Creating my happy life on the other side of fear.

Monday, 4 May 2015

What you need to know if you fall in love with an older man

Love knows no bounds and no limits. True love can conquer anything, right? We hear this so often, in love songs and movies, read it in books and say it to our friends. While most people would agree on principle, the reality often looks different. Birds of a feather flock together for a reason: choosing a mate that's similar to you in upbringing, race, class and age prevents a whole lot of misunderstandings and problems.

And yet.

The heart wants what it wants, and when you listen to it? You may end up in the greatest relationship you could ever have imagined.

I have been married to a man 25 years older than me for over 10 years, and we love each other fiercely.
Like any relationship, ours had its ups and downs, most of them not age-related. But in case you might be falling for an older guy, here are a few of the highs and lows of loving an older man you can look out for:

There will be countless variations of "cradle-robber/gold-digger" jokes in your life from now on. Get used to them.

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'Living in the moment' will take on new meaning: You don't plan for life after retirement like some of your friends do - by the time you can retire, your husband will be 85. Instead, you live in the now, which in your case means going on lots of spontaneous breakfast-and lunch dates, turning down extra shifts to spend time with him, and to take the dream vacation you always wanted to go on. Because you know that time is limited.

You will get to know 'the look'. The look you get when you casually talk to new acquaintances, and the talk turns to significant others. Inevitably, the question of how old he is will come up - I don't know why, but it always does. You have tried all variations: to just nonchalantly say the number: "He is 60." To preface it with a "he is quite a bit older than me...". To be vague and say "oh, he is in his 50s". No matter what option you choose, there will be 'the look': At first startled, they will quickly rearrange their face into a neutral expression mixed with a forced little smile. "Oh!" they will breathe. "Well, age is just a number, right?" Is it your imagination, or are they slowly backing away? Labelling you as a gold digger this very minute? You want to tell them: "It's true love! And he isn't rich!" But you don't. Because over the years, in many encounters like this one, you have learned the golden secret: what they think doesn't matter. You know the truth, your close friends and family do, and everybody else is unimportant. So you smile a private little smile to yourself, and simply say: "Exactly. Age doesn't matter."

You will become a math wizard with the number of years you are apart. Wake me up in the dead of night and ask me what 27+25 is and I won't even have to think for a second, I know it is 52. We have lived it, baby! That goes for any variation with the number 25 - I have calculated them all.

Most likely you will experience a variation of the following scenario, and you will get a kick out of it:
For years nothing of the sort has happened, and you think you made it safely out of the woods of being mistaken for his daughter. It very rarely happened anyway, a fact you smugly accredit to your mature behaviour (not looking old) and the youthful and timeless appearance of your husband. But then, when you least expect it, it happens: You wait in line at customs at the airport, slightly ahead of your youthful looking husband and his 80-year old mother. The custom official waves you forward, and you are the first to arrive at the desk. He greets you cheerily with the words: "So, where are you and your parents going today?" It will make your day. 

You will benefit greatly from his age advantage. Trouble at work, a fight with your parents, a problem that seems insurmountable? He has been there, done that. Not only can you learn from his experience, he is also here to tell you: It is not as bad as you think; everything will work out.

Your circle of friends will encompass all ages, which is a beautiful thing: From people your own age to people of his, their children will range from babies to adults. You get the best of both worlds!

You know how the story ends. He has seen the beginnings, middles and endings of relationships, marriages, and people. It may sound cruel, but life is a circle, and he has seen it a few more times than you. You are more aware of its existence, which gives you more time getting used to the idea and to make your peace with it.

Men may be unfairly advantaged in the aging gracefully business, but rest assured: you will always look younger than him.






*Originally published by Thought Catalog here.*


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16 comments

  1. As sad as it is to say, no matter what the situation between you and your significant other (age, race, personality traits, etc.) judgment happens. I have been told multiple times that my hubby and I are an odd couple. I've wondered many times what makes people think this, and I've wondered even more what makes people say it out loud. In all honesty, I like knowing that people think we're odd! it's like it's our own little secret, and yet I don't even know what it is! hehe!
    I think you and Richard have something truly special! Don't let any one else's judgment take that away from you! :)
    -Linds

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  2. It's funny because my boyfriend is only 8 years older than me and I'm constantly teasing him about how I was only in elementary school when he was graduating from high school, etc. I can only imagine how much fun I would have if he was 25 years older!


    I really do think age is just a number, for the most part. I think if you are happy, that's all that matters and no one else should worry about it.

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  3. Girl, age is just a number! Love who you love and why does it matter what others think, is what I say. :)

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  4. This is so well said. I love it. It is funny the judgement people have about stuff that is none of their business. Scott is only 4 years older than me but because I look so young he is constantly getting cradle robber jokes. It is stupid really. And so what if he was. Love is love is love. And that it all that matters. ;)

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  5. You guys are so cute!! I couldn't remember how old P is when we were at dinner with someone the other night...whoops. I always get confused when it is between birthdays....I'm bad at math and bad wife :) He is 2 years older (most of the time)...except from January to May and then it is 3 :) Great post!!

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  6. You are most definitely NOT a bad wife. You are simply smarter than me by realizing that numbers don't matter! ;-)

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  7. Gah, craddle robber jokes are so stupid. I can't believe you two get them too! He doesn't look nearly old enough for them. But who cares, like you said: Love is love! It's so precious to find true love, nothing else matters. ❤

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  8. You are so right! I completely agree.

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  9. We joke to each other about the age difference often, it's too much fun not to! I had a field day when he got his first senior's discount. ;-) It's interesting, the people who have known us for years say they never even notice the age difference between us - we are just a couple who suit each other. They are right!

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  10. So do you and Mark! I can't believe people would say that to you - very strange. But as we know, people are strange, so it's best to ignore their opinion of us!

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  11. Fredrik is just 6 months older than me but since his birthday is in January it is like we start the year at a new age together so I am always thinking I am whatever age his is and then being confused on my birthday! I am not sure what is worse though as people always think my dad and I are married and not father daughter which I am not a fan of!

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  12. Whaaat? How bizarre! Yes, that would be weird. But people are weird, there's nothing we can do about it.

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  13. Once even a lady came up to us when we were at a fair and had my brothers and told us what cute kids we had!

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  14. Wow, I don't even know what to say. It's always dangerous to make assumptions, that's why I never do. I guess the only thing you can do is laugh about it?! Life - and people - are stranger than fiction sometimes.

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  15. Mine's only 14 years older but I still read this going YES, YES, YES! Other people and their assumptions can be crazy. All that matters is that you love each other and that you make each other laugh more often than you make each other cry.

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  16. Yes! Exactly!! It's funny how people like to think of themselves as open-minded but then let loose with these antiquated statements. Love is love, no matter what age, race or sex!!

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