Dating 25 years ago
I've always tended to get along better with people a decade or so younger than me—peg it to my being single with no kids as well as a attitude that led me to spend my own 20s and 30s bouncing from guy to state to job. I knew that the guests at the party were going to be younger than me; I work as an occupational therapist at a hospital and most of the coworkers I'm closest with are the ones in their 20s and early 30s.I used to think of it as this be-all, end-all—you either had the happily-ever-after or it would never work out.But being in an in-between state with Mike—I very much love him, yet understand that neither of us knows our ending—has made it increasingly clear that love isn't that simple.But in general, people don't dwell on our age difference.
But they've seen how skittish I am about romance, so I think they're just happy that I'm happy. That's actually one of our biggest fights—and where the age-difference thing comes out in full force.I made sure to regularly ask about whom he was dating, because I didn't want him to think I was interested.He would ask me to one-on-one dinners and drinks, and I'd suggest casual after-work beers instead.It was as if by getting to know me on my terms and proving he wanted me in his life as a friend, I'd finally felt comfortable enough to open up in a way I didn't with men I met in typical dating situations.A few more conversations like that and Mike and I became a couple. It took almost six months before I got used to calling him my boyfriend, even as I was surprised by how little people cared. I occasionally get a side-eye from a bartender when we're both asked for ID.