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True Love With a 16 Year Age Gap

Relationships with large age gaps have always had the power to stir up a lot of controversy. Whether people find them to be morally reprehensible or just plain weird, there is always something to be said about these unusual pairings. I found myself in one of these unions roughly two years ago and no matter what some people say, it has undoubtedly been one of the greatest joys of my life.

I know that a lot of things about it are strange. My boyfriend is turning 40 in a few months, and I’m only turning 24. By the time our children are grown, he’ll already be a 50-something while I’m a 30-something. Despite these numbers, though, John and I have the strongest and most loving relationship out of all of the couples I have ever known in my life.

When John and I first met, he said he would never date me because of my age. As time went by and we grew closer, he retracted this statement and since then, we almost never feel as though there is an age difference. I know that that sounds weird, but we just don’t see each other as older or younger. Our age only shines through when we’re being nostalgic. His nostalgia for the late 80s and early 90s predates my early-aughts memories, but besides that, our time together is everything that one could hope for in a relationship. We choose to laugh about the fact that he finished high school in 1999 and has gray hair while I have the daisy-fresh disposition of a new college graduate.

What’s really important for people to know is that there is a distinct difference between being groomed and choosing someone who’s older as a consenting adult.

High school girls who date guys in their twenties are unsafe. I am not unsafe, yet there aren’t many stories about people like me. This often becomes muddled for people because they fail to understand the difference. Oftentimes young girls find themselves at odds with a man disturbed by Peter Pan syndrome who’s dying to pretend that they’re younger and never admit that they’re growing old. It’s true that many older men use young girls, but that isn’t always the case.

Two consenting adults coming together is very different from a man approaching a girl who’s still too young to drink and just finished high school. 18 and 22 do not sound too different, but those four years in between are critical in these situations.

I seem to live my life in a perpetual honeymoon phase while still being based in reality. John and I still face everyday problems, but we always come together because we truly love each other. There isn’t anything different about our relationship other than the fact that it seems to be stronger than most of the other ones I’ve seen — despite being at odds with the fact that our pairing is quite uncommon because of the age factor.

Yes, it was mildly horrifying when he met my parents, but soon after he became a part of my family. Once I learned to hush my worries about the big taboo elephant in the room, we had an easier time becoming a family together. Yes, I was nervous for him to meet my friends, but that proved to be rosy, too. My friends constantly tell me all about how we’re their favorite couple.

There is so much to be said for the little idiosyncrasies of our love. I love reading him poetry. I love that he is reserved, sarcastic, and dry on the outside with a sweet and warm interior. I love the fact that sex always feels safe and pleasurable with him. I love that we find a way to do almost everything together and still manage to be creative individuals. I love knowing that my future is going to be intertwined with his.

My beloved and I have a 16 year age gap, and that’s okay. Not all love is conventional. I know that I am happy with the choice to be with him above all of the choices I’ve made in life, and it makes me fulfilled to let other people know that our seemingly unusual pairing is such a source of bliss for the two of us. It took a lot of trust and maybe even a little bit of courage to commit to one another despite what others think, and we’ve heard many unpleasant comments throughout the years. Without question, it’s still worth it.

I hope that you get the chance to love someone deeply today, even if your union looks a little bit different on the outside. It will be worth it.

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I write about all kinds of human experiences big and small.

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