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I am 28 years old. My boyfriend is 53. Shock, horror and gasp! What would a young lad want with an old man? Or why is an older man with such a young person? Unnecessary questions I feel, but I shall answer them. It comes down to one word… LOVE.
Ah that treasured L word that many of us long to hear (I can discuss the L word without fear of backlash, right? – I jest.) It’s true though, I love him and he loves me. It’s as simple as that. But I find that people do ask questions about the age gap and make assumptions about why we are together. It does frustrate me slightly, but at the same time I have to put people’s ignorance to one side. Common assumptions are that he is a sugar daddy or dirty old man and that I am a gold digging whore. I have had people I know ask me if he pays for everything for me and if I provide great sex in return. The latter is certainly true, but it’s not in return for anything. The relationship is actually very equal.
In my day job I am a therapist and when dealing with relationships I refer to how equitable a relationship is. This is basically about balance within the partnership. So an example of an inequitable relationship would be if I was some boy toy for an older man, with him paying for everything and me being some hot piece to hang off his arm and most likely something else too. But the fact is that my relationship is very equitable. Sometimes he pays for things, but other times I will pay for things. Sometimes he cooks, sometimes I cook, and sometimes we cook together. He took me away on holiday last year; I am taking him on holiday this year. He owns a house and a car, and has a good job, but I also have my own place and a good career. I’m sure you get the picture.
I know that there are relationships that are not equal and do fit the stereotype of dirty old man and gold digger, but is it really something that is specific to age gap relationships? Of course it isn’t. There are people who are around the same age but have inequitable relationships. One such couple I know consists of one guy who received a large inheritance when his grandmother died and another guy who is happy to spend the inheritance before he then moves on to someone else. The one with the money is oblivious to this and has dismissed people who have brought this fact to his attention as jealous. It’s a shame but it seems he will learn the hard way. Love sometimes makes us blind to what is really happening.
On the rare occasions I venture on to the scene (it’s not my favourite place) there are many age gap relationships on public display and many people there to condemn them. This really saddens me and I am disappointed in myself to admit that I was once someone who dismissed those relationships. I’ve lived and learnt though. I now realise that it is possible to have a connection with someone much older and even fall in love with them, and think that people shouldn’t knock something until they’ve tried it.
I may have broken my rule of ‘nobody older than my Dad’, but so what. I’m happy, and it’s happiness that matters the most.