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Dear Dr. Robert!

I'm 16 years old. About 1 month ago, I met one 30 years old man. He is very good, nice and funny person. We like similar things, we have similar hobbies and interests, we can understand each other. I can talk with him about everything, and we can always find common way. After 2 weeks, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I really like him, so I said yes. But then I was thinking a lot about it. He's 30, he will need a wife and children after 2 years, and he probably needs something more than walking in park, kissing etc. I need something else as well, somebody younger. I really like him, but I don't love him. So after one week of being  'girlfriend and boyfriend', I told him, I don't want to meet him any more. He texted me a lot and he called me every time as well, but I ignored him.

My sister said I made a mistake, because he loves me, I will never find somebody like him, and I would be happy with him. My sister is 24 and she always gives me a good advice, but now she just confused me even more. After 5 days of ignorance, he came to my house and he asked me to come back to him. I felt bad and sad about it, and I felt blameful.  I thought he must love me, if he wants me back after that all. I said yes, again. I know, it was a mistake. I'm not happy with him. I don't love him. But you know, it would seem stupid to come to him after one week and say, 'hey, this is the end', again.

Some people say, I shouldn't care about age. But he could be my father! Do you think, that it's normal, to be together a 16 and 30 yr old? I don't know, how to tell him that I don't want to see him any more. I don't want to make him sad. And I don't want to listen all weeks that I made a mistake and I don't want to read messages, how much he loves me and that he wants me back again. How should I tell him that? I've tried to, but he thought it's because I have found somebody younger or that I got bored of him. How should I finish it definitely without feeling that it's my fault?

---Pretty Green Eyes

ask dr-robert

Hello, Pretty Green Eyes--

At your age, you are just beginning to learn about sex, love, and mating. This is certainly not the right time to consider attaching yourself to a man nearly twice your age whose needs in life, as you wisely pointed out, are so different from yours. Also, although I know you like him, and might disagree, there must be something a bit off about a man of 30 who wants someone as young as you—practically a child—for a girlfriend.

In my opinion, all your instincts are correct. You must tell this guy that you are too young to be with him, and that you would like him to stop texting you or otherwise trying to stay in touch. If you like, you can tell him that he is charming and that is why you were tempted to have him in your life, but that upon greater consideration, you have come to understand that being with him would be a mistake—at least for you, if not both of you. I think you should not explain further, because he would only use such a conversation to try to convince you again.

As for your sister, she may have given you good suggestions about other matters, but this time her advice stinks! Advising a girl of your age to hook up with a man she does not lov, even if age difference were not a consideratio, seems a sad, cynical suggestion which does neither of you--neither you nor your sister--any honor at all. Please tell her that I said so. And tell her that her recommendation borders on advising you to prostitute yourself in exchange for a comfortable, but loveless, life. I wonder what could have happened in your sister's life to make her so disdainful of real attraction and chemistry between a man and woman that she would advise you to begin your adult life without even looking for love.

You have your whole life in front of you. Why should you make such a sad compromise now? And what if, after marrying this guy, you met someone you really did love? Ask your sister what would happen then.

Just tell him it is over. If he is sad, so be it. That is not your fault. Most definitely not your fault. OK? By the way, you sound like a terrific girl. Wait for the real thing is my advice. Meanwhile, get to know people, and enjoy life.

Be well.

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