How To Overcome The Obstacles Of Dating Someone Significantly Older Than You

by Sandra Rose
Guille Faingold

They say age is just a number, but whoever said that clearly never dated anyone outside of their age pool.

Whenever it came to dating, I always tried distancing myself from the overall practice.

I guess you could say I had other, more important issues on my mind.

For instance, struggling to pay rent on the basement studio I currently lease was no easy feat.

Then, there was the additional reality of living paycheck to paycheck, while simultaneously striving to accelerate my writing career.

Long story short, the overall notion of dating was absent from the agenda of my daily routine.

Don't get me wrong. I ultimately wanted companionship. No one wants to go through life alone, unless you prefer it that way, which, in that case: kudos to you.

But I didn't fall into that category of individuals.

As much as I enjoyed being single, I also didn't want to end up alone with 10 cats acting as my sole source of companionship.

Eventually, there would come a time when I'd yearn for the company of someone else besides my friends... and the 10 cats I would someday inherit if all else failed.

After all, I am only human, and what good is life if you don't have someone spectacular to share your experiences with?

That day came sooner than expected for me, in the form of a handsome, charming individual, who didn't automatically switch the channel when "Girls" came on. This individual, who would later become my longterm boyfriend, also happened to be 13 years my senior.

No biggie, I initially thought.

I never fancied men my own age anyways.

Our significant age difference didn't necessarily bother me, specifically because the emotional bond we shared was unparalleled to any I had ever experience prior.

In truth, age played an inconsequential factor in our relationship, much like the useless alarm system in my apartment, which my landlord consistently neglected to fix.

Don't get me wrong.

There were vast differences between my boyfriend and me, especially when it came to entertainment purposes.

While my boyfriend enjoyed old school hip-hop and graphic documentaries, I found solace in Beyoncé and Bravo TV.

Nevertheless, I convinced myself my deficient education regarding Tupac and political documentaries wasn't exactly a deal breaker.

But as time gradually passed, the reality of our age difference began setting in, particularly when it came time to meet one another's friends.

Not only was the majority of my boyfriend's inner circle already married, with a clan of adorable children to call their own, they also had prosperous careers, along with sparkly mortgages and sufficient health insurance to complete the package.

These were all foreign concepts to my friends and me. We worked dissatisfying jobs, acquired a measly salary in return and spent the remainder of our time either glued to a dating app or attached to a barstool, nonchalantly drowning our discontent with the remnants of something potent.

We were the poster children for the millennial generation. Yay to us.

Therefore, it was safe to assume I had nothing in common with my boyfriend's friends nor anything to discuss that would resonate or prove semi-interesting to them.

I tried conniving myself those details didn't matter -- I was simply overthinking things.

However, no matter how hard I tried pretending it didn't bother me, I still managed to feel inadequate whenever I was in the presence of his friends.

Perhaps it generated from my own uncertainty regarding my place in life or maybe it was something more.

There was also the contrast regarding our dating experience and how we each viewed relationships.

When we first began dating, the idea of a relationship was a sensitive topic.

His luck with relationships prior to me wasn't the best, and he therefore wanted something more casual, whereas I wanted something slightly more concrete.

He wanted to go with the flow, and I consistently demanded validation regarding my place in his life.

This continuously caused a great amount of turbulence within the early stages of our relationship.

I could no longer handle remaining in a gray area of uncertainty with him for much longer.

This was why I occasionally brought it up, usually late at night when there were ample amounts of alcohol lingering in my system.

He's complex, reticent and occasionally temperamental.

Yet despite knowing this, I continued holding on to the fragments of the unconventional bond we shared.

Because at the end of the day, regardless of our age difference, we not only love one another, but we're also learning from each other as well.

Each day that passes, we discover something new, which not only benefits our relationship, but also the way view the world.

Besides, just think of all the time you'll save Googling the answer to a question.

Odds are your older SO already knows the answer. I kid, I kid.

But in truth, dating someone significantly older than you doesn't have to be a big issue unless you make it one.

Yes, there are certain characteristics that prove significant when entering into any relationship. However, age should rank extremely low on that list.