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Before I begin, I want to clarify that I have nothing against age gap relationships and that I am speaking about my experience being in age gap relationships and how my views on age gap relationships have changed.
Age gap relationships was a topic that I've wanted to write about for a while but didn't know how to approach. To some, from my experience, age gap relationships as a topic for discussion can be sort of taboo based on people's views and beliefs which is why I was hesitant about talking about this topic in the first place.
For as long as I can remember, age gap relationships have always been around but were not common or something as a topic for conversation. I've known people with age gaps big and small since I was a child but didn't think much of it. As I headed into my teenage years, my opinion changed.
As a teenager, I went to high school with people that were dating partners four or five years their senior and that were no longer in high school. At the time, it was seen as "creepy" or "disgusting" and in some cases, it was illegal as some of them were minors. I guess being surrounded by that a lot eventually made me think the same way for a while... until I got into my first serious relationship.
My first partner was four years my senior. With me being 17 and him being 21, there was some concern around whether or not our relationship was "appropriate" as I was still in high school at the time. Even then, I thought four years was a huge gap and was an issue with me.
As time went on, I started to become friends with people older than me by almost 10, sometimes 20 years. I got weird looks and remarks from people my age saying I'm "too old fashioned" or "You're weird because you like older things and your friends are old." It bothered me that I got these comments because age doesn't matter when it comes to friendship. Those negative comments didn't stop me. Eventually, one of these friendships blossomed into something more.
Currently, I am in a relationship with my partner who is 16 years my senior. He was and still is my best friend to this day. At first, I took the age gap very seriously. What crossed my mind was, "What would my parents think?" or "What would our friends think?" I was hesitant sharing our relationship at first because of the negative comments I have received before. I was so confident in us and our strength and connection that I just didn't care about what others thought anymore.
After opening up about us, we were embraced with open arms. Occasionally, there are some looks and snide comments like, "Oh wow, he's an old man and you're like 12." or "You can't find someone your own age?" and "Is he your sugar daddy?" I just ignored the negative comments. A couple of other common questions asked are “Don’t you wonder about having children?” and “Aren’t you going to end up being their caretaker?” These things are something I thought deeply about but these things are further into the future. If I mainly focused on these futuristic things, I’m missing precious moments in the now.
What I've realized over the years is that people hate what they don't understand and if they don't understand, don't waste time giving explanations to them. As long as your love and connection is pure and solid, nothing can stop you.