I’ve always dated older women, and I have too many concerns about how it would be if we started something. I don’t want her to want the same things as me just because she has this little crush on me and would go along with it just to make me happy. What do I do? — Anonymous

Anna says: Well, let’s just get this out of the way right now: You’re 20 years old, far too young to be using absolutes like “I always date older women” and “more in love than anyone I’ve ever been with.” I know at that age all love feels like this grand and dramatic event that could never be sweeter or more sublime, but trust me, you have so many more people to meet and date and break up with. Don’t stymie yourself so soon by declaring that you only do this or are only interested in this kind of person. OK? There. Lecture over.

Now, let me ask you this: This person that you are more in love with than any previous girl, who calls you immature, threatens to leave and cheat on you, refuses to divorce her wife whom she’s been separated from for three years now and breaks up with you constantly? Tell me how any of that remotely resembles love. If you and I were sitting down right now, and I said, “Anonymous, (which is my preferred term of endearment for all my friends) tell me about your idea of a fantastic relationship.” Would you choose any of those characteristics to describe it, or even a moderately okay relationship? No, you would not. And you know that, which is why I encourage you to ask yourself why you are bothering to put up with all that crap now, only six months into your relationship. She can’t even say she loves you, which requires the barest minimum of commitment, way less than moving in with you, yet, there you are.

Aside from cheaper rent, this relationship is not meeting your needs, and it’s stifling your chances of finding a new, potential awesome person who won’t call you names or string you along. I’m not saying this other girl who has piqued your interest is that person, but maybe she is. You didn’t really go into what your concerns are with her, but whatever you decide, you shouldn’t automatically discount her as a potential girlfriend because she’s three years younger. For now though, focus on getting the hell out of your current situation. You can worry about other crushes when Uhaul yourself out of this abusive relationship.