if you have a partner in your life that you love and loves you back, you have everything you need. Regardless the gender, type of love, race, status or age.
I remember when I was younger, I had this belief that I’m not interested in romance. That I would never marry. I cherished freedom way too much and couldn’t picture being attached to someone and look at them 24 hours/day till the end of my life or for the whole eternity.
I didn’t understand what love is, obviously.
Now I’m married to a man who is 29 years older than me. It’s quite a daring thing and also it has certain stereotypes attached to it. Some of them might include:
- the older partner has a middle age crisis, is tired of the current partner and is looking for “fresh meat”
- the younger partner needs a sponsor, so called sugar daddy/mommy
- it’s all about the money and sex
- it’s not going to last
- the younger partner will eventually have other plans
- the older partner won’t be able to keep up with the speed and aspirations of the younger one
- they won’t have common friends
- they won’t have a family together
- they don’t have a future together
- the younger partner messed up the older one’s head through sex
- the older parter is the boss
- the younger partner is stupid
- having another go when you’re older than 50 makes no sense
I can firmly confirm that none of the above stereotypes is true in our case (and we’ve been together for over 7 years now). However they might contain some seeds of the truth.
Every relationship requires work. But this work is something you love to do, when you appreciate and enjoy your partner. It doesn’t have to be hard work, but it’s definitely work. Like a workout – if you like to do it, then it’s not hard work. If you don’t like to do it, every move and exercise is hard and annoying. My husband says his biggest regret in life was not being patient and confident enough to have waited for me, so he settled for less. And if I knew what kind of person he really was, I would accept his proposal and dive into this relationship much earlier.
In the “un-ordinary” relationships some salient traits take more attention and consciousness than they would in ordinary relationships. This doesn’t mean the relationship is any different than the other. During our time of being together, we noticed that sometimes other people had more problems with our relationship than did we. And in most of the cases, these were the people who had messy relationships themselves (you know: if I can’t do it properly, I will teach others how to do it). However we were very lucky: my friends were very happy for me when we got together and his friends were thrilled for him that he found someone to fit. Actually, I was quite surprised by their reactions, because they didn’t even bother to look at the age difference, but were genuinely happy for both of us, by seeing us happy together. They noticed the difference how we’ve been before and how we’ve become after us.
Neither of us rationally wanted this relationship. We tried to stay apart and persuaded us it wouldn’t work. As he fell in love with me, I kept telling him it will pass and didn’t believe when he told me something like this has never happened to him before. But then instead of getting out, I fell in love too. Though we tried hard to forget and even break this relationship (I even went out of the country), we couldn’t stay apart. Of course we had issues after getting together. We had to adjust, had to do the “fine tuning”. We survived and came out better. We now both agree that together we’ve become a better version of ourselves than we were before we’ve met each other. Being brought up in a society that functions through the stereotypes, of course we were both scared and full of doubts. I was scared he’s gonna change his mind, he was scared I would leave him for a younger fellow. We both didn’t trust the other, not because we wouldn’t trust per se or because we would have some contrary evidence, but because we were imbued with stereotypes, social expectations and biased in our beliefs. To confess that there was no need for a backup plan or to drive in lower gear. It took quite a while and courage to let go of all this clutter and truly confess that what we have is amazing, stable and we can finally relax, because we found the other soulmate. Once you find one, you don’t have to live your life in another way that pleases your partner, you don’t have to change who you are and you don’t have to look for a way out and find some comfort in others, because there is no need to do so. Then you actually want to be loyal, fidelity is not a problem, you want to make the other person happy and you give up some of your habits voluntarily, even before anyone asks for it. Yes, sometimes also good things happen to you and you don’t have to double or tripple check whether what you have is truly a diamond or a fake.
Sometimes people are curious and ask me what it’s like being in such a relationship with an older man. Some friends ask me for experience and advice when they find themselves in a similar situation and are not sure whether their relationship has a future or not. I’m always very grateful for their questions, so I share my experience and it is actually not that difficult and not at all different from any other relationship challenges. Do you care for that person? Can you picture your life without them? What makes it worthwhile being together with that person, what good qualities of yours does this person awake in you? Are you happy giving in this relationship (not only taking)? Do you love yourself enough so that you can be in the relationship with someone else? Are you happy when you see the other person being happy? Do you have dreams about your partner, happy dreams? If your partner had an accident or gets ill, what would you really do (not what society implies you to do)?
Who knows what will happen in the future. Probably no relationship is meant to last forever, Disney fairy tales are a huge lie and cause damage. So if you are lucky, you might find someone with whom you create a bind that makes each of you fulfilled. I don’t know whether we have only one soulmate in life. But I do know that it is very rare to find even one. Of course at the beginning of each relationship you might feel this is the one and you found it. But only time will show whether if it is really the one, once you put the pink glasses off. And in most cases, one year is not a long enough period.
I’m happy with and in my relationship and proud of my partner. Age doesn’t matter, I can confirm this. It does have a certain influence, but it doesn’t really matter. Stereotypes are important to consider and to be able to defend your relationship if they are not true and you have mean people around. But don’t worry about it too much – these people have their own problems, this is probably why they are overwhelmed with your relationship. Other people don’t matter. Your partner matters. And you matter. And those who are happy for you matter.
Good luck nourishing your un-ordinary, diverse, crazy, wild, daring, special relationships. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride!