We talk in terms of a permanent "we"—weshould buy a house, we want to live by the ocean at some point in our lives.
I've always tended to get along better with people a decade or so younger than me—peg it to my being single with no kids as well as a attitude that led me to spend my own 20s and 30s bouncing from guy to state to job.
I knew that the guests at the party were going to be younger than me; I work as an occupational therapist at a hospital and most of the coworkers I'm closest with are the ones in their 20s and early 30s.
He obliged, and as we clinked glasses, I guessed he was in his early 30s.
Meanwhile, I wanted to slide under the table and disappear. At the party, I flirted with the handsome man making a rum and coke in the kitchen, asking if he could whip one up for me, too.
I felt like the two additional decades of hard-won life experience created a wall between me and the group—and between Mike and me. Yes, I'd heard of Drake and Snapchat, but it wasn't pop culture.
For the next six months, Mike and I were just friends.It was as if by getting to know me on my terms and proving he wanted me in his life as a friend, I'd finally felt comfortable enough to open up in a way I didn't with men I met in typical dating situations.A few more conversations like that and Mike and I became a couple. It took almost six months before I got used to calling him my boyfriend, even as I was surprised by how little people cared. I occasionally get a side-eye from a bartender when we're both asked for ID.But in general, people don't dwell on our age difference.Two years later, Mike and I are definitely a couple—we live together and we're deeply in love.I got married in my early 20s and divorced a few years later.