Mom Who 'Can't Stop' Flirting With Younger Man From Kids Club Sparks Fury

A married mother who has been "messaging constantly" with a 20-year-old worker from the local sports center where her kids play has received a storm of backlash from users on Mumsnet.

In a post shared on Mumsnet's Am I Being Unreasonable (AIBU) subforum, the mother of four, who has the username Crystalpaula3, said: "This is so wrong but I can't stop." She added that the worker, whom she later realized used to work at a local shop in her area, sent her a friend request on Facebook last week.

The user said: "He started messaging me, he asked [whether] my children [were] enjoying the club, then progressed onto him talking about his career choices and before I realized it, we had been messaging for 4 hours. Things got a bit flirty and he jokingly called me a milf [mother I would like to f***] and he said he couldn't stop looking at me whenever I was there [at the sports center]."

According to a 2022 poll of more than 1,000 Americans, conducted by search firm Ipsos for Cougar Life, a Canada-based dating site, 40 percent of unmarried women would be open to dating someone 10 years younger or more. Sixty percent of unmarried men would be open to dating someone 10 or more years older than them.

The survey also revealed that 65 percent of men "somewhat or strongly agree" that it is "socially acceptable" for women to date someone 10 or more years younger than them.

Nearly three-quarters (70 percent) of women were found to be accepting of male-led age gap relationships, while 56 percent were found to be accepting when the gap is female-led, the study showed.

A person's hands using a mobile phone.
A married woman who has been exchanging flirty messages with a youth worker at her children's sports center has been criticized by users on Mumsnet. Above, a person using a mobile phone, clicking a "heart" icon on the screen. iStock/Getty Images Plus

The mother in the latest Mumsnet post said she saw the youth worker again earlier this week. They added each other on WhatsApp and "are messaging constantly and it's extremely flirty, we're hinting about meeting then saying it's a joke. I've started thinking he's cute.

"Nothing has happened yet beyond that, but I can't help thinking about it, then [feel] guilty as I'm married and this lad is significantly younger than me and that feels wrong," she said.

In a later post, the mom said: "Things are OK with my husband at the moment although we do probably need more time together as a couple. I can't imagine going to meet this lad and anything happening but it feels exciting just messaging. He's 20 and I'm 34 so it is a massive gap."

Several other users on Mumsnet criticized the original poster, saying that the situation is "wrong" and "totally inappropriate" and that she needs to "stop" and "get a grip."

User AMIAMIBU said: "Don't be so ridiculous! You're married, the 'adult' and it's totally inappropriate!"

User gamerchick said: "It's not wrong because he's younger, it's wrong because you're married and he knows it..."

User Benjaminsniddlegrass advised: "Use some self restraint. Block him on Facebook, stop going to this club...think about what is going on, are there difficulties in your relationship, is there self esteem issues at play that lead to you feeling flattered, work on the causes of this. Don't get pulled into some silly infatuation that will only lead to hurt."

User Flowersintheattic57 said: "Yeah, you need to stop. You are disrespecting yourself and you are disrespecting your husband. Get a grip! There will always be people you fancy but you ignore it because you are in a committed relationship..."

Several other users challenged the mother to consider the potential consequences and said she should end her marriage before pursuing anything further with the worker.

User Stickystickystick asked: "How are things in your marriage? Is it worth risking it over a cheeky flirtation?"

Aquamarine1029 said: "Your poor husband. You are betraying him. Do you not care about him at all? The mother replied: "Yes of course I do but at the moment I'm kidding myself that it's not that bad because it's just messages. It's not really sexual chat, I'd say it's flirty but bordering on becoming that."

User SQLserved said: "Think about how much pain you are about to cause your husband and children. Life long pain. Is their pain 'worth it'? If yes then divorce your husband."

SavoirFlair said: "You know what you are doing is wrong. You should technically end things in your marriage if you want to do things outside the marriage..."

User Pom87 was understanding but warned that the situation "feels in danger of going further and further and getting out of control..."

"You're flattered by his attention, that's understandable...," Pom87 said, but "the further it goes the more powerless you'll likely feel against it. If you do not want a full affair, it doesn't sound like you do, it's best to stop now...if you don't want to risk your marriage, stop now."

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of this case.