I am in an age gap relationship.
There is a massive eight years between me and my partner and the majority of the time, it is not an issue. For us, It’s one of the best things about our relationship and I believe, why we are still going strong nearly 3 years into our relationship.
I bet that when you read about the age gap, you automatically presumed that my boyfriend was the older one. That I had some kind of sugar daddy in my life. I bet you think my boyfriend is middle aged, with slightly grey hair and that I was the younger woman.
You would be wrong. I am the older one in this relationship and when you tell people this, you can expect a few reactions.
“Well done you, you total cougar!”
“Oooh! Toyboy you randy old bitch”
and my personal favourite;
“How did you manage that?”
like it is some kind of achievement that an older woman, even though I am only 30, still has the ability to be attractive to anyone younger than her.
There are also the ever so judgmental opinions regarding my fertility, his maturity level and our future; all of which are usually completely wrong and in fact, quite insulting to both of us. That somehow, a 22 year old man will not be mature enough to satisfy the mental needs of an older woman, or that I will be forgoing my chance to have children, or worse, forcing him into early fatherhood, just to satisfy my ticking biological clock.
What always winds me up the most is if my boyfriend was the older one, none of these judgements would be made. At all.
No one worries that a man won’t get to have children because his just-out-of-adolesence girlfriend hasn’t finished going clubbing yet.
There is no word for the male equivalent of the cougar. It is just accepted that the man being older is normal. History is full of it. Older, wealthier men having younger brides are strewn across all ages and all continents; mostly to do with fertility and having enough time to pro-create a son.
But in this day and age, why is still shocking for people to find out that you are older than your male partner?
When my relationship with my boyfriend started, it did cross my mind a few times, in the early days that maybe the age gap would be a problem so I went to speak to my sister. her advice was swift
“Me and Mike don’t ever sit about congratulating each other on being the same age. It has never come up in conversation in any part of our marriage”
And she is right. How many times have you even thought about your and your partners age at any point in your relationships?
Surely, if you are both happy and the dynamics work for you, then age is irrelevant?
I’ve said this before; I am not interested in having kids and have taken a wooden ACME mallet to my biological clock a long time ago, however, say I changed my mind and suddenly wanted a baby. Would our ages be under scrutiny from within our relationship?
Yes, probably, but no more than any other. You can be 40 and still not feel that you have done enough with your own life to feel ready enough to create another. Some people make the decision to become parents at 19 and younger and love every minute of it.
In a world where no two people are the same and there are more conflicting opinions floating about than there are stars in the sky, isn’t it time that we took the traditional ideas of what a relationship should be and blow it to pieces?
For me, love, happiness and support are the main things that I look for in a relationship and, even at 22 years old, my boyfriend has shown me these in bucket loads. His maturity and level headed attitude amazes me every day that we’re together and he is my rock in every way.
And he has taught me just as much about the world we live in as I have him. We challenge each other, support each other and have each others backs over anything and anyone and if that is what you get by being a ‘cougar’ then bring it on!