It happened again, today.
He left the room.
They turned to me.
“So, he’s younger than you? By how much?”
I never thought I’d be the December in a May-December situation. I’ve never dated anyone younger than me. Finding out a guy was even months younger was a deal-breaker. It just completely removed them from consideration.
When I met the Man Friend it was as just that: a friend. We got along amazingly well, and were exactly the same amount of sarcastic about the same things, and laughed at all the same stupid shit.
And then it looked like things were moving out of the Friend-Zone.
I was terrified.
I couldn’t date someone younger. It was the idea of people asking the very question I got asked today that scared me. Would people think I was desperately trying to cling to youth by dating him? Would people stare? Would people tell him to give his head a shake, date someone his own age, someone without wrinkles and sagging stuff?
And then one day I realized that you could take the word “people” out of all those questions. It was me I was worried about. Was I desperate? Was I being unfair to saddle him with someone older? Was this whole thing foolish?
He quietly sat back and waited for me to come to the conclusions he already had. That we were absolutely wonderful together, great for each other. That I was letting my own insecurities and sometimes low self-esteem cloud my vision. And once I was OK with us? I really didn’t give a rat’s ass what anyone else thought.
There have been stares. Questions. Side-eyes.
And once I got over my own shit? They weren’t such a big deal. Six months ago, the idea of someone asking me that question was enough to make me nauseous. Now? Meh, no big.
(And to answer their question: He sure is. By seven years. And I am happy as hell.)