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.
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.
‘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.