Dating · Friends

Your number’s up

I’ve never been particularly bothered by my age or how it relates to where I am in life. Neither turning 25 nor 30 warranted a freak out, and I’m not one of those women who refuses to discuss how old she is. I’m not going to pretend to be 29 or get offended when someone guesses my true age (although I do love getting carded at the LCBO). My friends span decades, and I’m perfectly at peace with my upcoming 32nd birthday.

But.

(You knew there was a but coming, didn’t you?)

I’ve never dated someone younger than me. I’ve not intentionally avoided it, things have just turned out that way. I’ve gone on dates with younger guys, but nothing really beyond. Until now. JB happens to be 6.25 years younger than me, and the mere fact that I felt it necessary to include a fraction should indicate that I’m not quite as cavalier about the whole thing as I would like to be.

I received a text from him the other day. ‘Has the age gap bothered you at all? Made you think? I’m curious.’ His timing was perfect, as I reached out to a friend the night before: ‘Can we get coffee tomorrow? I need to talk about the age thing.’ I knew she’d understand, since she’s been dating a younger guy for quite some time. We still haven’t discussed, but I’ve definitely been mulling it over in my head a bit. I think the fact that it has caused me to ponder is one of the sticking points for me: why do I care? My business partner is younger, and I’ve never given that a second thought. If I were a man would I even blink at six years, much less write a whole blog about it? I’ve dated guys significantly older than me, and it was never an issue. So why should this be any different?

The truth is, it’s not. Oddly enough, my thoughts haven’t been so much about how young he is, but rather how old I am. People say age is just a number, which is true. Once you branch out into the world on your own (and I have dated some 30-somethings who haven’t done that), figure your shit out, and basically grow up, there isn’t much of a difference between 25 and 35. It’s about maturity, and there’s more maturity and honesty here than in many of my conversations with people my age or older. But if you flip that, does that mean I am therefore immature?

I’ve never been one to act my age, and honestly I don’t even know what that would entail. Sometimes I’m a 90-year-old woman fawning over a teacup at an antique shop. Other days, I’m staying out until all hours, sacrificing beauty sleep for some silly shenanigans. I’ve been told I’m young at heart, and I’ve been called an old soul. What I do know, regardless of how old I am or act, is I’m smart enough to recognize something good when it happens. This is something good.

Besides, the universe apparently has a sense of humour about this. The only time it becomes really apparent is when I talk about something from high school. No, you wouldn’t remember what Modrobes were, because you were 9 at the time. Have I mentioned that my high school mascot was a cougar?

 

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