5. It can evoke strong reactions. Reactions to the age difference from friends, colleagues, family, etc. have ranged from being unfazed to naming other couples they know with big age differences (I guess to reassure themselves?) to “Gross. My mom is only two years older than him” and “He could biologically be your father” (thanks for that imagery…). I agree it would be weird to date someone who is close to my parents’ age or who has kids close to my age, but neither Cole nor my parents were candidates for 16 & Pregnant. It can be difficult to not become defensive at the stage when I’m excited about a new relationship.
4. They assume you do/n’t understand references. Here and there Cole says something like “Have you heard of the movie When Harry Met Sally?” (yes—of course) or “Doesn’t this song sound like an 80’s song?” (I can’t really say). This just wouldn’t be an issue with someone who wasn’t enrolling in college as I was entering pre-school.
3. Life expectancy. Every so often you’ll hear about someone passing away in their 40’s or early 50’s. While I always thought it was a tragically early passing, it now terrifies me. Cole eats healthier than me and is in great shape (good influence on me!), and there’s a chance of untimely death no matter the age, but statistically speaking, it’s more likely he’ll go first. Pretty morbid.
2. They’re on accelerated timelines. My last relationship lasted two years. Kids were definitely brought up, but in the hypothetical, years-from-now sense. If the relationship had lasted into marriage, we probably would have waited a few years before starting a family. While it hasn’t been brought up specific to our situation, Cole has mentioned wanting to start a family and I’m fairly certain he would not be okay with a two-year relationship + one-year engagement + a few years before having kids.
1. They’re set in their ways. It’s easier to mold plans with someone who hasn’t had as many experiences and is therefore more open to new ones. On the other hand, it's nice that they know what they like.
5. They’re experienced. I’m already inexperienced in the physical arena for someone my age. Cole has 15 years on me. Enough said. (Thank you, Cole’s ex-girlfriends.)
4. They plan dates. When Cole asked me on our first date, he suggested a day (Saturday), a time (noon), and three restaurants from which to choose. After going on dates with a barrage of indecisive and ambivalent guys (and being in a relationship with one for two years), this was incredibly refreshing (see #9: If you're the one asking, then you should be the one planning the date).
3. They’re established. Cole has a career, a car, a house, plans for the future—I’m not enamored by the material possessions; rather, I respect his ability to commit to things. He’s not in the “finding himself” stage, living with mom and unable to decide on a career path. He’s past being the “aspiring” musician who is still waiting tables and hasn’t done a paid gig in two years. A lot of 20-somethings (and 30-somethings) don’t want to settle into a long-term relationship because they always have a gnawing feeling that there’s someone better around the corner. It’s not that he didn’t go through these stages—it was just 10 to 15 years ago.
2. They have life experience. Naturally, they can have a really different perspective on things because of the sheer number of years they’ve been alive. It can be really helpful when Cole shares this perspective with me. Like when everyone was telling me I should move, he passed on advice he had been given in his twenties that I really appreciated: “if you’re unsure, don’t speed up” (spoiler alert: I’m not moving).
1. They’re mature. They can actually communicate their feelings and carry on a conversation. Their interests aren’t limited to watching sports and playing video games. Their weekends don’t consist of getting wasted and showing off how much he can lift at the gym. It’s also the little things, like knowing what a coaster is and paying attention to the weather forecast. I have guy friends my age who are like this, too, but they’re my mature guy friends.
Anyone swear by a certain age difference? Anyone who has dated someone older have pros or cons to add? Comment below!