Three years ago, Mike and I met at a coworker's engagement party.
But in general, people don't dwell on our age difference.
Two years later, Mike and I are definitely a couple—we live together and we're deeply in love.
We talk in terms of a permanent "we"—weshould buy a house, we want to live by the ocean at some point in our lives.
That said, while I know our love is real, because of the age difference and kids question, we're both skittish about talking about the future in definite terms. But I am also okay with not knowing—I know it's enough for today that he and I love each other. Although it's cliché, he loves like he can't get hurt, and seeing that has taught me a lesson I needed to learn.
Mike reached across the table to examine mine."You were born in 1966? That's so weird."The word rattled around in my head, even after he changed the subject to his upcoming marathon training. The banter that had come so easily seemed stilted in the bar. I said yes, but as soon as I got to the meet-up spot, I wanted to drive away. It wasn't what they were wearing—I was wearing an athletic tank top and hiking pants, same as the other women—but they all seemed so carefree.
I didn't know them personally, but I was pretty sure none of them had been divorced—which I had by time I was their age.It was as if by getting to know me on my terms and proving he wanted me in his life as a friend, I'd finally felt comfortable enough to open up in a way I didn't with men I met in typical dating situations.A few more conversations like that and Mike and I became a couple. It took almost six months before I got used to calling him my boyfriend, even as I was surprised by how little people cared. I occasionally get a side-eye from a bartender when we're both asked for ID.Even his mother approves of us, saying that Mike has always been one to follow his heart. My dad has no idea how old Mike is, and while my mom knows he's younger, she's never asked for details. Although he says having children isn't important to him and that he'd still feel fulfilled without kids, I don't believe him.But they've seen how skittish I am about romance, so I think they're just happy that I'm happy. That's actually one of our biggest fights—and where the age-difference thing comes out in full force.I don't want to make it sound like he's an overgrown frat boy—he's not—but he doessee the fun in life, whereas I tend to get bogged down in details. I'm way more comfortable with my body than I was when I was younger.