I just got dumped by my much younger girlfriend, and it still stings

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

I dated “Jess” for several months. The relationship was short, but intense. We moved in together almost right away. She’s a lot younger than me. I’m 40ish and she’s in her mid-20s. But it didn’t feel like that mattered. We had a lot in common. We work together in the hospitality industry.

Despite the brevity and age gap, I was really into her. The chemistry was crazy. We had a ton of fun. I adored her. Then she came home a few weeks ago and told me not only did she want to break up, but she was already seeing someone and he was moving in. This new guy is closer to her age. Apparently he didn’t even know I existed when they started hanging out. The whole thing is shady and lame.

Bottom line, I’m bummed, I don’t know where to go from here. I slept on a friend’s couch last night. I really liked this girl. I definitely feel like I connect more with younger women but all my friends are telling me this is my fault for dating someone in her 20s. It’s like they’re blaming me and I feel like this takes away from the fact that I got totally played here and am frankly bummed about how this ended. I guess I’m looking for advice on how to move on and what to learn from this.

Wanda says:

Heartbreak is heartbreak, at any age or any circumstance, so I’m sorry you’re going through this and that it’s so messy and overlapping. It is never a good feeling when we find out someone we were committed to and all-in on was only kind of committed while already moving on to other options. The best thing you can do is take the high road — and by “high road,” I mean the expressway out of that shared living space and on to a better and brighter future.

Maybe you’re dating the wrong girls. Maybe you’re dating too young. Maybe you shouldn’t move in with someone so fast. All food for thought — but a self-reflecting buffet for a later date. Right now is the time to figure out your next step and get the heck out of that toxic household.


Whether you have to shack up for a few weeks with a buddy or co-worker or even spring for a hotel or Airbnb, you will be happier and healthier once you aren’t sharing living space with the woman who dropped you and the guy who replaced you. Finding a new place where you feel safe and can openly express your disappointments is the key first step in moving on.

Wayne says:

I can tell you to accept that this situation is pretty messed up and that the fallout is going to sting for a while, or at least until the next flirty thing comes along. But I can’t offer advice that will make it hurt less or promises that it won’t happen again.

Because even advice from those who only want the best for you doesn’t really matter, does it? You want what you want: living like a 20-something and dating 20-somethings. Dizzily falling into short but intense love affairs fueled by crazy chemistry. Impulsively moving in together after a short time dating, much less knowing one another. Staying entrenched in an industry that’s full of late nights and wild surprises, a few ride-or-die compadres and a never-ending lineup of mysterious strangers. And the always available friend’s couch from which you can beg for the pain of another romantic disaster to magically disappear and pray for heartbreak to never strike again.

Well, this is the life you’ve chosen, cowboy. The highs are Cloud 9 high and the lows are dusty ditch low. You want to tame the stallion? The dream is riding off into the sunset, but the reality is getting bucked off and stomped on. Can’t handle that, might as well hang up your saddle.

Vaya con dios, my friend.

[My girlfriend is on her phone constantly. It’s killing our relationship.]

[Dear Annie: My boyfriend just hangs out in his man cave watching TV and he refuses to help with the bills. Help!]

[Ask Amy: Should I tell the guy I recently started dating that I’m facing online harassment?]

Wayne and Wanda

Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at