We’ve been amazed and delighted by all the traffic on this blog since Michael’s essay ran in AARP magazine. And we are tremendously moved by so many of your stories. One thing that I’ve noticed as the comments have been piling up: Many of you women in relationships with younger men say you were more troubled by the age difference than your man was. And some of you mention that your guy pursued you enthusiastically before you believed it was for real.
On the other hand, Michael was wary about starting a new relationship (he had recently ended a difficult one) and so he didn’t really pursue me in the classic sense. He did bring me flowers once, but his early gifts tended toward more practical things, like cheeseburgers for a late night at the office or the loan of a record album.
Here’s some of what our readers shared:
Practicallytwisted, who’s just starting a relationship with a man 18 years younger, said: I'm more preoccupied with the difference than he is, I think, and I leap too far into the future instead of remaining in the present where it is wonderful and exciting.
An anonymous poster, married to a man 12 years younger, wrote: He said to tell you he doesn't even think about the age or the dying, but rather the living! I must admit that I think about it though.
Dally, married to a man 9 years younger, wrote this after reading Michael’s piece: Until now I have felt rather isolated, as far as our age gap goes. But now I'm saying, "Wa-hoo! No big deal!" (which it has never been for my hubby) I'm 63 and he's 54, and we've been married 8 years.
Another anonymous commenter in a him+17 marriage for 21 years writes: I was more uncomfortable about the age difference than he was at the start (he was 30 and I was 47) and now I can't imagine why I was so concerned.
But here’s my favorite. This, from KK, who has a younger boyfriend: I tell people that I did not rob the cradle, he robbed the grave! He pursued me until I finally gave in...thinking it was just a whimsy and it wouldn't last.
I’m happy to know my experience wasn’t unusual. I wonder if we just can’t believe our good fortune in finding a soul mate and so we tamp down our expectations. I’ll just have a fling, we tell ourselves, or it’ll be fun as long as it lasts. And then, surprise! It lasts!