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I Am Obsessed with Older Men and It Has Become Bothersome

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I almost never received any love from my father and I spent very little time with my grandfather and I think my attraction to older men has a lot to do with this. I’ve just never had an older man as a role model growing up or any man at all until I was about 15 and by that time, I had already crushed on multiple older guys.

This attraction is quite uncomfortable because it becomes obsessive a lot of the time. I try to find pictures of them, stare at them (the pics) for minutes, I try to find out their number, e-mail and address. I never contact them though so I don’t know why I always do this. It’s as if I feel some sort of instant emotional connection with certain older men without ever having met them before. The obsession continues for at least a few weeks and then, I generally find some other older man to obsess over. This never happens with men close to my age. I am attracted to them too but I have never been in love or obsessed with any of them. I also rarely fantasize about being in a relationship with any of them.

I think I unconsciously associate older men with intelligence, maturity, seriosity and confidence and other than that, it seems incredibly random. I can’t find some pattern to even understand what type of older men I feel attracted to. I guess they all have beards (which I’m not sure is relevant) and pretty much all of them are between 50 and 65 years of age. I definitely don’t like men in their 40s or older than 70.

It bothers me because I don’t think it is very healthy or very like me. I like to think of myself as an extremely rational person that is controlled by their thoughts and not emotion but this whole situation seems uncontrollable and bizarre and I don’t think I want to feel like this my whole life.

Can I change it and, if so, how? (From Romania)

I Am Obsessed with Older Men and It Has Become Bothersome

Answered by on -

A.

 I admire your courage in wanting to deal with this issue so directly. You have very good idea of where your attraction to older men comes from, and I would use this insight to help initiate a change. It may be helpful to grieve the love you didn’t receive from your father. There is some good research that shows that expressive writing — writing a letter to your father (one that you do not send) — may be helpful in releasing you from looking for that love in older men. The letter would include both your disappointment and gratitude toward your father. The goal is to leave that need in the past, grieve it, and allow yourself to find a connection with someone that isn’t trying to replace something that is from the past.

The letter is something you can use to to begin this process. I would follow up by looking into some individual therapy to continue working this through.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Am Obsessed with Older Men and It Has Become Bothersome

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). I Am Obsessed with Older Men and It Has Become Bothersome. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/11/20/i-am-obsessed-with-older-men-and-it-has-become-bothersome/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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