A reader writes in:

Hey Pat,

Been following you for a while now, am a big fan of your way of insights and way of thinking and since I’m facing an important dilemma right now, I thought to myself “why not” and decided to message you. I don’t know if you also answer these, if the person asking isn’t currently a client, but I’ll take the chance. So, I’m in a LTR with a girl 6 years older than me (she’s 35, I’m 29) and there’s 2 sides of that coin:

First, she’s close to perfect (checks almost all the boxes) and the relationship is by far the best one I’ve ever been in and she is perfect wife/mother material as well (high five on Polish women, btw!).

Second though, the age difference. Long story short (I’m finishing therapy soon, after 2.5 years of deep inner work), I was raised without a mother and have always craved being taken care of, while I’m also relatively attractive and comfortable with women – hence, I’ve usually been with attractive girls, 2+ years older than me (current one is my oldest).

During the course of therapy though, I’ve outgrown a lot of issues, fears and am now feeling more self-confident and masculine. This has somewhat made me crave girls closer to my age, or younger, and also made me feel like I haven’t properly lived yet – like I need to quit my job, start an own business (that’s in progress, sort of), go to Bali to kitesurf or whatever and just game chicks for a year or something.

So the dilemma is: do I keep the great relationship that I’m in (this basically means getting ready to start a family soon, because of my gf’s age), or do I listen to this lustful part of me, that wants to become free and “live fully” as a single guy before I’m ready to really settle down?

Thing is, to me it feels like a 50-50 situation. Both choices will cause a lot of happiness and regret simultaneously. So perhaps, it doesn’t really matter what I choose – perhaps the only difference is in the amount of pain I might be inflicting on the other party.

Curious to know your thoughts.

There are obviously no easy answers to this question — and to be precise with you I’d have to really dive into the details (what makes her “perfect,” what’s the motivation behind “living fully as a single guy,” etc).

But I am going to go off of your own presentation of this situation, and what I’m intuitively sensing here.

And that’s that you should break up.

Here’s why:

Getting married and having kids with someone is not something to undertake lightly. You should not be “50-50” with something like this.

Yes, it’s possible that there is some dissonance making you lean out when it really is what you want… but what I keep hearing over and over from you is “how great she is.”

Look, no doubt she is a great woman. And you might think that this is a sign that you obviously stay with her.

But here’s the problem…

You are using logic to convince yourself to be with her.

And logic only presents itself in decisions like these to rationalize fear.

You are saying you will “regret” not going out there and experiencing the world as your “new self.” But you are afraid of losing a good girl archetype you’ve struggled to attract in the past, and dare-I-say feel some guilt given her age and the fact that she wants kids now.

These emotions are understandable, but fear and guilt are always the wrong reasons to enter into a marriage and have children. It’s a recipe for resentment long-term. And it’s also arrogant, as you are stealing from her the opportunity of being with a guy who genuinely wants her. Trust me, you will find someone that is as good or better than her, so long as you are pursuing the path of growth and expansion.

This is what I’m assuming from the way you’ve described the situation, at any rate. She’s been a wonderful woman, but her goals now do not support the one’s of the “new you” that’s emerged. If you were to give her what she wants now — a marriage and children — you would be turning your back on what your soul really craves.

But what if the fear is in fact around “missing out?” What if you are actually completely happy with her, and want to move towards a family, but you feel like you *should* go out and experience different women and moreover the world. What if *this* — a man happily committed is the “new you,” and all this other stuff you are seeking to explore is a distraction?

Then your answer is the opposite.

Because the way forward is *always* the path that involves a reduction in shame, guilt, and fear.

The trick of course is figuring out which motivations are which… and then getting the bad ones removed.

The good news:

I do all of that and much much more for men.

Healer, coach, mentor…I can transform your life and guide you through next steps on your journey. 

If you want my help, apply to work with me here: www.patstedman.com/application

– Pat