Saturday, November 12, 2011

About the Age Difference


Bill and I are 17 years apart. Whether that qualifies as a May/December romance, I'm not sure, but I like the term May/December romance, so I use it anyway because it sounds....romantic.

One of the things that I get asked about all the time, is our age difference.
For the people that know me well, like my family and close friends, our age difference came as no surprise to them. I've always been attracted to men older than me, and I've been older than I am emotionally for a long long time. But for people that don't know me as well, like coworkers and nosy strangers in bars and grocery store check out lines, our age difference always makes them go "Oh. Ok."
People are curious about it, I think for the most aprt because they've never experienced it. Most people tend to date and marry within their age group, give or take four or five years. So naturally, 17 years sounds like a lot.

Girls my age usually ask me about it with a wide eyed, excited, hushed voice type of curiosity, wanting to know "what it's like?!". A lot of them usually end up confessing that they're tired of dating immature jackholes, and are secretly wondering what it would be like to be with an older man.
So, I will take this opportunity to answer some of the most common questions I get about the age difference.

Q: How did your family react to the age difference?

A: My cousin Lindsay was the only one who really had a notable reaction, stating with surprise "Sarah! He was having SEX when you were BORN!". That's true. Actually, he was having sex 4 years before I was born. {Sorry for outing you there, Bill} and really, I couldn't care less. My dad was ok with it, but he never misses an opportunity to give me shit about something, so he likes to make jokes about Bill only dating me because he can't afford a motarized wheelchair, and needs me to push him around when he can't walk anymore. Ridiculous. Bill would never pass up a motarized scooter. Who doesn't want a Jazzy?!

Q: Why did you choose someone so much older than you?

A: This is the question I usually get from cocky 22 year old guys, who for whatever reason take it as an insult them that a 24 year old girl would rather be with a 41 year old man, than someone like them. A young hot stud, as they see themselves. Well, let me tell you Mr. Young Stud, Bill keeps up with me just fine, if not better than most 24 year olds, and one day, when YOU'RE 41, you'll understand why a girl like me would want to be with someone so much older. Bill is stable, he's mature, he knows enough and has seen enough to really understand what matters in the world, what's worth caring about and fighting for, and what really doesn't matter at all. And whether this has anything to do with our age difference or not, Bill gets me better than anyone else does. Our lives match up. We both have kids, we both care about, love and enjoy the same things. And we hate all the same things too, which is nice.

Q: What's the sex like?

A: I personally don't feel qualified to answer this question, because I haven't been with a slew of older men, cataloging each experience so I could make a pie chart and bar graph about the difference between a 24 year old and a 41 year old.

Q: Do you get looks in public, or does anyone ever say anything to you?

A: Well, aside from you, asking me this question right now, no, people do not approach us in public and ask about our age difference. And I don't notice people giving us looks ever. I think we usually look so happy when we're together, that most people just smile at us and go about their business.

Q: Is it a lot different than dating someone your age?

A: Yes and no. When Bill and I are together, the age difference never crosses my mind. I never sit around thinking about it, and I never have moments where I'm like OH MY GOD YOU'RE SO MUCH OLDER THAN ME. {Except when Bill uses slang terms incorrectly on purpose just to watch my eye twitch}. But it is different. I notice the difference more when I hang out with my friends my age, and we go out to bars or I am around their boyfriends. I am reminded how much more calm and laid back Bill is. How much of a gentleman he is, and how he isn't cocky or boastful. He doesn't strut around like a ridiculous peacock, trying to show everyone what a man he is. He knows he's a man. He doesn't have to say it over and over. And, he's not totally and completely self centered and over dramatic, the way I see most guys my own age being. Usually after a night out among guys in their 20's, I feel really grateful to be back in Bill's arms the next day, feeling totally secure and safe and cared for.

I do wonder sometimes what the age difference is like for Bill. Does it ever come up for him? Does he feel shy holding my hand in public, or feel like people are judging him? Quietly calling him a cradle robber in their minds? Does he ever wish I was older, or does he have moments where he's glad I'm younger? It would be interesting to hear him write about what our age difference is like from his point of view. Maybe I can talk him into another guest post....hint hint.

There are some things about our age difference that make me wish I had been born when he was. Like the fact that I missed out on 17 years of being with him. Maybe if we had been the same age, he wouldn't have met and married his psychotic ex-wife, and we would've been together longer. But, then he wouldn't have the awesome kids he has now, so it's all a catch-22.
I missed out on certain things with him. 17 years of his life, having babies together, and maybe even getting married. Most 40 something divorcees aren't exactly in love with the idea of getting married again. And there's still the irrational fear that I have sometimes, that even if we stay together for the rest of our lives, what if I'm widowed before I rightfully should be for a woman my age?

But at the end of the day, none of that matters. As soon as I see him, and fall into his arms it all fades away. We never had a baby together, but we at least both have children, awesome, healthy children that we get to watch grow up together. We missed 17 years of each other's lives, but we have the rest of our lives to make as many memories as possible. And even if I am widowed at an earlier age than I might be if I chose to be with someone the same age as me, it's not worth walking away from the love of my life.

I would rather have one more day with Bill, than give him up and have 60 more years with someone else.

You never know where love might find you. You never know when that love could be taken away due to death, or any number of other life circumstances. So when love presents itself at your door, don't pass up the chance at a true connection with another person because of something as stupid as how many years they've been on Earth. For the only true currency in this bankrupt world, is what's shared between two people who truly connect, understand, and love each other.

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