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About Age Gap Dating

This short story is a continuation of a past article.

When I first met you, I truly didn’t care about how old you were. We met in the last gay bar left in my hometown. It was late at night and we were sitting close to each other coincidentally. We were both talking to our friends and only exchanged some words when our hands met in between our seats were an ashtray was standing.

Later on, people went home until there was no one left other than the two of us. I was ready to call it a night but you convinced me to stay for another round. That round turned into another one and another one until I eventually remembered that I had to get up early the next day. So, I left and you did so too. As a strike of destiny we live close to each other, so we shared the walk home.

We could’ve probably walked twice as fast but I didn’t mind because there was something about you that intrigued me, something I didn’t really understand. Whatever it might have been, I knew I wanted to see more of it. When we arrived at my place, we said goodbye with an innocent hug and went to our separate apartments.

I thought of you a lot. I still didn’t care about how old you were although I would’ve estimated that you’re about ten years younger than you actually are. I guess the candle lighting in the bar was quite flattering. We met up more often but you never stressed me about wanting more and didn’t expect much. I liked that you left me the space that I needed. On a casual level, what differs age from a person’s height or their color of hair? Just another variable in the dating pool, or so I thought.

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After a while, when we were getting closer, you told me how much you liked me and I honestly forgot, what I responded, but – just to make it clear – I did like you too. It made me start to wonder though what dating you would actually mean. I wasn’t ready to get more serious, to be honest. You have experienced and seen so much more than I have. You also seemed a little tired. You often talked about how many years you still needed to work until you were done… and I could never follow that train of thought. Working until you’re ‘off the hook’ is something I can’t wrap my head around. I wanna be happy while I’m working. I have a lot of energy and I do wanna conquer the world – just a little bit – even if I fail.

More than anything, I wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing that my partner will likely die before me. I know that that’s a dark thought and writing it down feels terribly wrong because I always thought I was a person who doesn’t age-shame. But in the end, I came to realize that the age of my partner is a big deal when thinking about the long run. It all comes down to a fear deeply rooted inside me: I don’t wanna wake up one day and be left behind.

Was I wrong for ending things preemptively or is age truly more than just a number?

xoxo2

Ben

Title illustration by Jacqueline Kaulfersch

4 thoughts on “About Age Gap Dating

  1. Hmmmmmm….
    For the 1st time I read you were comments about age gap. I have a couple stories that come to my mind of my own personal experience.
    The 1st… At the age of 21 I was dating and married someone who is 26 I’ll be it 5 years is not that much of an age gap it is when you’re 21. 5 years later I lost him to alcoholism.
    The 2nd… I waited for a year plus and again started dating somebody that was 5 years my senior… That person didn’t reveal to me in the beginning that he had a bit of mental illness and was on a battery of pills to tame the demons inside. Sadly when he left the world 3.5 years later from when we started. It was one of the best things for him and all the people around.
    As anyone can understand at this point I waited for 6+ Years before dating again. Or at least falling in love. Man, MANY escapades later….
    The 3rd…. Keep in mind, I was now 37 at the point of this story. I then started dating someone who was 22. He was almost half my age. 37 is not old… But sure feels like it when you’re dating someone who is 22. Well, sadly, I tried so hard over the 2.5 years of dating. To do everything in my power to get him to STOP using drugs. But, SADLY, I received a call that he had been found with friends and had overdosed.
    With much depression and ABSOLUTELY… no desire to EVER go through anything like (ANY of) those circumstances…again.
    I finally dated and married my very BEST friend.
    He too is 5 years older. And acts as if he is half my age. When i grow up i hope I’m half as good of a person as he is.

    I guess what I’m really suggesting to anyone who might read this… is you don’t always know what’s in store. You can ask as many questions as you like and still.. there is always the unknown. What I know for sure. Age is more irrelevant as we get older. Because understanding and acceptance is truly a blessing.

    Don’t think I’m an idiot. I still would have to be attracted. I’m now 48, and to NO FAULT of my own I look in my early 30’s.
    And, YES, I normally lie about my age. Because people judge….

    At any age gap. There is NO SUCH GUARANTEE that the younger while outlive the other.

    When it is your time…. A meteor will sweep the side of the earth and take you with it if it has too.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this honest comment and your personal stories! It is so interesting to hear other people’s perspectives on stuff. I know you are right when it comes to life not being planable. At least I think I do. I know that getting together with a person now doesn’t mean you’re gonna be able to spend the rest of your lives together. That’s the way of life and that’s sad. And even though I know that anything may happen at any moment, I still feel uneasy thinking about age gaps. Just thinking about getting older myself isn’t all that easy and I guess that’s a thought that blocks my will of actually committing to an age gap relationship.

  2. 1. The photo is amazing. So creative.
    2. Yes, age DOES matter. In the beginning, it might mean that you are at different stages of your life (like you mentioned regarding energy levels), but it can be brushed aside. However, once you get older, and health starts failing, you see the STARK age difference. It is not easy. For many reasons.

    1. Thanks! I’ll make sure to let Jacqueline know that you liked the photo – I enjoy it very much as well 🙂
      Even though age doesn’t matter now, worrying about the future would simply be too much for me. I am not good with thinking about what’s to come and just as you said, it does matter.
      Thanks for the thoughtful feedback!

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