I’m Dating A Man 15 Years Older Than Me. This Is Why It’s My Best Relationship Yet

"They say when you find the right person your relationship should feel easy. I never used to understand that."
Image: Prime Video

I met my partner while working at my current job in marketing. We sat next to each other for over a year and after speaking everyday we became close.

When he had left the company to take a new job, we stayed in touch and a few months later he asked me out on a date at a beachside cafe. I was 26 at the time and he was 42.

In the past, I’d always dated men around my age, but since dating Adam, I’ve never looked at him and seen his age.

For me, the relationship happened so naturally. We’ve been dating for over two years now and this is by far the most comfortable and happy relationship I’ve ever been in.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got hitched in 2012 and have an 11-year age gap. Image: Getty.

The first thing that stood out to me when we first started dating was there were no games. I didn’t have to worry if I had been ghosted because he hadn’t texted me back or if he was seeing other people, it was just really authentic.

From the beginning, my friends were really supportive of our relationship and everyone got along really well. There have definitely been times where we have attended events together and I’ve felt self-conscious that people judging me are counting our age gap in their heads. But I remind myself that it’s no-one else’s business. Strangely, I’ve found that more men have pulled my partner aside to say ‘you’re punching,’ so I try and take it as a compliment.

With my family, it’s been a bit tougher. Eventually they have come around and they really like him, but they still have some obvious concerns.

My partner has two young kids, so the timeline is not as conventional as perhaps it would be in a relationship with someone my age. Everything is a little bit like it takes a lot more time, but we’re on our own path.

Naturally, my family worries about the fact that he’s already hit milestones like marriage and children, so where does that leave me? I know they just want what’s best for me, but it can be hard at times.

In the beginning, I had a lot of people would tell me, ‘he’s got kids, you won’t be number one’ and I’ve definitely been in situations where that was the case because his kids really needed him.

Sutton and Richard in The Bold Type
Richard and Sutton from The Bold Type. Image: Supplied.

At first, it made me feel that if I was in a relationship with someone my own age then I’d be their number one. But then I remind myself of what’s important, which for me is that I feel supported and visible in my relationship. I also know that if he prioritised me above his kids, I’d be a little bit concerned.

Dating someone with children that aren’t your own, definitely gives you patience. I have a real understanding of everything that he’s going through, and even though I don’t have the experience to be able to help him I know how to support him when he’s going through things with kids.

At the moment, thoughts around the future are always ruminating in the back of my mind. In the two years that we have been dating we haven’t had a proper sit down conversation about kids or marriage, but it’s something that I’m not quite ready for. At the moment, I’m just enjoying every bit of the relationship until I’m read to cross that bridge.

Thinking about fertility and having kids is something that is naturally front of mind for most women in their late 20s and early 30s.

When I have those days where I feel as though I’m not putting myself first, I remind myself that I’m not ready for it yet. It’s also nice that there are a lot more options out there in terms of fertility, knowing that I can freeze my eggs quite easily definitely helps.

George and Amal Clooney have a 17 year age gap and have been happily married for a decade. Image: Getty.

The relationships I’ve experienced in the past, were always filled with highs and lows. Developing patience as he balances his work, me and his kids has taught me how to work through my emotions. Adam is a really calm and mature person and that’s had a massive impact on me. He’s also taught me some really practical life advice that’s helped set me up for the future.

For him, between his job and his kids, he rarely makes him to slow down and have fun. I think I’ve taught him how to find the joy in the small things.

They say when you find the right person your relationship should feel easy. I never used to understand that. With Adam there’s never any doubts or worry over ‘why isn’t he texting me?’ it just works.

For anyone else that’s navigating their own age gap in a relationship, my advice would be that it feels right and comfortable, and they make you feel good, forget the age gap and focus on the relationship. Someone will always have an opinion or look at you differently and you just ignore it.

No-one else can understand your relationship better than you and while it might look different from your friends, know that there’s no right path in life and as long as you’re happy and it’s fulfilling your current needs, that’s all that matters.

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