Ask Dr. Phil: Jimmy, Morgan

Setting Boundaries

"What the problem is: I sometimes date younger girls. I'm 43, my daughter's 20, and she doesn't like it," Jimmy says. "Most of the girls that I date are probably 21 to 26 years old. Those are the girls in the places that I frequent."

"I think the fact that he is in a band is a big reason why my dad attracts mostly younger girls," says Jimmy's daughter, Morgan. "Everybody usually says that my dad is really hot and that he doesn't even look old enough to be my dad."

"The youngest girl I've dated since I've been over 35 has got to be … 18, I guess," Jimmy says. "I have had to sneak girls into my own house. I have snuck them in the back door. I have snuck them in the window. I've snuck them out."

"When I see my dad dating younger girls, it can be embarrassing, especially if I might know this person," Morgan says.

[AD]"Morgan caught a friend of hers and me kissing. I had no idea it was going to go over like it did. It was bad," Jimmy says. "A lot of times, they don't have the hang-ups the others do. If a girl 35 to 45 wants to talk to me, and we do end up going out, a high percentage of the time she's going to have two to three times the man hate that this 22-year-old over here has ever even thought about having."

"I'd love to see my dad have a serious relationship with a woman, not a girl," Morgan says.

"What I would ask Dr. Phil is, ‘Am I wrong, or is my daughter wrong?'" Jimmy asks.

"First, let me ask you, what's the appeal " other than the obvious? I guess a 20-year-old girl, or an 18-year-old girl, is young, and perky, and fresh and all of that, and you see this a lot, particularly in Hollywood. You see older guys with younger girls and, I don't know, I guess I'm just getting too old, because I'm thinking, oh, jeez, what am I going to do with this after the first 20 minutes? I mean, really, come on! What do you do the other 23 hours and 40 minutes of the day? What's the appeal?" Dr. Phil asks Jimmy.

"A lot of it is availability," he says. "I'm a musician, I play in clubs and so forth " and the availability of single women in our area is going to be down around 21, 22, 23, 24 years old."

"So, you're just in a target-rich environment," Dr. Phil concludes.

"Exactly," Jimmy says, "and they don't usually have a problem with it. They know how old I am."

"And you say the older they get, the more hatred and bitterness they have?"

[AD]"A lot of times," he says. "I've tried dating some women over 40, and they're leery of me, just right off the bat. They either think I'm a young punk, they don't talk to me, or if they do talk to me, they've seen me with a younger girl … "

"Maybe it was their daughter!" Dr. Phil jokes.

"Yeah, that's happened," he says.

"But you say they build what you call ‘man hate'?"

"Yeah. They have a predisposition to look for something wrong, which I do, also, with women sometimes. I'm looking for something wrong automatically, and I think I find it more in the older women automatically," Jimmy says.

Dr. Phil asks Morgan, "Why does it bother you?"

"Well, it's embarrassing sometimes," she says.

"To see your dad with one of your friends or something?"

"Yeah, and I think it's a little unnatural," she says. "They should be with people they're own age, and so should he."

[AD]Dr. Phil turns back to Jimmy. "Help me out on this. I'm curious. What is it about you that will get a 20- or 21-year-old girl, somebody who's half your age, to want to see you so much that they'll crawl through the window in the back of the house to do it? How does that come up in conversation?"

"It'll come up, like, ‘You know my daughter, right?' ‘Yeah, I know her. Yeah, I already know she probably doesn't want you dating me because I'm a year older than she is,'" Jimmy explains. "So, we just won't go around there. We won't go to the house if she's there, and if she's going to be out partying with her friends, she will usually stay there at that place instead of driving, and then we know we've got it cool, and it usually doesn't bother them. It doesn't seem to freak them out."

"Do you think we could set up some boundaries where you at least agree that you weren't going to date anyone who's a friend of your daughter?" Dr. Phil asks. "I mean, that would help, right?" he asks Morgan. "That it's not someone you went to high school with, saying, ‘I've got to go. I'm going out with your dad tonight.' That would help, right?"

"Yeah," Morgan says.

"You really don't have the right to tell him who to date or not date, but what you can do is appeal to his sense of sensitivity and respect for you to say, ‘At least don't do this with people whom I hang out with. I don't want to double date with my dad,'" Dr. Phil suggests.

[AD]"Right," she says.

He tells Jimmy, "So there has to be a boundary in there, but you can show her some respect by at least not dating her friends, which you know makes her uncomfortable."

"Absolutely," Jimmy says.

"Respect her circle, alright? And just beware. You're not getting any younger, so you might be a little more accepting of those who are a little longer in the tooth," Dr. Phil says.

Jimmy laughs.

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