No one agreed with our relationship; there was an eight year difference. His mom and her friends (who just so happened to be my mom’s friends as well) tried talking some sense into both of us. It didn’t work. We were happy together, and that was all that mattered. His friends dumped him because I couldn’t have a drink with them, my sister doesn’t talk to me because she doesn’t approve of our relationship, and my friend’s family make comments behind my back and to my face.
Does any of that matter? No. Here are the reasons why.
1. Age Doesn’t matter.
Sure, I may not have lived through the same amount of years as him, but that doesn’t mean he is more mature than me. In fact, I think it is quite the opposite with us, and that’s okay as well. It’s almost like the saying “opposites attract”, it can be a good thing.
2. People will leave, but those who truly care stay.
Although my decision to date him didn’t affect anyone else personally, my so called “friends” treated it as if it did. He was even uninvited from a “friend’s” wedding because of his relationship with me- and he was a groomsman. Seeing this realized that if a friend can’t accept our happiness, then I don’t want them as a friend anyway.
3. Time is an important factor in life.
Believe me, I know that an eight year age difference is pretty hard to swallow, but that doesn’t mean it’s a matter of right or wrong. Telling people may result in a shock factor, but give them time. Many will come around and realize that it isn’t as big of a deal as it seems.
4. Relationships don’t have to revolve around drinking.
With me being 18 and him being 26, he can legally go out to a bar with friends while I sit at home binge-watching Netflix. And that is 100% okay. Of course there’s a huge part of me that wishes I could play flip cup and kick his friend’s a**(um not that I’m really good because I’ve played before or anything…), but it creates a nice barrier between us socially. Plus, it shows me that he definitely wants me just as much as he does when he’s sober versus when he’s drunk. Which brings me to the next point.
5. Relationships don’t have to be about experienced sex.
Teenagers nowadays tend to lose their virginity earlier than they use to, but there I was as a pretty inexperienced 18 year old virgin. After I told him my secret, it didn’t change the way he thought of me. He accepted that I haven’t lived through my rebellious teenage years enough, and he took it on as a challenge. To be completely honest, he even admitted to liking my inexperience-ness because he enjoys teaching.
6. An age gap creates many, many differences.
I’m not saying this as a bad thing at all! For example, when I drive my car, I listen to today’s pop hits and alternative music. When he drives his car, he listens to R&B from the early 90s. I’ve learned to enjoy the differences that we have and I have become more open minded to new ideas/experiences.
7. Chivalry isn’t dead.
If you go on Facebook, I’m sure you’ll see a typical post from a teenaged girl ranting about how guys are all the same. Dating an older man proves to you that the conclusion is wrong. These guys are the ones to always pay for dinner (no matter how many times you may argue over the bill), open the car door for you, and surprise you with flowers when you’re having a sh***y week at work. These are the guys who know better, because they understand the saying “Treat your girl how you’d want your future daughter to be treated.”
8. Thinking about settling down becomes a more prominent thought.
As a child, I always wanted to get married young. I never considered myself a sleeping around type of person, and I highly considered having children right after college. To date someone who is entering that mid-to-late twenties stage, they are experiencing those thoughts as new ideas to encounter. That is the age where they are ready to settle down and are looking for a wife, not just a girlfriend to hang onto for a year or two.
9. Outside influences (mainly parents) don’t always know best.
They see older partners as a danger. Warning signs go off in their head, and quite frankly, I have no idea why. I assume it’s because parents in general still see you as their little, innocent baby, and that you may be exposed to the real world if you date someone who’s already living it in. Little do they see how happy you are, therefore they don’t know what’s best even if they insist that they do.
10. A person who truly loves you will love you no matter what.
If he/she says they love you, then believe them. Whether you have no age gap, a three year age gap, or a 12 year age gap, it shouldn’t matter. What should matter is how they treat you, care for you, and love you.
Your happiness comes first before anything else, so enjoy your frowned upon relationship and own that age gap like no other.