Dating a man 16 years older
When I tell him Mike he can't knowif he wants children, he thinks I'm being condescending and close-minded. But I went back and forth on the kids thing somany times in my 30s that I don't want him to shut a door he may want to open in the future.We've discussed marriage, but always in the abstract—like when we went to one of his friend's weddings, we imagined what our ceremony would look like.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.I got married in my early 20s and divorced a few years later.
Whenever I thought about getting a pet, I'd always think, Mike helped me realize that none of those questions mattered—yes, it was good to know we could take care of her and had some stability, but that we'd always figure out a way to make things work.I was pretty sure I was going to spend the rest of my life alone, and I'd made my peace with that.I'd gone on enough dates that didn't lead anywhere—often with much more age-appropriate matches than Mike—and I just didn't see the point in pretending we were something we weren't.I felt like the two additional decades of hard-won life experience created a wall between me and the group—and between Mike and me. Yes, I'd heard of Drake and Snapchat, but it wasn't pop culture.
For the next six months, Mike and I were just friends.
To me, it was much easier to make everything strictly between friends.