Dating an older man at 18

Dear Edahn,

Hi, I have been reading your letters to people and you really seem to have some good advice. So I have a really big question and it would really mean alot to me if you could help me. I am currently eighteen years old, I am going to be turning nineteen come December. I am thinking about dating a twenty five year old man. I know I know please keep reading. 

These are the reasons why I think that it could work. 1. I know what I want in my relationships and I am not afraid to commit. 2. I know the signs of an abusive relationship and I am not an abuser. 3. All of my friends are his age and older, except one; I don't get along with people my own age (another question, is that a bad thing) 4. I live on my own and pay the majority of my own bills. 5. I graduated early from high school and an enrolled full time in college. 5. I know what I want out of my career. I want to recieve a doctorate in history and a minor in archaeology so that I may become either a historian and lecture and teach on the side (teach in colleges) or become an archeaologist. 5. He and I have already spoken about entering into a relationship and have decided to wait until we know each other better. 6. My career plans wouldn't stop us from having a healthy relationship. 

I guess that the question that I am trying to ask is, do you think that this relationship could work and am I being healthy by allowing my self to be friends with older people? And I guess that I would also like to add that adore all of my older friends and that I really feel that I could be very happy with this man. I have had a lot of relationships and I know that this kind of sounds tacky but, I think that I could be happy with him for the rest of my life. Please help.

Let me start off with a story. I have a very dear friend who envies rich males who posses the typical status markers: designer clothing, a sports car, and expensive nights out at clubs. He tries to assume that image and project it out to others because it's what he sees as valuable. So he purchased the clothing, the sports car, and he spends too much money when he goes out. He depends on that image for his own value and judges other people according to those standards. He puts a lot of work into maintaining that image which I assume is as obvious to others as it is to me. The real tragedy is that by acting like someone else, he's implicitly rejecting himself, as if to say "you're not good enough, so you must pretend to be someone else." He ends up being too serious, too tense, and his heart closes up. That makes peace of mind impossible to achieve.

My concern isn't that you have 6 years between you. If you're smart and careful, you can navigate around the traditional perils of dating an older guy: that he would exploit his power over you and use you. Really taking things slow like you suggested (not just taking things slow for 2 weeks) sounds like a good solution to that. My concern, instead, is that you're trying to play a role like my good friend, that being the role of the girl who is in grown-up, serious relationships and grown-up, serious friendships.

I can't know for sure without meeting you, so you're going to have to be honest with yourself and determine if you're trying to create that kind of seriousness in your life. Wanting that stuff isn't wrong; it's nice to want to establish yourself and develop satisfying relationships. But it's important to do that with a sense of humor and levity. You don't have to terminate any of your relationships or change anything. Just keep what I said in the back of your mind and go about your business. Things will fall into their proper place over time. Remember this, though: good relationships, like good friendships, are based on how well people can truly laugh at themselves.