Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Why I Dated An Older Man

Many moons ago when I first wrote this post I was dating an older man. It was not a long relationship because we realised we were more compatible as friends, but it was a soul relationship and still is.

I still live with this older man, he is my best friend, my brother, my father, my teacher, my sister all rolled into one body. He is 79 this year and I just turned 40. 

At the time we were dating he was in his late 60's and working 7 nights a week in a well known supermarket filling shelves, far healthier than most men on the shop floor in their thirties. In fact he was too good they did not like his healthy work ethics and attitude.

He is a deeply spiritual man, very loving, has immense strength and courage. Even at nearing 80 he has very few wrinkles, is toned and is more like a 30 year old in personality, probably more a 50 year old in body.




Horrendous Criticism From Outsiders


During the short period we dated how we were viewed as a couple made the relationship a challenge.

Socially, I found it difficult to introduce him to my friends. I mentioned him and occasionally introduced him, but many reacted in a way that sometimes felt hurtful. Recently I introduced him to someone I perceived as spiritual, a new friend who appeared very open minded yet when he met Michael he was uncomfortable and looked somewhat shocked.


When I first started dating Michael I will never forget the first negative response we got from complete strangers. I was holding his hand (something I stopped doing because at time I was not confident enough to take the public flack) and an older lady with her friend gave us such a filthy look and tutted. Next, a younger man gave us such a filthy look. Complete strangers judging who we are, judging our relationship.

Some people looked at us possibly thinking, "is he her father? grandfather?" sometimes we got stared at in coffee shops.

Michael was very cool about it, he had the charisma to not care and he had had long term relationships with younger women before (he does not think or act like an 'old person'), I still found it a challenge to be who I wanted to be with him in public. I imagine many thought he was my sugar daddy or he was a father figure after my own father passed on, but he wasn't, he was my best friend, my partner, my lover and inspiration.


Judging People Is Too Common - LOVE knows no boundaries


Michael empowers women. He used to run groups in Devon to help people who were abused. When I met Michael I had very little self-worth or esteem and he helped me think more of myself, draw boundaries around myself, stop my incessant people-pleasing and encouraged me to grow in confidence.

Over the past 13 years of sharing a home, while no longer in a relationship in the romantic sense, we have, and continue to, learn so much from one another. We are gifts to one another for lessons, personal growth and support. Mike always said when I meet the 'one' he will be happy to walk me down the aisle, now if that isn't love I don't know what is.

I know my own worries about our relationship being 'wrong' were due to conditioning within myself that was reflected in the people we met on the street. It was really tough, because when some people met Michael for the first time they felt uncomfortable because he is very empowered and strong man.

It would have been lovely to have the experiences everybody else had as a couple. Lovely meals out, holding hands, giving him a kiss in public, sharing him with other couples on nights out, but this never happened.



Releasing Shame


When I made new friends in my past it was if I had this hidden part of my life I was unable to fully reveal. Back then I did not have the confidence or self-esteem I have now. Even though we are best friends I like introducing him to my friends now, because I no longer feel ashamed because of perceptions I took on from society anymore. He is an amazing man who I hope chooses to meet another woman and enjoy the pleasures of the female form once again. I have a feeling he is going to live well into his hundreds (it's a DNA thing from his family apparently they all live to a good old age).


LOVE has no age



Love has no age, no label, no tidy box. If this post does anything I would like to get this out to the world that people who may have glared or thought unpleasant thoughts about an older man with a younger woman, or glared at a younger man with an older woman, remember we are entitled to be who we are too, this world is meant to be full of colour and unique expressions of love.

This also goes for same sex relationships, black/white relationships we all deserve the space to relate and love just like anyone else does, without the judgements imposed on us by others.



How do you feel about age gap relationships?

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