Make it make SENSE!

Make it make SENSE!

 

Friends, we need to make it make sense! And this, it just does not.

In this chat we are talking about something that is becoming normalized in our culture that frankly shouldn’t be.

When we normalize everything, we leave no room for standing in the truth of what makes sense for most people.

Between giving others grace, knowing we don’t know the whole story, and staying out of others’ business, it can be hard to say, “Well THAT, I wouldn’t recommend to my own kids.”

Friend, we need to chat and I want to hear YOUR thoughts. Let’s extend each other grace but also talk for real real!

Nicole:

Hey, y’all, I want to jump right in. And first things first, I do want to issue a headphone warning. Now, this isn’t for language, but just because this conversation ain’t for the littles. So, mama, if you are listening in your car, if you are doing this over dinner, this is one to just pop in those headphones.

Now, I am talking today about relationships and issues. age gaps. Now I have looked online and one of the number one things Googled about me is how old the difference is between me and my guy, Alex. And I have to tell you, we do have an age gap. Um, I’m five years older than he is. So, uh, It’s not much of an age gap.

We are in the same decade, same area. It’s kind of inconsequential in a lot of different ways, but it is an age gap. And, you know, sometimes we do feel it, you know, with me approaching 40 and moving into a certain phase of my life, especially as we talk about starting a family, you know, a woman in her forties, starting a family is very different from a guy in his early thirties.

He’s ready to pop them babies out and we’ll have no trouble doing it. And a lot of us are looking to sunset that chapter of our life, or it’s more difficult. So there are. differences when you are even just five years apart. Now, I want to talk about a larger age gap. If you have been paying attention on social media, you know that there is a hot article that’s going around from the cut.

And it’s all about women saying that they are huge fans, huge fans of dating older men because of all the ready made life perks that come along with it. So what are those ready made life perks? They are, you know, an income that is stable, a home that’s established. And if they’re not looking to have children, maybe even getting to play super auntie to some extra babies.

But no matter what they say, that it is a thing to go for. If you are in your twenties, just stop playing around. Look for that man in his forties pluses and enjoy that life. And if you have been paying attention to social media a couple months ago, you’ve heard that there are various celebrities who have been, uh, uh, very vocal about being pregnant in their forties and in their late thirties by boys athletes that are as young as 21.

And, uh, several of these women actually have sons that are the same age as the men that they are having children with. You are hearing me correctly. They are having babies by young boys that are as young as 21, 20 years age difference. Now, before I even get into it, I already know that some of you are hearing this because you are saying to yourself, well, that’s their right.

That’s their freedom. Don’t judge, extend grace, all of that. Y’all, you know how I am. I absolutely hold space for lifestyles. I absolutely hold space for people to, make the choices that they make and absorb everything that comes along with it. Also, I know some of you may be in larger age gap relationships of your own that work for you, that are a dream with, you know, a beautiful relationship.

So I just want to be clear, this is not a judgment or indictment on that choice. However, I do want to call out that we cannot be in this place where we are issuing think pieces and articles and Twitter threads going back and forth about how this is a perfectly traditional relationship that people need to be open to as if it is totally normal and there are no psychological consequences, that there are no differences or changes because of it.

Y’all, At what point did we start saying to ourselves that the things are normal and they can’t be both? It can be both. Absolutely and wildly inappropriate for a 40 year old woman to be in a relationship with a 21 year old child. And I do use the word child, Seriously, and I’ll go into why, although some of y’all mamas right now are like exactly right and also be in love and making a choice and you know, they’re feeling something special because we are not in their relationship, but here are the reasons why I know right out of the gate that this ain’t it and we need to start calling it out.

First things first, if that was your baby, you would be at their front door banging down that door saying what are you doing with my child? You Anyone who is a mother to a 20 plus year old child between the ages of say 20 and 25 knows that they are children. I have a 21 year old and I have a 24 year old.

I can tell you right now that neither of them has the capability of being in a relationship with someone in their 40s. Now it’s, that is not a knock to my children at all. They are resilient, they are capable, they are brilliant, they are smart girls that are living wonderful lives and rounding out into very well developed and impactful women.

And they’ve overcome a lot. So they have definitely embraced more than their fair share of a difficult life. But I will tell you that there are certain things that come with age that cannot be denied. And frankly, There’s no way that they will even understand until they get there. And on a simple level, scientifically, we already know that there are parts of your brain that are not developed until the age of 25, and for some, a little later.

And that area is called your prefrontal cortex. It is the part of your brain that is responsible for decision making and long term thinking. So even if you want to say, well, they’re grown and like in, in one of these circumstances, the 21 year old is a professional athlete with a massive multi million, like we’re talking 30 million plus contract, you know, has been essentially living in the world as an adult for some time, and he’s definitely over 18, which we know is a made up number that indicates you’re an adult, but hardly indicates, you know, actual maturity.

But he’s been living in the world, you know, and making adult decisions on his own for a while, but make no mistake, he still has four years before he can truly develop and understand the full consequence of his choices and decisions. And he is laid up with a 39 year old woman and making a baby when that 39 year old woman is fully aware of her decisions.

As a matter of fact, her brain has been fully developed for as long as he has been breathing. So, since we know that, it just, we cannot deny that there is a power dynamic. There is an awareness there that is undeniable and a little bit wrong. You know, it’s a little bit wrong because there’s no way that he’s coming into it with the same full understanding of the choices that they’re making together as a couple.

It just isn’t even possible because scientifically he doesn’t have that ability. Now, I’m not saying that there’s not a one off where he may be more developed than the typical child, but, uh, you know, it’s a stretch, right? It is a stretch. And furthermore, I remember the days when we used to look at the men out there who would be married to women who would help them through their career, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Get into their sixties and trade them in for a 30 year old. Right. And we would be like, how could you do that? And what do you want with a 30 year old? And we would always say, you know, women elbow, you know, to the, to the ribs, we’d be like, Hey, you know, you only want one thing with that 30 year old. So why aren’t we holding women to the same standard?

I know that when I have a son, if a woman comes in and she is 47 years old and she wants to date my 30 year old son, who has crossed the line of developmental, you know, brain thinking, so he can be more responsible for his decisions, as her peer, because catch this, I’m her peer. I’m going to say, what do you want with my baby?

What do you want with my baby? And mamas, I know right now y’all are in the same, listen, we have been in this for a while. I know you feel the same way. I know you are nodding your head saying to yourself, honestly though, that might be good for them, but you’re not bringing that in my house, you know? So, catch this.

This hits a little close to home because I have been dealing with this. Now, my 24 year old is just now getting into the world, right? She’s been dealing with her recovery process. She, recently just got her first car, her first apartment. She’s really starting to flap her wings and get out into the world.

I am so, so proud of her. She’s been sober for a year now, actually over a year, technically, because, uh, she had her surgery. Sober birthday, uh, two weeks ago. So we’re so, so proud of big, tiny, but she’s also dating and dating differently. So, you know, during the years that she was struggling with her sobriety, she was making different dating choices.

Ones that I don’t think were reflective of what she necessarily deserve, but they were definitely reflective of where she was at the time. And of course, you know, she learned a lot about that dating. Now, what is interesting is now that she’s 24, she isn’t. is seeking out different types of relationships, but she is exploring and expanding.

And, uh, I have to tell y’all, she called me up and told me she is dating someone new. and the only reason I’m sharing about this is one, uh, you know, the relationship is not happening anymore, you know, so this is a chapter of her life that has closed, you know, but also because, it really relates to this and I’ll be the first one to call myself out about, you know, how I felt about it, how I handled it, you know, before I talk about somebody else’s stuff.

So she told me she was dating someone new and she was really excited about him and they’ve been seeing each other for a couple months and, uh, you know, it started off. kind of casual, right? So, you know, y’all, I don’t need to go into detail. We’re all adults here, you know, but start off kind of casual.

They’re seeing each other maybe once a week, and he’s always coming to see her. And, you know, they get a meal, spend some time together, and then move on with their lives. And that was kind of the first thing. first couple months of dating. And then once they started kind of approaching six months, then maybe they’re seeing each other on a weekend here and there, which anyone who’s ever dated knows if they’re giving you their Friday and Saturday, that is prime time, right?

If you don’t move into prime time pretty quick, you know that they probably have something else going on, right? Or they’re trading in your time for something that they think is more valuable. So, you know, she started getting in a couple of prime time days and, but still the relationship is very much one where she hasn’t met his friends, hasn’t really met his family.

Family hasn’t really been part of his world. Uh, they’ve just kind of had their bubble together. So all of these things alone had my mama Dar, my mama radar, like, I don’t know about him. Right. I don’t know about him. I don’t think he’s taking my daughter. Seriously enough, you know, and I recognize, and all of you know this already, when it comes to my babies, I’m extra.

Don’t care. Call me a helicopter mom. Say that I do too much. Say that I’m overprotective. Say that I am the extraest of all the moms and I need to let them babies go because kids need breathing room to live. That’s fine. Call me that. Don’t care. It’s who I am. My babies are going to be fine and tucked up under me.

You do you for your kids. That’s how I am about my kids. I do not play about mine. Don’t care. So all that being said, this guy was not good enough for her already, didn’t even need to know anything extra. But then, when I said give me his background and stats, because of course as a mom I need to know his first and last, his job, like everything about him, like I want to know about him.

When she gave me his stats and she stopped at saying that he was 33, I said, wait. I said, uh uh, not you telling me that you want me to sit at a holiday meal with a man who is the same age as mine. No, listen, no. I recognize that because I adopted you, it puts us in this weird window where we can share clothes, share music, and, and date roughly in the same range, but you are stretching your range, sis, when I did not stretch my range down.

Okay, I’m dating within the right range. You are stretching up. I am not okay with that. I’m really deeply not okay with that. Now, I will say for the record, because I do balance out my parenting, right, like all my feelings inside of No, you not. Don’t necessarily come out, right? Not in the interaction with my children.

So this, these were inside thoughts, but I definitely looked at her and said, can you tell me more about that? And if you’ve read my book, you know, that is my go to phrase. Tell me more about that. That’s what I say that coupled with Botox, right? Botox makes my face not express and tell me more about that allows my kids to have room to talk so that while I diffuse the rage within.

So she says to me that he is 33. And I’m like, not almost 10 years older than you. It just made everything click. Now, all the mamas here know right now. He’s not introducing you to his friends. He’s busy. He’s only seeing you once a week on a very casual tip for about six months. And you are in a very new transition y type of phase of life, you know.

There are also some really big cultural and religious differences. Um, he comes from a very strong culture, um, that has a very strong religious background that is very different from her personal belief system. And, um, and their religious background also dictates a very strong family unit. So to be in a relationship with someone, basically I’m saying his mama did not know about her.

Y’all know what that means. All I could say for my older 40 year old brain that could process decision making that my 24 year old could not see was this. Man is not serious about you. Furthermore, and into also including, there’s no way during Thanksgiving that our men are going to be sitting there playing Call of Duty cackling together.

Okay, while me and you are in the kitchen getting food ready. This is not a relationship. I am fitting to have. Okay, I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like this is regular, right? I have an issue with it. These are all my inside thoughts. My thoughts expressed to my daughter were as simple as, so what do you think about all this?

And she’s like, yeah, you know, I definitely want something more. And, you know, I definitely feel like, you know, maybe he’s not giving me as much time. And maybe, you know, we could do this. Meanwhile, I’m saying to him, I said, he’s not giving you time because he’s not taking you seriously. So, um, In any case, you know, long story short, called it like I saw it, relationship fizzled out, he’s not, you know, expanding because he’s not trying to be with a 24 year old outside of Pleasant Company, you know, and she learned from it.

She was like, yeah, you know, it’s not that. That was so much older, but I probably need someone who is more aligned with the season of life I’m in, someone I can grow with and someone who can understand where I am and see me completely, you know, rather than someone who, you know, maybe in other chapters, you know, and one of the things that simply goes along with that is if this man in the next year or two is ready to start a family and you are not, you know, you are 25 and not even thinking about that.

That would be an example of something that would be different. If you’re saying, I want to start a family in five, six years. And he’s like, I don’t want to start a family at 40. Well, sis, here’s the issue. You know what I mean? So we had conversations that followed up on why this relationship may not have worked out and different things she can learn from it and different things to look for in the future.

But I say all of this to say that she didn’t even see it coming at 24. What do you think a 21 year old is going to know about being with a 39 year old? And now, Mamas, if you did not take my headphone warning seriously before, let’s put it back on and talk for real. I am a woman who’s come through divorce, right, and I was last on the phone.

in a serious relationship at 22. I got married at 22. to someone who was only my, my ex at the time was six years older than me. So, you know, we were still in the same range, but I was, I consider myself very young. I actually don’t think that 21, 22 year olds should even be getting married, but y’all can yell at me about that a different day, you know, but I just, I just don’t feel like they have, you’ve changed so much.

21 is so different from 25, 25 is so different from 30, 30 is so different from 35. And if you’re telling me that you can think of yourself and be like, Oh no, I was the same person. I was fully developed. I was fully formed. I didn’t learn anything different in those timeframes, then you probably want to sit down with the therapist because growth is important and you should be changing each of those years.

But all that being said, I remember being 22 and the experience I’ve had, the, the Life experiences in addition to my physical experiences, understanding my body, understanding what I like, understanding how to assert myself, understanding how to communicate my needs. These are all things that honestly, no lie y’all, did not become fully developed and fully formed until I hit my 30s, right?

So eight years of being whole, married, and not even understanding. How to communicate some things about my body. Now, I know that that’s different for different women, but realistically, you, you, it takes time. They say that women enter their sexual prime in their late 30s. And I can tell you, as someone who became divorced in their late 30s, I understand things now and I can also ask for them and guide them in ways that are very different than when I was 22.

And if some of y’all are saying to yourselves, you don’t relate, then again, slide into my DM says we need to have a different conversation, but I can tell you now that at 39, there is nothing, nothing I want from a 21 year old. There is nothing a 21 year old can provide or do for me with a level of understanding that is required for my 39 year old self.

And I know several of you right now is on your treadmills nodding your head like listen, right? So knowing this. Right. Knowing this, it begs the question, what are we doing having think pieces and conversations and arguments in the DMs about how this is regular people can live their lives or even stuff like, well, sis secured the bag, right?

Like just because that younger person is richer, you know, and has significant money. Um, If you’re telling me that she secured the bag, then you’re telling me that you are fully aware and co signing and encouraging the financial predatory status of an older adult on a younger child.

That’s wrong when they’re your parents. Like, are you kidding me right now? What has happened to us? Make it make sense, right? Make it make sense. I understand that we can absolutely respect and observe the boundaries of others to make choices in their own lives, but I also need us to not forget our morality.

I think it’s so interesting because we hear about all these stories on the internet and we always say to ourselves, like, where is it all coming from? Right? Where is it all coming from? Like, is this something that’s new? It’s not new. You know, there’s a million stories that I remember growing up of, you know, People, like if you guys have ever seen The Graduate, right, like this huge disparity but remember that the context within which we used to look at these relationships was one where they stood out or we acknowledged that it was maybe a little inappropriate or that it was the one off and frankly a lot of parents would put their foot down and say it’s not okay and maybe that’s because our parenting has changed, maybe the parenting of the boomers which, listen, I acknowledge there’s a lot of things they didn’t do right, right, God bless us.

therapy that they may have been afraid of, but that we are embracing as millennials. But millennials now are the parents. We are the parents. We are responsible for the fact that these young Gen Z’s and the young alphas are coming out different, right? And we also bear the responsibility of not being too free.

Like, we’ve been raised as free range children. Live your life. Express. Go do what you want. And there’s some beauty that comes with that. But, even though our parents may have failed to be insistent on certain elements of morality, it doesn’t release us. from the expectation and responsibility of exercising that morality.

We know right from wrong. We know right from wrong. And I think that that is where I get shocked and confused. We’re watching these people make these choices. And in the past, it used to be that the, the choice itself was the conversation. Cause it was like, you can’t be serious right now. There’s no possible way that.

These people are in this huge relationship of massive disparity. I mean, literally it became TV shows. You guys remember Anna Nicole Smith, you know, dating the 80 year old, you know, like it became a thing where it would dominate headlines and the focus of the headline was how outrageous is this and how outraged are we collectively as a society that this is a choice.

Because there’s got to be something here that is not appropriate and we’re, and we know that intellectually there is an advantage that is given to the older party here. Like we all said the same thing, even if we let them do they thing, right? We all knew. And how many times have we seen In the years after when a lot of these relationships sunset, when a lot of these people break up that you hear these stories of playboy playmates, influencers, young girls in the music industry coming out and saying, I was taken advantage of within like five to 10 years.

Right. They’re saying there’s an impact, right, to what has happened to me because I was too young and I didn’t know. But once their brains developed and clicked in, they knew. And we all were like, we saw it happening. We called it out. You wanted to do what you wanted to do. We even made a spectacle and entertainment of it in social or on TV and reality TV.

But now we acknowledge this was inappropriate. I can literally rack my brain and think of so many scenarios where this has happened. And it is clearly. the outcome, right? We’ve gotten to see the full range of relationship. So knowing this, right, knowing this, at what point did we start saying in the new form of journalism, right?

The, the comment section of social media, the, the, uh, social media gossip threads that we see on Instagram and on TikTok, that people are making arguments that are being legitimized, that this is okay. It is, you know, just a different form of a relationship and that there is no, disparity, right? There’s no difference in them because maybe, you know, she looks really good for her age because I will also say to, to the credit of a lot of these older women who are dating these younger boys, they look really the heck good.

Okay. Like real talk. These women are giving 25. Like, 30 isn’t 30 ing like it used to 30. 40 is 40 ing like 25, okay? Like, call it modern medicine, call it juicing, you know, better sleep, self care, soft life, whatever it is, these women are giving young, and I can understand why these boys intellectually can’t separate the fact that what they’re seeing physically in front of them is not matching up.

up with what we know to be the case as a 40 year old woman. But again, the responsibility lies with us. If you are a 40 year old woman who’s able to raise a 21 year old son and teach him certain things, you better believe that you know exactly what’s going on in that 21 year olds mind, and sadly are in a position to manipulate it.

Even if you are saying you are not doing that. And can you understand what I mean by that? Even if the person is not aware that they’re being manipulative, even if that person doesn’t have the intent to be manipulative, it doesn’t change the fact that they have the power dynamic where in any case, financially, in an argument, in making decisions, they are able to have the upper hand because their brain can do things that the younger one cannot.

And that is why it’s a problem. And the biggest issue is that we are starting to co sign that problem and act like it’s not a big deal in our social media conversations. I don’t want to see a think piece in the New York Times or in The Cut or on Shade Room about how, is it right if? Is this okay if?

Stop that. It’s not okay. It’s not okay. Is it their right and their freedom to be able to make that choice? Absolutely. Is it our business whether or not they decide to make that choice? No, it is not. Is it their boundary to be able to have that relationship and, and live and absorb the consequences and the positive things also that come with that relationship?

Sure. But is it a normal, healthy, balanced, and fair relationship that should be encouraged and embraced and, and seen as something that is, uh, that is constantly fair and appropriate for all kids who are 21 as an option? Absolutely not. Immediately no. It is, it is absolutely wildly insane for us to sit around and pretend in the comments, Like, get it girl, secure that bag.

Miss me with that.

So as you see these articles start coming out, as you start seeing these conversations happening on the internet, as you see these social media celebrities running around with these, you know, Wildly younger kids. And when I say younger, I mean like more than 10 years. 10 years can be a stretch depending on the season of life you’re in.

But when you’re 50 dating a 40 year old, that is way different than when you are 30 dating an 18 year old. And we all know it. As you see these things, please do not be afraid to stand in your truth and in the truth of, this doesn’t make sense. They can still do what they want to do, and we can still acknowledge that there may be room for them to be a one off situation, but we don’t have to sit around and act like there isn’t something predatory, inappropriate, and, and, psychologically irresponsible of, of older women or older men dating kids who are, have not reached their intellectual prime.

And I’m okay saying it because I want to live in a world where I know my girls are safe and surrounded by people who are going to try to date people that can be their mental, financial, intellectual, and spiritual peers. And I hope that for your kids as well. So all that being said. Let’s stand together in our morality sisters, okay, and not lose ourselves in this internet space.

We’re going to make it make sense.

 
In this episode, we chat about:
  • The think pieces and conversations around dating with an age gap,
  • How this hit TOO close to home for me,
  • The number one thing that is googled about my relationship,
  • How we can honor boundaries and give grace to others but ALSO hold each other accountable to our morality, and
  • What we need to call out for the next generation

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
  • Let’s connect over on Instagram and Facebook!
  • Grab my New York Times Bestselling memoir, Nothing is Missing, HERE!
  • Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
  • Is it possible to be wildly profitable AND have inner peace? Listen here or watch here
  • I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!

More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:

If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.

As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.

When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.

Follow Nicole on IG @NicoleWalters and visit inheritlearningcompany.com today and click the button to join our betterment community. Your membership gives you access to a world of people and tools focused on helping you build the life you want.