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Is it wrong that I keep sleeping with men who have daughters my age?

An illustration of a young woman with her older partner, there is a photo of his daughter in the frame.
I keep sleeping with men then finding out they have daughters my age – am I fulfilling a fantasy for them? (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Metro’s agony aunt Em Clarkson is here to solve all your problems.

This week she’s handing down sage guidance on how to screen older men for some questionable fantasies, and how to rebuild after feeling like mental health issues make you unlovable.

Read on for this week’s reader conundrums and Em’s advice.

I am recently single and loving life! However, I keep meeting guys, then after sleeping with them, finding out they have daughters basically the same age as me! This has happened twice now. Do I need a screening process because what is going on? Am I fulfilling men’s fantasies?! What about mine because this ain’t one of them…

I suppose if you’re dating men of a certain age this sort of thing becomes an occupational hazard.  

And with that in mind, I’d suggest that, yes, a screening process might be a good idea.

It’s not unreasonable to ask that cards be put on the table before you’re willing to go home with them (and by cards I mean, wives, children, criminal record, voting record and favourite sandwich –  all the top-line stuff).  

I actually don’t have it in me to dwell on their fantasies, as I find the infantilisation of young women and the popularity of the ‘step-dad gets it on with teen daughter’ genre of porn to be entirely revolting. 

I’m not saying that’s necessarily what it is, but if this is something that’s making you uncomfortable and you feel as if you’re being used to fulfil some kind of fantasy, I think maybe you ought to think about the age of the men you’re dating.  

If you like them of a certain vintage, that’s cool, but I think that’s where you’ve to insist on background info before taking it any further. Otherwise, I think narrowing the dating pool might be a good place to start. Good luck! xx

Want to ask Em Clarkson a question?

Em Clarkson is here to solve all your problems.

Well, sort of.

As Metro’s agony aunt the influencer, author and content creator (busy much?) is primed and ready to be a sympathetic ear, an oracle of wisdom or, quite simply, a stand-in for that girl in the nightclub bathroom you share your thoughts and dreams with while waiting in line.

While she stresses she’s no alternative for therapy, Em is keen to talk through any quandary.

With over 300,000 followers on Instagram and a reputation as one of the more honest influencers out there, Em is often asked for advice in her DMs. Now, she wants to do the same in Metro, as our columnist.

No topic is off limits. So if you’ve a question for her agony aunt series, email askem@metro.co.uk.

I am really heartbroken. My partner of nearly three years has just broken up with me, which is a little out of the blue. We have had conversations in the past about things we weren’t happy about and what needs to change, and we’ve been proactive about most of those things and we have moved past it… or so I thought.  

He mentioned that he cannot handle my mental health issues and anxiety attacks and that he doesn’t want our children to gain anxiety from me. It’s been a super stressful time at work for me and I wasn’t well last year. 

I feel like he has just realised that he doesn’t want to be with me after talking about kids and marriage. I’m guessing that no matter how good things were most of the time, he’s checked out and I’m left wondering and having to find a place to live. What do I do now? 

I am so sorry, both that you’ve had your heart broken and that you’ve been struggling with your mental health. I am especially sorry that it feels as if the latter caused the former.  

I’ve struggled enough with my mental health in the past to know how easy it is to feel like a burden, and I think it’s knowing that that makes the way he’s handled this particularly painful. I know it doesn’t feel like it right now, but I truly believe you may have just dodged the biggest bullet of your life here. Because your anxiety doesn’t make you any less lovable and the fact that he can’t handle your mental health is a reflection on him – not you.  

Now, that’s not to say that this hasn’t been hard for him, as I’m sure it has. I’m also sure it will have been a complicated and painful decision on his part, but I don’t want you feeling as if this was all your fault and that it’s indicative of your love life going forwards. It isn’t. 

The fact that you have been struggling is not a failure, and it’s not a problem that needs fixing before anyone is able to love you again.

Having said that though, if I were you, I would use this as an opportunity to channel as much energy as I could muster into myself and my mental health.

Into filling up my cup, resting, journaling, meditating, reading, eating, exploring, and finding out who I really am on my own, and what I really want. Therapy might be a good option, too?  

But not therapy to ‘fix’ the part of yourself that your ex made you feel was broken; therapy that helps you bring out into the light the parts of you that, for whatever reason, have been hiding in the shadows.

In amongst the painful practicalities of heartbreak, finding somewhere to live and moving through your life as if your heart hasn’t been shattered, I implore you to seek out as much joy and power as you can, because you will be happy again. I promise.  

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