I’ve been dating a guy that is 20 years older than me. I’m 28. I never saw myself being with someone so much older but since I’ve met him, I’ve never been happier. Older men are not always looking for a younger women because of her looks. They aren’t always controlling or want to treat you like a kid. At least this one doesn’t. He genuinely respects me, treats me like his partner, and listens to me. We really enjoy each other’s company and gradually, I find myself wanting to be with him long term. Although he looks great for his age, I have so much fear about his health 20 years from now. I watched my mom, grandmother, and aunt lose their husbands and so I have this phobia of losing my husband too. I really don’t know how to get past this.
I have mixed emotions about this subject too, mostly because we share similar stories. My Dad was 51 when I was born, and he died when I was 22. I’m ashamed to admit I was angry that he was an older father, especially when he got sick. While my college friends were off to clubs and bars on weekends, I was visiting my Dad in the hospital and watching him slip away. In my young mind, he was abandoning me, my brother, and most importantly my mother. I told myself I would never marry an older man. There was too much risk involved.
My father didn’t really get to see me as an adult, and I often wonder what kind of advice he’d give me now. Especially because I married a man who is older by almost fifteen years. I never pictured this for myself. In fact, I made it a point to only date men my age or maybe a couple of years older. But then, I met my husband and suddenly the limitations I’d placed on previous dates seemed pointless with him. I knew he was right for me, so I went for it.
But this doesn’t mean my fears went away. My husband is in good health, but I have to wonder…I lost my Dad early, and it’s quite likely I’ll outlive my husband, maybe by a lot. Am I willing to risk it? I guess the answer is obvious because I married him. I’d rather have a life with him that might not be as I’d planned than have a life without him and wonder what could have been.
We all have fears about relationships. Anything can happen. While I like to think that my relationship will continue along its blissful path, I know that the reality is, life is sometimes, ok…often, hard. We are at risk of being alone again at any given moment. However, if we live our lives and base our decisions in fear, this doesn’t protect us. Quite the opposite. It causes us more grief and isolation. Less happiness.
I don’t know this reader’s boyfriend or their relationship, but I do know that love and life are about taking risks. If you feel good being with someone, and it feels right, you owe it to yourself to take that emotional leap. Not to sound like a cheesy self-help guide, but isn’t being happy in the present more important than concentrating on a future of what-ifs? We have no control over what might happen, but we have 100% control over how we feel right here, right now.
So, I say go with your gut. if it’s telling you this guy is the real thing, take a chance. Besides, 48 isn’t old. Now, 80…