Once upon a time, not long ago, when I was still a pretty active dater, I dated all over the age spectrum, legal and still breathing, of course. Obviously there’s a wide range to cover. A truth that I discovered, that applies to me is how little actual age is actually a factor in dating and making something work out of it. That said, what does age really mean?
To me age is like a shiny little badge that some people like to tuck away and hide from sight. When I was in my early twenties not many women would touch me, let alone talk to me. It didn’t help that I had my creeper vibe working overtime. Some say I still do, to them, I say shut your face!! Turd!
As time passed I became more confident and began to overcome some emotional obstacles that I’d carried with me and was able to forgive and forget events and people from my past. Was that really because I was 26 instead of 18? No, of course not! We are the sum of our experiences and the relationships that remain and pass through our life. This is not news, but these things aren’t tied to age or getting older necessarily. Case in point, one of the most mature gals I have dated was nineteen, at the time. Andy was her name. She had this great feel for people and she knew who she was. She just understood things and acted in a way that her nineteen years of living just didn’t admit to. At twenty four, I had a lot of things going on and I was pretty scared to do much of anything about them. In short, there was still a lot of growing I needed to do; I was behind the curve. Andy wasn’t boastful or a know it all like a lot of teenagers (aka me back when I was a teen). I appreciated that about her.
What made Andy stand apart from other girls her age and older? Life. She was living it. She was raised in a broken home, abusive parents and not a lot to get by on. By the time I had met her, she’d seen a lot, learned a lot and lived a lot more than myself. People who have gone through so much turmoil, in my experience, tend to be distant, withdrawn and cool to the idea of being in a serious and loving relationship and sometimes they are self destructive. Not Andy. She knew, with great clarity that is typically absent in kids her age, who she was and what she wanted out of life.
When I say “live,” with regard to Andy, I mean that there were a lot of lessons she learned in living without. When she left me; she did so in a way that I won’t forget. She broke up with me, but I knew it was the right thing to do. We had unfinished journeys ahead. Since Andy, I’ve met girls and women or, more appropriately, girls prancing around as though they were women but weren’t quite there yet. I’ve met and dated young girls who recently graduated from school, traveled to whatever number of countries and have their lives in order, seemingly, and just didn’t “get” how other people haven’t done the same as them. Living isn’t just travelling the world, though, that’s a big part in opening one’s eyes for sure. Something I was reminded of with condescending smirks and gasps while on dates with these women-children.
Sometimes living is getting kicked and stepped; hated, betrayed and feeling hopeless. Sometimes living is learning how to put those things from your past aside and move forward; sometimes living is actually walking that mile in another person’s worn and tattered shoes.
This is a lesson I was reminded of the other day when an old friend of mine caught up with me on Facebook, this friend was also a mutual friend of Andy’s. Andy went on to have a pair of kids and a happy marriage to a younger guy; that one made me laugh since she was against dating guys her age or younger. Living, too, is sometimes none of what I just said. It can be quite the opposite.
The point is, that I’ve gone off track from (I apologize), is that none of what I talked about has to do with age, specifically. It has to do with experience. Just because someone is older and more travelled doesn’t necessarily make a person more worldly, more mature or possessed of a more qualified life perspective.
That said, the Age thing; it really is just a number, a whimsical stat you can use to annoy the shit out of your partner or would be teenie bopper alcoholics.